Powerball and pot: A peek behind the scenes at Slabbed

I always get a kick when one of a cadre of posts here gets renewed traffic based on a national news event.  My experience moderating Slabbed is the two biggest traffic generators are sex (the kinkier the better) with money being a distant second.

That said last week it was one of my old money posts about Powerball winner Chris Shaw that got a heck of a workout including certain national media outlets last week as the topic of Sudden Wealth Syndrome again came to the fore of the news cycle.  I thought this AP story from last week on the broad topic was excellent.

Next up is a tongue in cheek post I did on a lark on former hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde from April 2010 that to this day generates high quality traffic (think hedge funds and investment banks) and for the second time this year it has experienced a traffic spike.  Unlike March, 2012 though I figured out the reason for the traffic spike as evidently today marks the decriminalization of marijuana in Washington State.  This AP story giving a history of cannabis in the US is very good though given Lahde’s experience with cannabis I am dubious of the following statement of fact that crazed Mexicans were committing senseless acts of violence while stoned:

In the 1890s, the first English-language newspaper opened in Mexico and, through the wire service, tales of marijuana-induced violence that were common in Mexican papers began to appear north of the border – helping to shape public perceptions that would later form the basis of pot prohibition, Campos says.

There is no doubt violence associated with the drug trade itself and we’ve covered that a time or two but Mexican stoners lighting up and trashing the town circa 1890? Sounds like that old English language newspaper must have belonged to the old Hearst chain given what Satchmo himself had to say in a letter to President Dwight Eisenhower on the subject:

Pot-smoking spread through the 1920s and became especially popular with jazz musicians. Louis Armstrong, a lifelong fan and defender of the drug he called “gage,” was arrested in California in 1930 and given a six-month suspended sentence for pot possession.

“It relaxes you, makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro,” he once said. In the 1950s, he urged legalization in a letter to President Dwight Eisenhower.

I always get a kick when Slabbed gets a peek at what grabs the attention of people across nation thanks to the search engines because when I peek back I always seem to learn something new.