The return of the three dot stoner journalism

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Evolution in action, Joe Biden edition… It seems to have dawned on Biden that his role in creating the war on drugs and the mass incarceration of millions (of disproportionately black and brown) Americans could be a deal-breaker with Democratic presidential primary voters… Time for his views to evolve, or flip-flop as we used to say… On July 23, the Biden campaign put out a position paper on criminal justice reform, including (lame) marijuana reform… Most Dem candidates want to drop marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and end pot prohibition at the federal level… Biden wants to decriminalize (not legalize) the use of cannabis… Instead of dropping marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, he wants to reclassify it from a Schedule I drug like heroin to a Schedule II drug like fentanyl, “so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts,” he says… New Jersey Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker had a succinct reaction: “The proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it.”… That kinda says it all, Bidenwise…

Speaking of marijuana research… There’s a study out of Israel, a country where it’s actually done, on marijuana’s potential as an anti-cancer drug… It turns out there were some promising results, but it’s complicated… Researchers at the Technion, Israel’s institute of technology in Haifa, did a cell study in which they tested 12 whole cannabis extracts (extracts of an entire pot plant that contains all of the dozens of different cannabinoids found in the particular plant in different proportions) on 12 human cancer cell lines… Five extracts had strong anti-cancer properties for a number of cancer types, but there was a lot of variability… In one case, two different forms of prostate cancer cells were found to be vulnerable to two entirely different extracts… The study also found that treating cancer cells with single cannabinoids, like THC alone, wasn’t very effective, but full extracts produced the anti-cancer effects… More research is necessary. Pronto…

Let 100 studies bloom… There are a clutch of other marijuana studies out too… Researchers in Spain at the Universities of Zaragoza and Valencia think CBD is a promising candidate for helping people kick cocaine and methamphetamine addictions… Other studies have suggested CBD could help people trying to kick alcohol and opiods… Researchers at the University of Georgia and Syracuse University wanted to know if web searches related to alcohol declined in states that legalized marijuana… It turns out they did… But searches related to tobacco products increased… The study also found that there was a “significant decrease” in marijuana searchers among the young after a state legalizes… Economists at universities in Oregon, Montana, California and Colorado (CU Denver) analyzed federal data on pot use among 1.4 million high school students from 1993 to 2017… They found pot use declined 8 percent among teens in states that legalized recreational marijuana… The study appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics…The results seem consistent with the finding of reduced marijuana web searches among youth that the Georgia and Syracuse researchers found…

There are studies, then there are polls… A Marst Poll done for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service found legalizing marijuana was more popular with Americans than most other ideas being touted by Democratic presidential candidates… Pollsters asked pollees whether they thought each of 20 proposals was “a good idea or a bad idea”… 63 percent said “legalizing marijuana nationally” was a good idea; 32 percent thought it was a bad idea… legalizing pot was the fourth most popular “good idea” on the list… It edged out a wealth tax that had 62 percent support, and was more popular than banning assault rifles (57 percent), a $15 minimum wage (56 percent), free college tuition (53 percent), getting rid of the electoral college (42 percent), providing reparations for slavery (27 percent), and a $1,000 a month Universal Basic Income (26 percent)… The three ideas more popular than marijuana legalization were background checks for all gun purchases (89 percent), Medicare for all as an alternative to private insurance, but not as a replacement (70 percent), and government regulation of drug prices (67 percent).