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The Daily Buzz: December 10, 2014

Congress blocks DC's voter-approved marijuana legalization bid, but there may be a loophole; fewer liquor stores might cut domestic violence; and smartphones are craved more than alcohol.

1 Substance

DC Marijuana Law Blocked by Congress, But There May Be a Loophole
The fight to pass a voter-approved initiative to fully legalize pot in DC is getting messy. Congress seems to have blocked legalization in a spending bill released yesterday. But some marijuana policy reformers say legalization may still be possible; apparently it all depends on the exact language used in the spending bill.

Alcohol Control Laws May Help Curb Domestic Abuse
Communities with fewer places to buy or drink booze also tend to have lower rates of partner abuse, according to new evidence. Researchers suggest that limiting the accessibility of alcohol could potentially help reduce domestic violence.

How Prescription Drug Misusers Cheat the System by Shopping Across State Lines
“Doctor shopping”—when patients try out various doctors to increase their access to prescription drugs, particularly opioids—often occurs across state lines, according to a new study. This is probably because many states have drug monitoring programs in place to track prescriptions dispensed within their borders, but not across them.

Smoking Still Major Contributor to US Cancer Rate
Smoking may be going out of vogue, but it’s still a killer. The US smoking rate has declined significantly over the past few decades, but cigarettes are still responsible for about three in 10 cancer deaths, according to a new study.

Europeans Would Ditch Booze and Fast Food for Smartphones
According to a recent survey of smartphone users in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain, the majority would rather give up fast food, chocolate and alcohol than give up their smartphones for an entire week. However, 80% said they would not give up sex; and 90% said they would not give up showering. Let’s hope no one ever actually has to choose.