Tag Archives: drugs

Competitively Priced With Ketchup

In the new book, Marijuana Legalization What Everyone Needs to Know – operations research(!) and public policy professors from CMU, Pepperdine, and UCLA – attempt to determine what the price of marijuana if production was legalized. Using Canada’s industrial hemp industry as a guide, they estimate a price of about $5 per pound for mid-grade ganja, and a price of about $20 for good stuff. That’s 800 joints for a quarter. (But then again, who smokes joints when you can smoke a bowl?) As Matt Yglesias points out, this puts in the ketchup and sugar packet territory.

Of course, I don’t believe that the price would ever actually go that low. First, cannabis would taxed quite aggressively. Sin taxes and all that. Also there’s such a huge disconnect between the potential $3 per ounce price and the $300 per ounce price that consumers are conditioned to expect. While prices will no doubt fall, I wonder to what the profit margin would end up being? 10x? 50x?

Caffeine Zone 2

Frank Ritter and Kuo-Chuan “Martin” Yeh professors in Penn State’s Applied Cognitive Science Lab, have developed a free iOS app Caffeine Zone 2 that tries to help you optimize your caffeine intake. The user enters his/her weight, and then notifies the app every time he/she consumes caffeine. The app estimates how much caffeine is in the user’s blood based what was consumed when, and the user’s mass. The app can warn the user if the amount of caffeine in the user’s system rises or falls below an optimal range, an notification can by pushed to the user. Additionally, the app can warn the user if his/her caffeine density is expected to impact the user’s sleep.


Areoshot is inhalable caffeine. For $2.99 you get 100 mg of caffeine (the same as a cup of coffee) and B vitamins, but divided into four doses. It was invented by a Harvard professor David Edwards, and it’s manufactured in a real factory, so I suspect that it’s safer than freebasing caffeine in your kitchen.

While novel caffeine delivery vectors have been around before, what I love about this is the moral panic that Chuck Schumer is trying to stir up about it. ZOMG! Someone may use it stay awake and drink alcohol! I take it that Chucky isn’t a fan of irish coffee then. There’s two things that bother me about Schumer’s comments. First it’s the alcohol, not the caffeine that’s the problem. Presumably Schumer wouldn’t have a problem with someone staying awake and doing something wholesome. Of course we can’t blame the alcohol here, because alcohol is all-American, this is just letting someone pervert its wholesomeness. The other thing about Schumer’s comment that bothers me is the undercurrent is the old puritan fear that someone is having fun, which is a bit ironic given that Schumer is Jewish. It reeks of the argument medical marijuana that it’s simply a canard, and that people getting the cards aren’t really sick, but rather are just people that want to get high. To which I say, So what? The argument makes pleasure naughty, as if that’s a bad thing. Contrary to the puritans, that’s simply not true.

via grinding.be

Pharama Payola

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma has REAL compensated doctors hawking Pradaxa? Why should I trust those doctors’ judgments if they suggest Pradaxa to me?

Doctors are already influenced by marketing. Boxes of free pens are important, discounted drugs are important, and the American Pediatric Society has expressed concern about payola.

Is this better? Well at least these doctors’ conflict of interest is exceedingly transparent. If I was the patient of any of these doctors:

  • Dr. David Montgomery of Chicago
  • Dr. Minerva Santo-Tomas of Miami
  • Dr. Dennis Finkelstein of New York

I’d change doctors. I can’t trust that their judgements about treatments are unbiased.