New York embraces weed and old people love opioids: This is Your News on Drugs
Too lifted to read the news? Every week, we recap the most interesting news in the world of drugs.
1. New York calms the fuck down on pot, as the mayor told the police department to stop arresting folks for smoking marijuana in public. Cops will still cite outdoor smokers with tickets and they'll have to come to court, but they won't be jailed. The mayor is against legal weed, but says he's accepted that legalization is inevitable.
2. Weedmaps keeps on rebelling, defying a court order to stop listing pot businesses that are so-called illegal.
3. The feds keep kratom in a chokehold, warning sellers to stop saying the herbal supplement has health benefits — or else. The southeast Asian leaf, which is not illegal, gets you a tiny bit fucked up; recovering opioid addicts say it helps them quit harder drugs; haters say it's just another way to get high. Customs has already seized shipments at the ports.
4. Opioid crisis hits older people hard, as addiction is growing fastest among those over 50. One in three people with a Medicare prescription drug plan received an opioid prescription in 2016. Overdose rates are surprisingly high among the elderly.
5. Orange is the new black, as crimes related to opioids are putting more women in jail, as arrest rates among females for drug crimes is growing faster than arrests among men.
6. Some cities are tracking opioid use by testing the sewage, drug testing the subterranean urine to see which neighborhoods get the most fucked up. Health officials hope to use the information for treatment plans.
7. Doctors are drug dealers, and those who got free lunches from Big Pharma were more likely to prescribe opioids. This is important, since 40 percent of opioid overdose deaths are the result of prescriptions.
8. Is potato bathing illegal? Why? In any case, a dude reportedly on a five-day binge of MDMA, 5-MAPB and 2C-B was found by the cops wearing a bra and filling his hotel bathtub with potatoes. Asked by the judge why he was doing that, he said, "It felt like the right thing to do at the time."
9. Nukes go psychedelic, sort of, as security troops on a U.S. missile base took LSD between shifts. This set off a mild moral panic, but no one was ever in danger, and LSD tends to teach people to make peace, not war.
10. Stoners are offended, and want Hollywood to ditch the stoner stereotypes, a poll revealed. Cannabis users said they'd like movies to drop characters that are lazy and hazy because of weed. How about a nice pot smoking nuclear physicist? Is that too much to ask?
11. Psychedelics rush toward the mainstream, and the most eloquent advocate this year is Michael Pollan, one of the top nonfiction writers in the country. His book on why psychedelics have tremendous potential is number one on The New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller list. "How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence," is a good book, and gotten major coverage in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Fresh Air, The Guardian, and the San Francisco Chronicle.