Welcome to week's round up of pot news: the wins, the fails and the WTFs.


We’ve known all along that America is growing more accepting of weed and that, as an institution, it will likely cause far fewer social ills than alcohol. Now that the New York Times has agreed with this sentiment, a lot more people are going to believe it. In an article that refreshingly looks at marijuana objectively as a substance, the Times reported that, 17 years after pioneering medical marijuana legislation, the state of California is seeing far more benefits than detriments. A lot of people are smoking instead of drinking alcohol, which means less people are likely to kill someone with their car, beat up family members, or unsuccessfully flirt with a sober person. Medical marijuana has also led to a whole new economy, benefiting weed-related businesses as well as the state, which is stacking additional tax dollars from this now-legitimate field of business. It seems that the most frequently voiced issues are those concerning quality of life. Many have the unfounded fear that a marijuana business in their neighborhood will beckon a seedy element. Some of the less laidback residents of Mendocino county are bothered by the pungent aroma of marijuana that wafts into their homes from nearby farms, which are pumping out more weed than ever to serve a state in need of its medicine. In short, the only people who claim that legal marijuana has caused any problems are the people who hate how it smells and think that everyone who smokes it is an unscrupulous slimeball. Both things are completely untrue. You don’t have to take my word for it. It was in the New York Times.


Way over in Chicago, however, a bum vibe looms. The Tribune reported that, even though we’ve discovered countless health benefits that cannabis provides, we still don’t really know that much about it. Medical research of weed has been mired in red tape because of its illegal status. Basically, we need to do a lot more research so that doctors can prescribe more specific strains, extracts or elements of cannabis for more specific ailments. With weed becoming medically and recreationally legal in various states, we can bet that the red tape will gradually disappear, and then we can finally learn a whole lot more about this plant. While this is a positive outlook, the article goes on to identify a few grinches who want more research so that they can debunk the benefits of cannabis. Ignoring the research of his peers, Eric Voth, a doctor and the chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy, believes that cannabis is not only worse for the body than we believe, but also that the patients who use it are just getting too stoned to know they are sick. He was quoted as saying, "It's very hard to differentiate whether somebody feels better because they're stoned or because they're getting a true therapeutic benefit from the drug." This is another great example of why doctors should have to try the drugs that they prescribe to us so readily. It should also be noted that the Institute on Global Drug Policy is a regular purveyor of unreasonable shit-spinning that borrows from antiquated anti-drug propaganda. That’s the thinking that led to this statement from a separate article: “The underlying value that drives our national response is to protect human brain function, the repository of our humanity. Drugs that compromise brain function, cognition and behavior compel a unique form of vigilance [from the federal government].” If sobriety is the cornerstone of humanity, then very few people on this planet remain fully human. How’s that for flawed logic? It goes to show that, no matter how much evidence piles up, there will always be lamewads opposing legalization based on their own staunch morals. In light of Illinois’ new medical marijuana law, it seems that this bunch is losing.

And overall… WE’RE WINNING!

T. Kid is the author of VICE’s Weediquette column and editor-in-chief of GURU for Karmaloop. Follow him on Twitter: @ImYourKid