Pop Quiz: What killed more Americans last year? Spinach or marijuana? Here’s a hint, Popeye is more at risk than Snoop Dogg. Here’s the ultimate showdown: spinach vs marijuana.
Spinach vs Marijuana
Not only is marijuana statistically less likely to kill you (does the phrase E. coli lettuce outbreak sound familiar?), but it’s becoming more mainstream, especially in traditional “white-collar” settings.
Marijuana Has Gone Mainstream
A reporter at the Miami Herald article recently attended a backyard barbecue in Miami’s Upper Eastside. At the BBQ, a group of middle-age, middle-class folks tamely sipped berry cocktails and beers. Among them: a couple of lawyers, a couple of city administrators and an arts administrator. Somewhere between the skirt steak and the apple pie, somebody lit a joint and passed it around. Nobody cared. Smoking marijuana is now commonplace in white-collar settings.
High-Profile Marijuana Arrests
Once a stamp of the counterculture, today marijuana’s popularity cuts across social boundaries. Yet several high-profile marijuana arrests have recently made headlines. This highlights the hazy double standard that exists around an illegal, potentially harmful drug that continues to encroach into the mainstream:
- Lawrence Korda, 59, a Broward Circuit Court judge, was charged with openly smoking marijuana in a park in Hollywood, FL. Korda completed a drug and alcohol program to erase the misdemeanor charge and must take monthly random drug tests for six months and perform 25 hours of community service.
- Utpal Dighe, 31, a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, was fired after police charged him with buying marijuana from a street dealer in Coconut Grove.
- Ricky Williams, 30, a superstar running back for the Miami Dolphins NFL team, probably ended his Miami career by testing positive for marijuana for the fifth time.
40% Of Americans Have Smoked Weed
For good or ill, people from all walks of life smoke weed. In fact, 40% of all Americans 12 years old and up admit having tried marijuana at least once. And according to federal drug surveys, 6% acknowledge having used it in the past month. The FBI says 786,500 people were arrested for marijuana in 2005.
Both Marijuana & Spinach Are Becoming Less Popular with Teens
One group at least modestly turning away from marijuana is teens, ages 12 to 17. The percentage who have tried pot dropped from 20% in 2000 to about 17% in 2005.
”I don’t know if more people are smoking or more people are admitting it,” said Betsy Wise, a Miami stand-up comic. Wise recently started to freelance for a New York ad agency. She confided in a co-worker that a friend was delivering pot brownies to the office — and told him to help himself.
But spinach has the same problem. 90% of kids consume vegetables every day. But only 12% consume dark green vegetables like spinach.
Via Miami Herald