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9 Feature Stories You Can't Miss This Week: Winners, Warnings, And Wax

This week for BuzzFeed News, Amanda Chicago Lewis uncovers the controversies and risks of the budding hash oil industry. Read that and these other great stories from BuzzFeed News and around the web.

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1. Wax is Weed’s Next Big Thing and No One Knows if It’s Safe — BuzzFeed News

Photograph by Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed News

California dispensaries say butane hash oil, or “wax,” now accounts for 40% of sales — despite potential health risks and home lab explosions on the rise. With no regulation and a lack of good information, stoners turn to self-appointed, and self-interested, “experts” like Matt Rize — but at what cost? Read it at BuzzFeed News.

2. Undue ForceThe Baltimore Sun

Mark Puente's devastating investigation into police brutality in Baltimore — and the $5.7 million the city has had to pay due to lawsuits filed by those effected — is a must read, in case you missed it when it was first published last fall. "Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson." Read it at The Baltimore Sun.

3. ZPM Espresso and the Rage of the Jilted CrowdfunderThe New York Times Magazine

Photograph by Mark Mahaney for The New York Times

As the popularity of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter continues to grow, so do opportunities for confusion and frustration between entrepreneurs and their expectant backers. Gideon Lewis-Kraus explores what happens when a Kickstarter project fails to come to fruition. Read it at The New York Times Magazine.

4. The King of Bullshit News — BuzzFeed News

BuzzFeed News

What could a Chinese woman who offered sex to fund a road trip, a Russian man saved from a bear by a Justin Bieber ringtone, and a Macedonian man who chopped off his own penis all possibly have in common? Alan White, Craig Silverman, and Tom Phillips reveal how a small agency called Central European News has filled our Facebook feeds with stories that are wonderful, wacky – and often wrong. Read it at BuzzFeed News.


5. How Exactly Do You Teach Femininity?New York Magazine

Photograph by Melissa Hom for New York Magazine

Alex Morris' fascinating profile of Monica Prata, a consultant who helps transgender women navigate and embody their female identities. "Passable is kind of a dirty word. It’s not okay to impose upon somebody the idea that they need to look a certain way...But if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I want to look and sound and talk completely like a woman,’ I’ll give them what they want." Read it at New York Magazine.

6. Game of FearBoston Magazine

Photograph by Jason Grow for Boston Magazine

What do you do when your stalker has an army? Zachary Jason lands the definitive Gamergate origin story from Zoe Quinn, the young video game developer who, along with others, has been endlessly harassed by strangers on the internet, and Eron Gjoni, her obsessive ex-boyfriend who started it all. Read it at Boston Magazine.

7. Coming Out as Gay in Elementary School — BuzzFeed News

Courtesy of Emily Reese for BuzzFeed News

As more LGBT youth begin identifying as queer before puberty, Shannon Keating discovers what they — and their parents — have learned. "On one hand, LGBT people coming out at increasingly younger ages is a testament to American culture becoming less hostile toward queer people...But the change also means that there is a new generation of families scrambling to raise LGBT kids who have specific needs and challenges." Read it at BuzzFeed News.

8. The Boxer and the BattererGrantland

Mike McQuade for Grantland

As boxing aficionados anticipate Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s fight against Manny Pacquiao, Louisa Thomas deftly reconciles the public and private personas of the world's highest-paid athlete. "A boxer who wins like a dancer allegedly beats women like a pugilist. What are you supposed to do with this?" Read it at Grantland.

9. In the TenderloinThe California Sunday Magazine

Photograph by Pieter Hugo for The California Sunday Magazine

A stunning photo series by Pieter Hugo featured alongside brief essays about San Francisco's most eccentric and infamous neighborhood. "He did not set out to document destitution. He hoped, instead, to capture life in a neighborhood seemingly apart from its city and its time." Read it at The California Sunday Magazine.