The Age of the Mass—Against Your Consent—Drug Test
Even if you refuse to pee in a cup and never submit to a drug test in your life, authorities can still check your effluvia for drugs, as a recent episode in Auckland, New Zealand has demonstrated.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city—and Auckland has a serious methamphetamine problem. No citizen can deny it: They’ve provided the evidence, currently flowing underneath them through the city’s sewers.
Auckland has more than 1.6 million people. Drug-testing each and every one of them would be a titanic undertaking (as well as a mass invasion of privacy), but researchers at Massey University hit upon a way to test everyone’s pee without having them pee into 1.6 million individual cups. Researchers went instead to the city’s two wastewater treatment plants, where wastewater was tested for evidence of 17 illegal drugs—excluding cannabis, but including codeine, cocaine and meth.
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World's first marijuana gym is in (where else?) California
A San Francisco gym slated to open this fall will encourage clients to use cannabis as part of their fitness routine.
Power Plant Fitness clients will have the option to bring their own cannabis or order edibles, the gym’s preferred form of cannabis, while they are at the gym. A delivery service will bring desired edibles to the gym within 15 minutes after clients place orders, owner Jim McAlpine told USA TODAY. Adult-use, recreational marijuana is legal in California, but only dispensaries can sell it. Using marijuana in public is banned. The gym will have a designated space for those inhaling marijuana.
The gym, which advertises itself as the world's first cannabis gym, touts using the drug for pain, focus and meditation.
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Europe’s largest steel mill is in the city of Taranto in southern Italy. In its heyday, the ILVA steel plant produced more than 10 million tons of steel every year—about 40 percent of all the steel made in Italy—and it currently employs about 12,000 people.
This is no small deal in an area where unemployment is north of 20 percent; indeed, the local economy of Taranto, population 200,000, is almost entirely dependent on the steel mill—which is also one of the biggest and most deadly polluters of anywhere in the Mediterranean.
The plant is a notorious source of dioxin, and dust from the plant is believed to be the reason why Taranto has a lung cancer rate 30 percent higher than the national average. It’s so toxic that farmers have been forbidden from raising livestock within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant; in 2008, the government ordered the slaughter of thousands of sheep and other animals that were found to have excessively high levels of dioxin.
Federal Agency Stops Asking If Medical Marijuana Is Real
Earlier this month, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) updated its web page on medical marijuana. The change is subtle, but significant.
For several years, NIDA’s primer on medical cannabis started with a fundamental question: “Is marijuana medicine?” before diving into the ensuing discussion. The conclusion one could draw, without reading a word further, was that nobody was really sure one way or the other; the question was an open one.
Since then, a majority of states across the country have gone ahead and answered with a resounding “Yes.”
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