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The Daily Buzz: July 30, 2014

Middle-age drinking could lead to old-age memory loss; Washington's weed shortage hurts the pot tourism industry; and Zac Efron says that before rehab he needed a "social lubricant" to go anywhere.

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Drinking in Middle Age Could Cause Memory Problems Later On
Excessive drinking during your fifties and sixties could come back to haunt you later. According to a new study, heavy alcohol use in middle age more than doubled the risk of severe memory loss in later life.

The Federal Marijuana Ban Is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia
The New York Times traces the “racially-freighted” history of American marijuana laws, in Part 3 of its game-changing call for legalization: “The federal law that makes possession of marijuana a crime has its origins in legislation that was passed in an atmosphere of hysteria during the 1930s and that was firmly rooted in prejudices against Mexican immigrants and African-Americans, who were associated with marijuana use at the time.”

Officers Charged With Smuggling Drugs Onto Rikers Island
It doesn’t happen only on Orange Is The New Black: two current and one former New York City corrections officers have been arrested and charged with smuggling prescription pills, cocaine and other contraband into Rikers Island.

Activists and Community Leaders Talk About What Harm Reduction Means to Them
The Harm Reduction Coalition put together this funny, moving video as a trailer for the tenth National Harm Reduction Conference, to be held in Baltimore in October. “I love harm reduction because it saved my life,” says one woman, “and it has no judgement or stigma behind it.”

Washington Pot Shortage Hurts Pot Tourism
The state legalized pot in 2012, and finally licensed retailers to sell it earlier this month. But thanks to some major bureaucratic issues, there isn’t nearly enough supply to meet demand, and it’s affecting the potential pot tourism industry. Because why would you go to Washington to get high when you could head to Colorado, where there’s enough weed for everyone?

Zac Efron Says Social Pressures Led Him to Substances
On the circumstances that led him to rehab last year, the 26-year-old actor says constant media attention made him feel like he needed a “social lubricant” just to leave the house, and “once I needed that, it became to go anywhere.” Since getting sober, he says: “I’m in the best place I’ve ever been” and ”I just really want to never again have to take anything from the outside into me to feel good about my outside, to be comfortable in my present skin.”