Grey Lady columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an already-classic column this week about purchasing some edible, legal marijuana in Colorado. Things did not go well for America’s favorite opinionated redhead and her last dance with Mary Jane:
The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child. … But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.
I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.
I remember that feeling! One time when I got high — also legally, in Copenhagen — I too ate more hash cookies than I should have because there was no guidance on the packaging and what started out as a lark in an art museum turned into hours by myself in my dorm room climbing the walls. I crawled to the phone and stared at the keypad, willing myself to remember the phone number of my parents back in DC. Somehow, I decided, if I could remember all ten digits in order, that would save me.
Like Liz Lemon, I was never good at drugs. Once, in college, I smoked up with a friend before a QSA meeting and when I got there realized I had somehow put my knee-high Doc Marten boots on the wrong feet. MEMORIES. The key takeaway here is that the Internet is making lots of fun of Maureen “The Fires of MoDo” Dowd, and Colorado is giggling uncontrollably all the way to the bank.
Here’s a career path you might not have considered, buried within this largely depressing piece about how much part-time work sucks, via Bloomberg:
“Does a highly-paid, relatively short-hour, moderately high education, majority-female occupation sound too good to be true? It is true and the field is pharmacy,” write Harvard labor economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz in a paper calling pharmacist “the most egalitarian of all professions.” As big retail chains expanded, replacing independent pharmacist-owned shops, they offered part-time work at relatively high wages. As a result, women flooded into the field. “Because of the extensive work flexibility and low pecuniary penalty to short hours, female pharmacists with currently active licenses take little time off during their careers even when they have children,” the economists write.
But if demanding unpredictable hours from cashiers and clerks is good for business efficiency, why isn’t the same true for pharmacists, who work short hours in similar retail environment? The most likely explanation is that pharmacists, unlike cashiers and clerks, can legally trade money for more predictable hours. Their median wage is $58 an hour, which leaves a lot of wiggle room.
Not bad, right? USNews concurs, scoring the job of a Pharmacist 8.1 out of a possible 10 and ranking it #5 on their list of Top 100 Jobs, period. And yet in my entire life, though I know plenty of folks whose grandparents worked at drug stores, probably making egg creams, I’m not sure I’ve encountered anyone who’s said, “I want to be a pharmacist.” Not sexy enough? Somehow off the radar? Why are we not all behind the counter, dispensing drugs with a smile?
John Herrman at Buzzfeed has been monitoring the fallout from the shutdown of Silk Road. One that he’s uncovered: Drug dealers who used the site for supply are out their suppliers and their cash. (“Silk Road has processed hundreds of millions of dollars in orders in a virtual currency, so expect the ripple effects of this shutdown will be massive.”)
Pharmeceutical companies are cutting drug shipments to Greece because public hospitals haven’t paid their bills, and because drug prices in Greece are lower than in other EU countries (“It’s a disgrace. The government is panic-stricken and the multinationals only think about themselves and the issue of parallel trade because wholesalers can legally sell them to other European nations at a higher price.”). It’s working out pretty terribly for patients.
PULLQUOTE 1: “The government has drawn up a list of more than 50 pharmaceutical companies it accuses of halting or planning to halt supplies because of low prices in the country.”
PULLQUOTE 2: “In Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, chemists say they are often overwhelmed by people desperately trying to find life-saving drugs. Oscillating between fury and despair, the customers beseech pharmacists to hand over medications that they frequently do not have in stock.”
It’s high time that potheads get some respect. Turns out, when you make their vice of choice legal, they will indeed turn out to buy it on the open market, even for a higher price, instead of working the old, familiar backchannels. According to Mic.com:
When Washington became the second state to allow legal sales of recreational marijuana last week, Seattle only had a single store, Cannabis City, open for business. It ran out of weed in three days. Cannabis City opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday with 4.5 kg of marijuana ready to be purchased. By the end of Thursday, it had all been bought. It’s even more impressive when you realize that customers were only allowed to buy a maximum of 6 grams each, which means the store made at least 750 individual sales. …
Seattle wasn’t the only city whose store was a (limited) success. Top Shelf in Bellingham, which made the state’s first ever legal sale, set a new record with first-day sales of more than $30,000 thanks to serving more than 1,200 customers. It may be a surprise given how well stores did with their limited product, but not everyone is totally sold on the future of recreational marijuana in Washington. Retailers like Cannabis City have competition, both from medical marijuana (which is cheaper and often relatively easy to obtain) and old fashioned illegal marijuana (which is just cheaper). In addition to the in-state growing restriction, Washington applies a 25% sales tax on recreational weed, making it pretty pricey when compared to those other options.
The Western states aren’t the only ones making news on the subject of recreational drugs.