Puff The Magic Dragon

31 10 2011

One of the biggest urban legends of the 1960s was that the Peter, Paul & Mary song, “Puff The Magic Dragon,” was actually about smoking weed. Tokin’. Mary Jane. Tune in, turn on, drop out. Heck, the legend was even revived in Meet The Parents, lest another generation not be able to inhale the story.

Crazily, this same iconic phrase may very well be used again early in 2012 with the release of Aeroshot, the latest invention of Harvard Professor David Edwards.

No kidding. Take 6-8 puffs from this magical little cylinder, and you’ll be bouncing down the sidewalk.

With an MSRP of $3 apiece, or 3 for $8, each tube is a one-use-only application, and is roughly equivalent to the caffeine content of one large cup of coffee. But why waste time and calories chugging java when you can just cut to the chase? Isn’t the real reason we drink coffee for the caffeine?

Guilty as charged. Which reminds me. My cup runneth empty.

But while caffeine delivery systems have been tried apparently for the last 5 years, this one seems like it has the best shot of making it. And it has me a little worried. Sure, caffeine is a very legal stimulant. Research reports are mixed about its alleged harmful effects. We can get our caffeine in a variety of beverages, as well as in pill form (I remember those little yellow NoDoz back in college!). But think about how easy it will be for people to abuse this handy little friend.

It was earlier this year that drink makers of products like 4 Loco had to drop the caffeine from their high-octane (12% alcohol) drinks. Think about it. Caffeine. Alcohol. It was the yin, the yang and the bang bang. Talk about being pulled from opposite directions.

But now Aeroshot makes inhaling our favorite legal drug way too easy. We don’t have to drop nasty pills that tear up our stomach. We don’t have to find pre-mixed drinks, or mix our own. We won’t even have to find a Starbucks. No, we can just take a puff. Not much different from other popular drug delivery systems.

At $3 a pop (literally), it is more expensive than the cup of coffee it replaces. But maybe that’s the convenience charge. I really do not want to see caffeine be over regulated. Still, I can see the FDA getting a little nervous (sorry) about these product. And I sure as heck hope that stores keep these out of my kids’ reach. The last thing I need is a couple of girls dropping in, turning on and tuning right out of the building at light speed.

Dr “Take A Deep Breath” Gerlich


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