Americans buy more than $100 billion worth of illicit drugs every year. Why? What do they get from these drugs? What do they lose? This is why you need to read the news on drugs: 

1. Weed is legal in Canada today, the second country in the world to do it.

2. A new poll shows 62 percent of Americans want marijuana legal here. Even among Republicans, the number was 45 percent.

3. Trump might legalize medical, as a congressman says the Big Chief plans to back legal medical marijuana after the midterms. The Trump administration wants to hear from you, the American stoner, about whether they should re-schedule the drug.

4. Older Coloradans are using more pot. One-third of geezers (over 65) have used pot since it became legal.

5. High schools accept the herb, as seniors who don't smoke pot are becoming less judgmental of those who do. The stoners probably still think the squares are losers.

6. Shrooms in Colorado? The Denver mushroom decriminalization group gathered its first signatures. They're trying for the city ballot in May. 

7. Peyote tradition lives on, as Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe members met in Oklahoma for a ritual gathering.

8. Iceland's richest man invested in shrooms as medicine. Tripping and watching the Northern Lights seems like a decent idea.

9. Trip more, kill yourself less? Psychedelic use and suicidality are inversely correlated.

10. Mushrooms can act like your wubbie, your safety blanket. At least that's what happened to  study volunteers who underwent brain scans while tripping. Their amygdalas, or fear centers, quieted, and they felt positive emotions.

11. Ketamine is so popular as a treatment for depression that clinics are popping up faster than staff can get proper training, some people worry.

12. Opium residue found in a jug suggests Bronze-age cavemen were getting fucked up, even thousands of years ago.

photo - bronze-age jug with opium residue

[The jug in question. Photo from the University of York.]

13. Philly pushes forward with a safe injection site, a place where drug users get clean needles, medical supervision and a safe space to shoot up. Philly is probably the heroin capital of America.

14. Mexico's defense chief says legalizing opium may be a "way out" of all the violence. Legalization “is already on the table," he said.

15. Cops in Australia busted an ecstasy smuggling attempt wherein $40 million in MDMA was hidden in sausage-making machines. And a semi-famous DJ named David Morales was nabbed with ecstasy in an airport.

16. Angel dust — PCP — continues to have an image problem, thanks to headlines such as, just this week, "Naked man possibly on PCP arrested after throwing chairs off balcony" and "Teen 'whacked out' of his mind from PCP night he was shot by police."

17. And the meth news isn't that different, including headlines such as: "Man high on meth followed woman around store, exposed himself to officers" and "Cop tests positive for meth and steals pills from evidence locker."

(Note: PCP and meth are done by nice people, too.)

[Cover photo: opium poppy. From Shutterstock.]