Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Random Notes from a Crank

Well, at the start of this year, Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The media outlets have covered this story, but what the whole deal got me thinking about is one of the business ideas one of friends had when we were in college. I remember loyal reader TGD coming up with the idea that in college towns you could create a service industry that caters to the inebriated. Instead of drunks getting a cab or driving drunk, a business could take late-night orders for fast food and distribute that food to the hammered at a healthy profit. The shitfaced are well known for throwing their money around after they've frequented a keg party, imbibed too heavily in tequila, had three too many jello shots, or pounded down a twelve pack of Milwaukee's Best Light. Or at least that's what I've been told...

This idea could easily be adapted for the pot smokers of Colorado (and elsewhere). You could create a business entirely devoted to curbing drunk/high driving while making a healthy profit. I know, I know. Based on empirical studies, those who enjoy ganga are notorious for ordering pizza when they get the munchies, but high people would surely be fine with a 20 to 30 percent markup on late-night food runs, and this service would keep our streets and drive-thru lines safer, less stupid, and less stinky. 

The new law in Colorado also gets me wondering what kind of sales growth pizza franchises will enjoy in 2014 because it's assumed more people will be partaking of cannabis. I want to see some statistical analysis about business growth related to this new law. Lots of people have talked about how this law might spur Colorado's economy, but I doubt they've talked much about economic growth in the way I'm thinking. 

And for a news program's trenchant analysis of the reactions to the Colorado law, I present to you Tuesday's episode of The Daily Show. Watch and enjoy. 

In the Nov-Dec issue of Utne, there's a trio of articles I thought I'd share. 

Staff writers inform us about how the Blest Machine can convert plastic to oil in "Turning Plastic into Oil." 

In a celebratory and satirical essay, G. Robert Ogilvy provides an ode to calorie-laden, old fashioned breakfasts in "Cupcake Shops Don't Serve Breakfast," which is titled "Breakfast: A Manifesto" in the print magazine. As the author says, "As civilization crumbles around us, we must console ourselves by knowing that there remains at least one thing untouched by the ravages of anarchy and decadence, one unchanging constant, one bedrock [a hearty breakfast] which still has rules." 

In "The Democratic Education of Unschoolers," Astra Taylor reflects on her own experience with being pulled out of public schools to be "unschooled." She offers some biting commentary about the drudgery and hoop-jumping of organized (public and private) educational systems: "What I really wanted--what I still want, even now, as an adult--is that intellectual community I was looking for in high school and college but never quite found. I would have loved to commune with other young people and find out what a school of freedom could be like. But for some reason, such a possibility was unthinkable, a wild fantasy--instead, the only option available was to submit to irrational authority six and a half hours a day, five days a week, in a series of cinder-block holding cells. If nothing else, we should pause to wonder why there's so rarely any middle ground." 

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