By Joel Cruz | Staff Writer |
Spending more on weed than snacks (Feb.2)
Americans have spent more money on legal marijuana than on Cheetos and Doritos combined in 2015.
A total of $5.4 billion was spent on legal marijuana, which does not account for sales of illegal marijuana, while $4.9 billion was spent on Doritos, Cheetos, and Funyuns combined.
The total includes over $1 billion in legal marijuana sales in California, $1 billion in Colorado, and half a billion dollars in sales in Washington State, according to The Denver Post.
Despite the numbers, investors are still weary of the federal restrictions in which marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Marijuana business stocks were down 44 percent in 2015, according to ArcView.
Date rape drug treats severe depression (Feb. 1)
Ketamine, a drug that is medically used as an anesthetic in emergency rooms, has shown to have a 75 percent effectiveness towards treatment in patients with severe depression.
Studies have shown that a low dose of ketamine produces a rapid antidepressant effect and puts a quick end to suicidal thoughts, while traditional antidepressants and mood stabilizers can take weeks or months, according to an article on the Washington Post.
However, even low doses of the drug can cause intense hallucinations, with patients reporting a kind of lucid dream state.
Ketamine is also known as a date rape drug.
Gene editing gets the go-ahead (Feb.1)
UK scientists have been approved by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos.
This has caused a controversy among people who believe this will set the stage for “designer babies.”
However, it is still illegal to implant modified embryos in women, according to an article on BBC News.
This authorization was just for research purposes.
Elon Musk reveals how to get to Mars this year (Jan.29)
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, said he plans to reveal plans for a new rocket that would take astronauts to Mars by 2025.
The new rocket, which Musk dubbed the “Mars Colonial Transport,” will be separate from the current Falcon and Dragon series, which are currently being tested by SpaceX for missions to the International Space Station, according to an article on IFL Science.
The projected date of 2025 will be 10 years ahead of NASA’s own plans to get astronauts to Mars by 2035.
Nestlé admits slavery in Thailand (Feb.1)
Nestlé, along with Cargill and Archer Danel Midland, face legal action for the alleged use of child slave labor in cocoa farming in the Ivory Coast.
Last November, Nestlé admitted that they found forced labor in its supply chains in Thailand towards the production of its Fancy Food cat food brand, according to The Guardian.
This puts the company in position where they are fighting the allegations of child slave labor in one area while at the same time, disclosing slavery in another part of the world.
Smokers in Italy hit with new fines (Feb.2)
Italy passed a new law, which could make smokers face fines up to 500 euros ($600) if they light a cigarette in a car with a child or pregnant woman present.
The smoking bans also extend to offices, restaurants, theaters and other public places as part of a new initiative from the government to dissuade young people from taking up the habit, according to the Associated Press.
An estimated 70,000 to 83,000 deaths a year are attributed to tobacco smoke in Italy.