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The Daily Buzz: August 7, 2014

DC will vote on legal marijuana in November; a tobacco company is helping develop an experimental treatment for Ebola; and Melanie Griffith talks about playing an alcoholic as a sober actress.

1 Substance

DC to Vote on Legal Marijuana in November
Residents of the nation’s capital will now be able to vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana use in the nation’s capital. The district recently decriminalized small-scale possession, but marijuana arrests have persisted, leading many to point out that the current law is not enough.

Could Big Tobacco Help in the Fight Against Ebola?
The experimental treatment that was rushed to two Americans infected with Ebola in Liberia was actually produced from tobacco leaves. Called “ZMapp,” the serum was produced from tobacco plants at Kentucky Bioprocessing, which is owned by tobacco giant Reynolds American. As Substance.com previously reported, Big Tobacco could just step it up and help save some lives.

Legal Marijuana Is a Boon for Start-Ups as Big Companies Hold Back
The legal marijuana industry is booming—and expected to keep rising–from $1.5 billion in 2013, to a projected $2.6 billion in 2014. But since pot is still illegal under federal law, most big banks won’t touch it, keeping it mostly out of the hands of big corporations. So while there is talk of a future “Starbucks of pot,” right now, there are just loads of small, local businesses making hay.

Spanish Navy Ship Caught Carrying Huge Haul of Cocaine to New York
Officers on board a Spanish navy ship were caught attempting to smuggle $400,000 worth of cocaine into New York City, in what federal sources have called a “daring international scheme.” The ship they used is apparently the third-largest tall ship in the world, built in 1927, and revered by the Spanish navy as “our most emblematic and symbolic vessel.” So, not your average drug-transport device.

Melanie Griffith Talks About Being Sober and Playing an Alcoholic
The actress, who is five years sober, talks about returning to the screen after a few-years absence to play an alcoholic prostitute in a new film Thirst. She says the role has been therapeutic for her: ”I had a reputation with people in my industry as being a wild child, being a drug addict and an alcoholic. After being sober for five years, this part comes along and felt like if I could act it out and do it—not for anyone else, just for me—to do that harsh of a life of an alcoholic, I would be able to get it out.”