Bill Weinberg's blog

Cannabis use up; meth, coke down: study

Posted on September 9th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

cannabisCannabis is increasingly the drug of choice among young adults in the US, while methamphetamine use  is dropping, according to a national survey released Sept. 8 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Overall, 8.9% of the US population or 22.6 million people aged 12 and older used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 8.7% in 2009 and 8% in 2008, the study finds according to Reuters. Cannabis use appears to be driving the increase, with some 17.4 million—or 6.9% of the population—saying they used marijuana in 2010, up from 14.4 million or 5.8% of the population in 2007.

Anti-pot pol caught with pot seeks plea bargain

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Robert WatsonRobert Watson, a Republican Rhode Island state lawmaker charged with pot possession and DUI in Connecticut, is said to be hoping for a plea bargain in New Haven Superior Court. Watson, who has pleaded not guilty, lost his job as Rhode Island's House minority leader after his April arrest in East Haven. (AP, Aug. 25) Bloggers had a field day with his bust, because he had just recently made comments baiting liberals in his state as soft on immigrants, gays—and pot smokers! Here's what the "Irony Alert" blog in The Week had to say in its coverage of the coverage:

Study finds cannabis smokers are thinner: surprise!

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

foodLast year, when the New York Times ran a story on "haute stoner cuisine"—suggesting that cannabis use by chefs is encouraging a trend for "chin-dripping, carbohydrate-heavy food"—we responded that, while we did not have the figures to back it up, there is probably a higher percentage of vegetarians and healthy eaters among pot-smokers than the general population. Now, our assumption appears to be vindicated by a new study. From the NY Daily News, Sept. 4:

Drug Czar: legalization no "magic bullet"

Posted on September 3rd, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

cannabisTim Padgett of Time magazine's Global Spin blog queried Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske about comments made by Mexican President Felipe Calderón in his speech following the recent Monterrey casino massacre, in which he said the US was complicit for its "insatiable" demand for drugs and should consider "market alternatives" to failed anti-drug policies. Was this a coded reference to legalization, and would this put pressure on the White House to consider the idea? Kerlikowske responded:

Mexican cartels in Emerald Triangle: real or hype?

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaAn Aug. 31 report on PBS NewsHour provides mixed indications on recent hype about the supposed presence of Mexican drug cartels in the cannabis trade of Northern California's Emerald Triangle—which has now been officially designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the federal government. In the Mendocino National Forest, which has seen unprecedented raids this year, 10 Mexican nationals are among the approximately 100 arrested. Last year, Mendocino County saw a record-breaking number of armed confrontations during marijuana raids—"many with Mexican nationals with suspected links to drug gangs across the border." Two Mexican nationals were killed in last year's raids—one, named Mariano Fernández, reportedly after he aimed an "AK-47-type rifle" at a police SWAT team.

National cannabis prices mapped

cannabis price mapThe oddly named mapping website FloatingSheep.com has produced a map showing the differences in the retail price of cannabis in the United States, coast to coast. The map—apparently featured in the September issue of Wired magazine under the cheeky title "Infoporn: O Say, Can You THC?"—is based on information gleaned from consumer reports on the Price of Weed website.

NY Times editorial backs "humane" medical cannabis

Posted on July 30th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

The New York Times on July 27 ran an editorial urging New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo to follow the lead of New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie and allow the seriously ill to self-medicate with cannabis. The editorial, dubbed "Sensible and Humane," is a good sign of more tolerant and enlightened attitudes reaching the mainstream—even on the traditionally more staid East Coast. The editorial reads:

Obama flip-flop on decrim: now it's official

Posted on July 24th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Writing on his Celebstoner blog, Steve Bloom recalls that while campaigning for the Senate in 2004, President Barack Obama said, "We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws." But on July 22, at a town hall meeting at the Univeristy of Maryland, he stated,: "Am I willing to pursue a decriminalization strategy as an approach? No."  Instead, he offered predictable rhetoric about treatment and prevention:

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