Jan 2, 2018

How Colorado scientists study weed

Photo: Michel Porro / Getty

Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2014, but researchers hoping to study the effects of the drug on humans are restricted by federal law to government-grown marijuana, which is significantly weaker and less diverse than commercial weed.

A group of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder created a loophole by buying a van — the CannaVan — and are traveling around the state to study the physical and mental effects of government-grown marijuana versus commercial marijuana products for sale at local dispensaries, according to WIRED.

How it works: Scientists assign participants particular commercial marijuana products with already-known chemical makeup and potency, which the subjects go out and purchase for themselves. The researchers go to the participants' homes and first perform tests while they are sober. They then measure the effects of the drug after it is smoked, eaten, vaped, etc. But the researchers never see the commercial product itself.

Precision: While the studies are not as precise as a normal lab study, they are as good as it gets given the legal restrictions on researchers.

Go deeper: WIRED's full piece and Sessions hints at federal crackdown on marijuana

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Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy