Analyzing the relationship between retail pot sales and call-center data

For years, the criminalization of Marijuana sale and usage has made data collection and research on the topic difficult to perform. In Washington state, Recreational Marijuana went on sale in local dispensaries starting mid-2014. The question of whether or not the opening of a dispensary produces a spike in the amount and type of Marijuana use is a valid question for legislators, administrators, doctors and more.

As an exploratory exercise, I created the following map using call-center data gathered by the Washington State Poison Center on marijuana use and data scraped from the web on the location and opening date of retail marijuana shops in Washington State. Data ranges from January 2014 to August 2015. Both calls and shops are localized by zip code. By scrolling through we can see where and when shops and cases cropped up.

“Cases” are any calls that went to the Washington Poison Center related to Marijuana usage. This could be anything from “My child got into my weed cookies” to a doctor calling to consult on someone who ingested too much Marijuana.

weed_actual

In this period of time there were only a few hundred cases. This was enough however to see some trends in the data. The highest number of cases occurred in the U District and in Pioneer Square.

Please note that currently only shops in KING COUNTY are shown.

This map was created using R, Leaflet, and Shiny.

Wiki is up!

FreezeCasting

One of the goals that I’ve had for a long time is to create the wikipedia page for freeze-casting. Even though it’s a relatively “hot” technique, at least in the ceramics world. There wasn’t a single entry for freeze-casting. This meant that when I started the project I actually had to read scientific literature to figure things out. The closest thing to freeze-casting on wikipedia was a topic known as freeze-gelation which is really not freeze-casting. 4+ years after I started my thesis there was still nothing on wikipedia in regards to freeze-casting. I’d already done all the research and spent literally 100s of hours creating figures and getting references for the topic so I figured why shouldn’t I do it. The article isn’t comprehensive as there are many topics to cover but I think it does a good job at explaining the basic concepts required for freeze-casting. Apparently wikipedia however thinks it still has many problems (it was graded as a Class-C article) but it’s been accepted and is available for public viewing.

For reference, a C-Class Wikipedia is defined as follows:

The article is substantial, but is still missing important content or contains much irrelevant material. The article should have some references to reliable sources, but may still have significant problems or require substantial cleanup.

If you’re interested please take a look, make edits if necessary and link to it if desired. Thanks for reading!