It's April 20th, National Weed Day -- the unofficial national holiday of stoners everywhere. From the party to end all parties at the University of Boulder to the crowning of Ms. High Times at an undisclosed New York City location this afternoon, the skunky perfume of cannabis is in the air. But this year, those who toke at the altar of Mary Jane may have a little more to celebrate. In politics and the media, the legalization of marijuana seems to be gaining traction.
Legal-ish alternatives to marijuana exist, you just need to know where to look…er, smell. Apparently that’s what someone learned when they put the herbal incense brand “Spice” in their pipe and smoked it. The results were, like, totally rad, dude. It turns out Spice contains the synthetic substance JWH-018, which is incredibly similar to the main active component of marijuana. Although sold legally in many countries, governments around the world are lining up to put the kibosh on the Spice party.
We didn't want to write about it. Seriously, we didn't. Sure, Michael Phelps has digital technology, the 24-hour news cycle and precision blown glass to blame for his plight but we're better than that.* But when US Swimming went and suspended Phelps for two months for, ultimately, acting his age, we felt compelled to write something. The 'Science' part of Popular Science restricts us from condemning the insanity of the punishment (note, however, they did nothing following his 2003 DUI).
Cannabis connoisseurs, former hippies, and college kids everywhere have long appreciated marijuana for its seemingly magical effects on mind and body. The fact that it is illegal (at least in the United States), has never stopped people from partaking in a little herbal refreshment. But it isn't just Phish fans who have argued for the legalization of the popular recreational drug. Legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, specifically to alleviate the pain of those afflicted with glaucoma, is a contemporary and fairly widespread cause.