Alcohol vs. marijuana

marijuana-34353_640California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada legalized recreational marijuana in the last election, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and our nation’s capital.

This trend has the alcohol industry worried.  The fear is that as people pick their poison, they will choose marijuana for their intoxicant instead of beer or liquor.  Some alcohol companies are giving money to anti-marijuana legalization efforts and re-adjusting their long-term plans.

I remember hearing that Willie Nelson praised marijuana because it helped him stop drinking.  Alcohol reportedly made him mean; marijuana made him mellow.

Could it be that marijuana would be better for society than alcohol?  Or would wide-spread marijuana use just give us a land of Lotus eaters?

Read the story in the Financial Times after the jump. [Read more…]

Marijuana without the high

Lots of people have been hailing the medical uses of marijuana, leading a number of states to legalize the drug if you have a prescription.  Now Israeli researchers (Israel being the world’s leader in research into medical marijuana) has developed a strain that gives the medical benefits without that unfortunate side effect of the “high.”

Do you think this product will catch on in medical marijuana circles?  I say, NO, are you kidding?  Except, perhaps, as a medicine for children that doctors might prescribe, I’m pretty sure that the high is what users find so thereapeutic. [Read more…]

Marijuana is going the way of Big Tobacco

Now that marijuana is being legalized, the nascent industry is following the pattern of Big Tobacco in making the product more potent, lobbying, and commercializing the product.  So says Yale med school professor Samuel T. Wilkinson. [Read more…]

Stoned federalism

The United States Constitution sets up a system of federalism, a union of states, each of which can have separate laws.  We are seeing some quirks of federalism today, as certain states legalize and commercialize what neighboring states treat as a serious crime.

Colorado is turning marijuana into a major industry and tourist attraction, while police from the states next door are filling their jails with people who have brought their purchases over the state line. [Read more…]

Where’s the opposition to legalized marijuana?

Our nation’s capital is gearing up to join Colorado and Washington state in legalizing marijuana.  Already about half of the states have legalized the drug for medicinal use.   Journalist Richard Leiby has noticed what would seem to be an odd fact:  Despite our supposed political polarization and our alleged culture wars, pro-marijuana initiatives are attracting virtually no organized opposition!

Why not?  Well, conservatives these days tend to lean libertarian.  Aging Baby Boomers of all persuasions, being Sixties veterans, don’t consider marijuana all that big a deal (though today’s genetically-engineered strains are far more potent than what they grew under ultra-violet lights in their basements).  Churches today don’t seem to care that much about minor personal vices since there are so many major ones.  Can you think of any other reasons?  What does this tell us about our culture today, and is it good or bad?  Read Mr. Leiby’s article, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Marijuana shops to open in Colorado

Colorado legalized the possession of recreational marijuana last year, but as of today, you can buy it openly in retail shops.  Regulations that go into effect today will, in effect, create a legal marijuana industry in the state.  How do you think that will go? [Read more…]