Leading Anti-Marijuana Academics Are Paid by Painkiller Drug Companies
As Americans continue to embrace pot—as medicine and for recreational use—opponents are turning to a set of academic researchers to claim that policymakers should avoid relaxing restrictions around marijuana. It’s too dangerous, risky, and untested, they say. Just as drug company-funded research has become incredibly controversial in recent years, forcing major medical schools and journals to institute strict disclosure requirements, could there be a conflict of interest issue in the pot debate?
VICE has found that many of the researchers who have advocated against legalizing pot have also been on the payroll of leading pharmaceutical firms with products that could be easily replaced by using marijuana. When these individuals have been quoted in the media, their drug-industry ties have not been revealed.
Take, for example, Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University. Kleber has impeccable academic credentials, and has been quoted in the press and in academic publications warning against the use of marijuana, which he stresses may cause wide-ranging addiction and public health issues. But when he’s writing anti-pot opinion pieces for CBS News, or being quoted by NPR and CNBC, what’s left unsaid is that Kleber has served as a paid consultant to leading prescription drug companies, including Purdue Pharma (the maker of OxyContin), Reckitt Benckiser (the producer of a painkiller called Nurofen), and Alkermes (the producer of a powerful new opioid called Zohydro).
I Got My Pussy Stoned with Weed Lube
I’m not a big pot person. I can’t really find my “therapeutic window” when it comes to smoking weed. I know exactly how much cocaine or meth I can handle in one sitting and morphine doses will ebb and flow with the consistency of my usage, but when it comes to smoking weed, every single toke is one too many, and I end up getting so “in my head” that I want to jump through an open window. I sound like my dad now, but pot is c-r-a-z-y these days. It’s goddamn super-pot. Pot on speed. Pot enhanced with more pot and then thrown in a bouncy castle blender of THC and shaken up to be even stronger. I’ll do any drug in the world, but I usually shake my head “no” to a bong.
So, when I heard about Foria, the world’s first cannabis lube designed especially to enhance female sexual pleasure, I thought that this would be an excellent way to beat my pot fear. My head wouldn’t be doing the work, my vagina would, and I trust my vagina more than I trust my head.
Last week in Los Angeles, I met up with Matthew Gerson, Foria’s creator (or “Wellness Director” as he is referred to by his collective, The Aphrodite Group). After I emailed Foria asking for samples for my story, he was eager to hang out and talk about his creation.
Gerson has this theory about females, sexuality, and plants. I think I’m with him.
“I have some marijuana plants growing right now,” he explained. “And you spend time with this plant; it’s a fascinating weed. Marijuana is essentially a very horny female plant. It’s the female that is harvested and secretes the fluid, wants to be pollinated, and when it’s pollinated becomes stressed out and produces more and more. There’s this weird connection between the human female and the female plant. We have evolved with plants. We have a receptor that successfully absorbs THC. We have that capacity to absorb the pollen the plant secretes because our physiology co-evolved.”
Looks Like Weed Legalization Will Be on the November Ballot in DC
Forbes just put out a list of the coolest cities in the US, and against all odds, DC won the top spot. The honor may be more deserved come November, when residents of the District will decide whether to join Colorado and Washington in legalizing marijuana.
The DC Board of Elections certified a ballot initiative Tuesday by the DC Cannabis Campaign to legalize marijuana for personal use. Ballot Initiative 71 would legalize possession of up to two ounces of marijuana outside the home, allow DC residents to grow up to three plants in their homes, and restrict use to residents 21 and over.
The campaign submitted roughly 56,000 petition signatures to get the initiative on the ballot, more than twice the threshold number of 22,000. Organizers were expecting a challenge from the board of elections, and there was palpable relief in the room when the board announced about 27,000 of those signatures had been deemed valid.
Now that the initiative is officially on the ballot, the biggest hurdle for the campaign may be over. A Washington Post poll earlier this year found that 63 percent of District residents supported legalization, compared with 34 percent who were opposed.
A Gourmet Weed Dinner At Hunter S. Thompson’s House
We celebrated marijuana legalization with a gourmet weed pairing dinner at Hunter S. Thompson’s Colorado home.
The War on Kids – Weediquette
This is the story of Jesse Snodgrass, a kid with Asperger’s syndrome who was arrested by an undercover cop posing as a student at Jesse’s high school. This is the story of how the war on drugs preys on the most vulnerable.
Watch the documentary
My Return to Weed After Years of Being a Bourgeois Suburban Mom
On the first night of my return to smoking pot, after the kids are asleep, my husband tells me, “I think you’re good; you can probably stop now.” I look down and find I’ve blown through half the joint I’ve been nervously puffing at like a cigarette. I’m annoyed with him for micromanaging me because I am not at all stoned—and then, of course, I am in an instant waaaaaayyyyy toooooooo stoned and grateful for his kindness in a mute, fairly immobile way.
As I wonder (fuzzily, not entirely silently) at the extreme potency of the marijuana I have just smoked, I notice that the remote I’m holding is pointed at the Amazon on Demand screen, and it’s frankly terrifying to realize that inside the neon-bright little boxes—boxes that move, to my awe and horror—are hundreds of movies, and the whole thing is organized in a way that I cannot parse but that I know is based on my preferences. MACHINE, MY PREFERENCE IS TO HAVE ONE PERFECT MOVIE ON THIS TV. I don’t want to look at hundreds of titles, many of which are cartoons or shows my children like, which is sending me into a guilty, bad-mothering place. (NO, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH DORA THE EXPLORER, AMAZON, YOU GUILT-TRIPPING ASSHOLE!)
“I’m kinda lost here,” I mumble to my husband. He thinks I’m joking. I toss the remote at him, hunch further into the couch, and wait for my magic movie to appear on the magic box. Mad Men! Over the next week, as I watch my regular shows stoned, I’ll come to understand how wooden and artificial most dialogue is, but Mad Men really holds up and deepens, you guys! I audibly groan during instances of sexism, my husband looks over at me, and I feel a little self-conscious because I think I am mouth breathing. The pauses are so pregnant on this show! About halfway through the episode, I look down at the Google doc I have open and realize there is no reason for me to be recapping and analyzing the show as I am, and also that I am not good at typing while stoned.
Why Stoners Should Want to Implement the New Weed Breathalyzer
Yesterday, Kayla Ruble of VICE News reported on the rapid progress of weed breathalyzer technology
. It seems that as enforcement of the prohibition on marijuana slowly grinds to a halt, cops have to turn from hassling people just for having weed, to hassling people because they used it before they got behind the wheel.
The thing is though, this is as it should be. If stoners know what’s good for them, they need to push for an accurate and sane field pot test to be implemented in all jurisdictions.
The test that’s making news this week, the Cannabix Breathalyzer, was invented by retired Canadian Mounty Kal Malhi, who complained to his local paper, The Province, that “Young people have no fear of driving after smoking.”
Noticing the lack of a practical solution to the problem, he developed his device at home in Vancouver. It’s similar in appearance and operation to an alcohol breathalyzer. In fact, it’s too similar. It should be green or something, but cops are notorious for having no design sense.
But ugly or not, it offers a major benefit for stoners: It detects stoned drivers, not just drivers who have smoked weed lately. The Cannabix is only supposed to bust you if you’ve smoked in the past two hours.
This Is How Europe Does Drugs Now
The 2014 European Drug Report came out last week and told us exactly what we already knew: that Europeans are very fond of drugs. Here are some handy heat maps for those of you who don’t know how to read.