The Week: Most Recent Drinking and Drugs:Marijuana in America recent posts.en-usFri, 25 Jan 2013 09:10:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Drinking and Drugs:Marijuana in America from THE WEEKFri, 25 Jan 2013 09:10:00 -0500Tom Tancredo and the conservative case for smoking weed<img src="" /></P><p>Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) wears a lot of hats &mdash; "zealous illegal immigration opponent, conservative firebrand, liberal's bogeyman," says John Ingold at <em>The Denver Post</em>. And now he's "vowed to do something that will add another title to his CV: Pot smoker." Tancredo says he will smoke his first joint not because he's into drugs &mdash; "I don't believe it is a 'benign' substance, and I don't want to encourage anyone to take it up," he tells <em>The Washington Post</em> &mdash; but because he's a man of his word. His word, it turns out, was captured on film by comedian Adam Hartle, who interviewed...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 25 Jan 2013 09:10:00 -0500Is marijuana bad for you?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>How does marijuana get users high?<br /></strong>When marijuana is smoked or eaten, a chemical called&nbsp;tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is absorbed into the bloodstream, activating proteins in the user's brain and spinal cord. This produces short-term psychoactive effects, including euphoria, a heightened state of awareness, and a sharp appetite. It's a high many Americans enjoy: One in three admits to having tried marijuana, and 5 million use it almost every day. Already allowed for medical use in 18 states, marijuana has just been legalized for recreational use in Colorado and Washington state. But even as...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 24 Nov 2012 10:37:00 -0500Legalized pot: What happens now in Colorado and Washington?<img src="" /></P><p>Proponents of legalizing marijuana for recreational use have been putting the idea up for popular vote since 1972, and voters had never signed on &mdash; until Nov. 6. When residents of Colorado and Washington (but not Oregon) woke up Wednesday morning to an America where Barack Obama was still president, Democrats still controlled the Senate, and Republicans still controlled the House, they also learned that in their states it's legal for adults to smoke and sell pot "for fun and profit," as <em>The Economist</em> puts it. It is still, however, a criminal offense to grow, sell, or consume marijuana, according...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 08 Nov 2012 13:08:00 -0500How would Romney and Obama deal with states that legalize pot?<img src="" /></P><p>Three states are voting today on whether to allow medical use of marijuana &mdash; Massachusetts, Montana, and Arkansas &mdash; but that's old hat by now. Oregon, Washington, and Colorado are going much further in the push for pot decriminalization, with voters deciding on whether to make pot legal for <em>recreational</em> use (the drug would be regulated and taxed like alcohol). Californians considered and rejected a similar initiative in 2010, but chances are good that at least one of these three states will pass its measure on Tuesday. If so, whoever wins the presidential race would have to decide how...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 06 Nov 2012 11:57:00 -0500The worrying rise in 'stoner dogs': A brief guide<img src="" /></P><p>Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado for 12 years, and many people believe that using the drug for medicinal purposes can be beneficial. But according to a new study, one unintended side effect of legalized pot is a spike in the number of pets who get sick after accidentally ingesting the drug. The study, conducted by Dr. Stacy Meola of the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, concluded that cases of marijuana poisoning in animals&nbsp;quadrupled in Colorado over the past five years, and vets say treating high dogs has become an increasingly common occurrence. Doping up your dog is no laughing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/samantha-rollins" ><span class="byline">Samantha Rollins</span></a>Wed, 03 Oct 2012 14:25:00 -0400Does smoking pot as a teen permanently damage your intelligence?<img src="" /></P><p>Put the pipe down, kid. Teenagers who frequently use marijuana may be doing irreversible damage to their intelligence, attention span, and memory, according to a major study spanning four decades. Researchers examined more than 1,000 New Zealand residents, and found that young people who began smoking in their formative years had remarkably lower IQs than subjects who either didn't smoke or who only started using pot when they were adults. Here, a concise guide to the findings:</p><p><strong>How did the researchers conduct the study?</strong><br />The study, published in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 29 Aug 2012 07:59:00 -0400The high schooler who allegedly ran a $3 million drug ring<img src="" /></P><p>Most teenagers earn minimum wage in their after-school jobs. According to police, 17-year-old Tyler Pagenstecher of Mason, Ohio, has been hauling in a whole lot more. A grand jury has indicted the clean-cut teen on charges that he ran a multi-million-dollar drug-dealing ring for several years during high school. Could a kid really hide such a massive criminal enterprise from his mom and teachers for so long? Here, a brief guide:<br /><br /><strong>How big was this alleged pot operation?</strong><br />Police estimate that Pagenstecher's drug ring was selling about $20,000 worth of marijuana per month. Investigators confiscated more...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 19 Jul 2012 12:05:00 -0400How marijuana could help cure obesity-related diseases<img src="" /></P><p>According to a new British study, marijuana leaves (not the buds that Willie Nelson loves so dearly) contain two compounds that boost the metabolism of mice, leading to lower levels of fat and cholesterol in the body &mdash; the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that marijuana may be useful in countering ailments related to obesity. One study in March found that a brain chemical similar in structure to an active compound in cannibis could help people shed weight, while another study last September concluded that pot smokers were less likely to be obese than non-potheads, though for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 09 Jul 2012 17:59:00 -0400Invented: Marijuana that doesn't get you high<img src="" /></P><p>Although it appears that the Obama administration is cracking down on medical marijuana, a number of the drug's health benefits have become increasingly indisputable. One Israeli company hopes that it can create a middle ground: Tikun Olam has successfully created a strain of weed called Avidekel that provides many of the helpful medicinal effects of&nbsp;cannabis minus one notable differentiator &mdash; it doesn't get you high. "Whyyyyyyyyy?" asks Victoria Kekiepmis at the <em>Village Voice</em>. Here, a brief guide to the weed world's version of O'Douls:</p><p><strong>Why invent such a thing?</strong><br />Sometimes getting high...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 05 Jul 2012 12:30:00 -0400Why Obama got tough on medical marijuana: 3 theories<img src="" /></P><p>When President Obama won the White House in 2008, few groups had more more hope for change than proponents of medical marijuana, the dispensaries allowed to sell pot under some state laws, and the cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other patients who benefit from the drug. And in the first two years of Obama's term, things looked pretty good for the medical marijuana industry: Attorney General Eric Holder told federal prosecutors to lay off individuals complying with state laws, and they did. Then&nbsp;the hammer came down, and now,&nbsp;the Obama administration is "cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 08 May 2012 09:40:00 -0400Marijuana-infused wine: The new high?<img src="" /></P><p>Travelers making their way through California's Central Coast may smell a pungent new aroma coming from their wineglasses &mdash; thanks to a little marijuana. What began as a novelty in the 1980s is becoming more commonplace as California winemakers look to ferment grapes with the sticky, THC-laden leaves. Here, a brief guide to the munchy-inducing trend:</p><p><strong>This practice dates back to the 1980s?</strong><br />"Drugs have been on the periphery of the California wine scene going back a long time," says Michael Sternberg at <em>The Daily Beast</em>. When the Reagan administration was waging its war on drugs in the '80s,...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 20 Apr 2012 08:00:00 -0400Marijuana's 'historic' surge among teens: 4 theories<img src="" /></P><p>Teenagers are drinking less and smoking fewer cigarettes than in years past. The trouble is, they're also getting high in record numbers. In a University of Michigan study, half of the surveyed high school seniors admitted to experimenting with marijuana, with about one in four saying they had smoked it in the last month &mdash; the highest rate in 30 years. And eighth-graders didn't fare much better, with one in five admitting they had used pot recently. What's going on? Here, four theories on marijuana's "historic" resurgence:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. The perceived risk is down</strong><br />One theory for why more teenagers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Dec 2011 07:30:00 -0500Are Americans ready to legalize pot?<img src="" /></P><p>Legalize it? Half of Americans want to. Support for marijuana legalization&nbsp;now outweighs opposition, for the first time since Gallup began polling the issue 42 years ago.&nbsp;Fifty percent of Americans say pot use should be legal, while 46 percent say it should be prohibited. Compare that to 1969, when just 12 percent of Americans wanted to legalize pot, compared to a whopping 84 percent who were opposed. Will a groundswell of support for pot legalization&nbsp;be enough to change the country's drug laws?</p><p><strong>America has reached the tipping point:</strong> Why not legalize pot?&nbsp;says Henry Blodget...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 18 Oct 2011 14:51:00 -0400Pot-shaped candy: 'Addictive gateway treat'?<img src="" /></P><p>City leaders in Buffalo, N.Y., are launching a war on candy&nbsp;&mdash; at least candy shaped like drugs.&nbsp;Pothead Lollipops and Ring Pots are&nbsp;sour-apple flavored sweets that contain no cannabis, but look like marijuana leaves. Anti-drug activists say the candy, packaged in a bag emblazoned with the word "legalize," sends kids the message that illegal drugs are okay. Two city council members are pushing to deny licenses to stores that sell the treats. Andrew Kalan, whose company makes the Ring Pots, responds: "It's just candy." Are the sweets harmless, or an "addictive gateway treat"...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 11 Oct 2011 13:40:00 -0400Fight obesity... with marijuana?<img src="" /></P><p><span>Stoners are often characterized as pizza-eating loafs with overgrown bellies. But surprising new research out of France has found that pot smokers are actually thinner than those who don't indulge in marijuana. Here, a brief guide to this counterintuitive finding:<br /><br /><strong>What did the study find?</strong><br />Dr. Yann Le Strat, a psychiatrist at France's Louis-Mourier Hospital,&nbsp;</span>looked<span>&nbsp;at data from two studies of U.S. adults from the early 2000s and noted the weight differences between those who used cannabis and those who didn't. In both studies, c</span>annabis users had relatively low rates of obesity: 14.3 and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 06 Sep 2011 11:40:00 -0400Does pot possession equal child neglect?<img src="" /></P><p>Possessing up to 25 grams of marijuana &mdash; enough for 20 or 30 joints &mdash; is punishable in New York by a fine of up to $100, the legal equivalent of a traffic offense. But according to <em>The New York Times</em>, the city's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) lodges hundreds of neglect cases each year against parents caught with trivial amounts of pot, and often takes custody of their children, essentially making the child welfare system "an alternate system of justice." Is smoking pot really a form of child neglect, or is it time to rethink our marijuana policies?</p><p><strong>There's nothing neglectful...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 19 Aug 2011 11:09:00 -0400