Ten Miles Square


May 03, 2013 11:36 AM Who Smokes Pot a Lot?

By Mark Kleiman

Today was the first of a series of five weekly interviews on cannabis policy with Brian Lehrer of WNYC (New York public radio). We discussed the demographics of heavy smoking and other topics. Audio at the jump.

Lehrer did a better job than I did, but on the other hand it was 10:40 in New York but only 7:40 in Olympia, where I’ve been working this week. There seem to be alternative origin myths for the term “Sour Diesel” as applied to cannabis; any reader with expert knowledge is invited to share it.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.


  • Neildsmith on May 05, 2013 4:19 PM:

    Apparently terrorists smoke a lot of pot. Just sayin...

  • emjayay on May 05, 2013 11:44 PM:

    Good one Neildsmith.

  • emjayay on May 06, 2013 12:32 AM:

    Mark Kleinman wrote an excellent book on crime and punishment in the US (one of the most absurd and counterproductive aspects of our society), but in this interview he seems to be prone to exaggerate potential or even imaginary problems with marijuana. He sounds like he has only theoretical second hand information on the subject and/or enjoys making mountains out of molehills. Or maybe just enjoys portraying himself as a professorial expert. Or all three.

    A few examples off the top of my head:

    He seems to think stronger marijuana today is going to cause big problems for those who haven't had any lately. People know the difference between Coors Light and Jack Daniels. No beer drinker tosses back pints of Jack, not realising the effect until it's too late.

    Anti-smoking laws can just as easily be enforced about marijuana as about cigarettes.

    Marijuana smells more now than it used to? So? Doubtful anyway. When I was in college I remember walking across campus at night and I knew someone about 100 feet away was smoking a joint. Even if it does have more odor today, I'm sure people can figure out how to deal with it without causing any problems worth mentioning.

    Anyway, the experiment is underway so we'll see.

  • emjayay on May 06, 2013 12:34 AM:

    Oh, and for those of you who don't listen to WNYC, Brian Lehrer generally tends to buy whatever the interviewee is peddling without much question.