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Apple-approved drug-dealing game tops iTunes chart

Weed Firm is a game for thoughtful people, those who know how to plant, plan, and sell -- and it's rocketed to the top of iTunes.

Lucy is here for her medication. TedGrowing/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

How can you ever teach kids about real life?

You know they're going to encounter it before you know it. And you know there's no guaranteed method of preparing them.

There is, however, a way to ease them gently into certain aspects. Why, USA Today tells me there's a very fine drug-dealing game that's soared to the very top of the iTunes chart.

It's called Weed Firm. And, yes, its principles don't divert entirely from the challenges experienced by Mary-Louise Parker's character on "Weeds."

The game's makers describe it like this: "Follow the story of an expelled botany sophomore Ted Growing as he inherits a growing operation and expands it. Learn to grow weed, plant new varieties to increase your yields, expand your customer base and interact with the characters to become the biggest weed dealer in town."

Yes, of course you have to bribe the police along the way. That's called a business expense.

Some might find it odd that Apple, which does occasionally adhere to strict moral principles, approved this game at all. (And it's definitely available beyond Colorado and Washington.)

Those who have reviewed it in the iTunes Store seem generally pleased with its performance.

One reviewer, though, offered frustration: "I hate when the gangsters break in and steal all of your money and weed and if you haven't already got any seeds or weed, you can't buy or sell anything else."

Life can be like that. Heartless.

Manitoba Games, the makers of Weed Firm, insist they don't condone smoking pot or making money out of dealing. Their disclaimer reads: "The plot of this game is solely a work of fiction and should be viewed only as such."

Personally, I enjoyed their other warning, one that will surely serve everyone as they go through their daily lives: "Watch out for thugs and cops."