On Monday, American judo competitor Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympics for doping with cannabis. (He says he accidentally ate a pot brownie.) The key word here is "doping"--if the situation were different, Delpopolo might just have been "using." Cannabis is on the Prohibited List, a catalogue of banned drugs maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA. Test positive for a drug on WADA's list? You're doping, and face dismissal from the Games. Test positive for anything else, even if it's illegal? No worries--you're free to compete. This is one powerful list. But why is cannabis, the users of which are not necessarily renowned for their athletic ability, on it?
Any attempt to segue into this post with a clever lead is likely to fall flat, so in the interest of skipping the cliches: a new study out of University of Colorado Denver and Montana State University shows that legalizing medical marijuana sales in various states over the past two decades has led to a nearly 10 percent drop in traffic fatalities. What the study really shows--by way of causal chain--is a five percent drop in beer sales, and that has in turn led to fewer fatalities on the road.
A Netherlands-based company called Medicinal Genomics has just announced the successful genetic sequencing of Cannabis sativa, the highly regulated annual plant that has been widely consumed for centuries as an intoxicant and a medicine. The plant, known in the vernacular as grass,tea, or mooster, has been legalized in 16 U.S. states for use as a medical treatment for various disorders over the last decade, and according to Medicinal Genomics' Kevin McKernan, the legal market for the substance is currently growing by 50 percent every year.
Smuggling drugs into the U.S. has become such a complicated and high-tech affair, with cartels building sophisticated tunnel networks and stealthy submarines to get their goods around the watchful eye of customs and border patrol agents. But a group of Mexican drug runners recently applied an 8th-century approach to their profession, using a homemade, trailer-mounted catapult to hurl bales of marijuana over the border fence.
In a boon for pain research, American and Italian scientists say they have found a new drug that allows a marijuana-like substance to control pain at a specific site in the body. Their study suggests cannabinoid compounds could be used in new pain medications that are non-addictive and non-sedative, unlike opiates.
The male birth control pill has lingered for years tantalizingly just out of reach, in the realm where rumor meets science. Recently developed hormonal and mechanical contraceptives never found an audience, serving only to highlight the absence of a male pill. Now, an examination of how smoking pot lowers fertility may make the male pill more than a persistent rumor.
There's a lot of misinformation blowing around out there concerning the medical benefits, and detriments, of smoking marijuana, but two UK researchers are making an argument for why you should perhaps pass on the puff-puff -- as well as why recreational use should not be outlawed in the future.
What happened to you, Holland? You used to be cool. As every popped-collar, half-witted frat boy and Bonnaroo-attending, blond dreadlock-wearing neo-hippie moron repeats ad nauseum, you were the country kindest to the kind bud.
Well, apparently Dutch robots aren't quite so accepting of a little puff now and then.