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marijuana, hemp, and cannabis news
Compared with older Americans 30 years ago, Americans age 50 to 59 and 60 and older today are a remarkable 20 times more likely to use marijuana. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner recently joined the board of a cannabis company, and last week on semi-official marijuana holiday April 20, certified cool dude Chuck Schumer, the leader of Democrats in the Senate, announced that he will soon be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Late last week, in a spare moment between attacking former FBI Director James Comey and bombing Syria, President Trump reportedly told Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado that he supports his states recreational marijuana law. The primary drivers of this trend include the fact that women and older consumers are saying they intend to use more marijuana when it is legal; a focus on health that cannabis fits into; and marijuana becoming legalized in states that already have high levels of wine consumption.
On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is signing on as a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act, introduced last year by Sen. Cory Booker. Boehners endorsement, after saying nine years ago he was unalterably opposed to legalization, could be considered a watershed event: Marijuana has gone mainstream.
For marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles. The states licensing program encourages legal marijuana growers to set up shop where the new jobs are needed most, in perennially poor communities. While marijuana remains a banned substance under federal law, nine states including Washington, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado have legalized consumption and production within their borders. Less than 1% of the states 68,150 marijuana cultivators had obtained licenses as of last month, according to a recent report by the California Growers Association. The policy, which has been federal law since 2014, bars the U.S.
Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. Craker, Doblin likes to say, is the perfect flag bearer for the cause of medical marijuana productionnot remotely controversial and thus the ideal partner in a long and frustrating effort to loosen the Drug Enforcement Administrations chokehold on cannabis research.
Legal marijuana may lead to influx of poison control calls
BOSTON – Poison control officials in Massachusetts are gearing up for an expected spike in calls about accidental exposure to marijuana once legal sales of the substance begin on July 1. That expectation is based on the experiences of states that legalized marijuana previously and have years of data on calls to poison control centers. Bhutta said poison control centers in Colorado saw a 108 percent increase in calls related to marijuana exposure for people of all ages between 2012 and 2015. There was a 206 percent increase during the same time period in calls related to marijuana exposure among people eight years old or younger, he said. In Washington, Bhutta said, call volumes increased an average of 58 percent at poison control centers between 2012 and 2015.
A 2016 study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics and conducted by a doctor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that the average rate of marijuana-related visits to the children’s hospital increased from 1.2 incidents per 100,000 children two years prior to marijuana legalization to 2.3 incidents per 100,000 children two years after legalization. Pediatric marijuana cases at regional poison control centers in Colorado increased more than five-fold from nine in 2009 to 47 in 2015, the study found. During that time, Colorado saw an average 34 percent increase in regional poison control cases per year compared to a 19 percent increase in the rest of the United States. Bhutta said marijuana exposure calls to Colorado poison control centers appear to be on the decline since 2015. Colorado, which began legal marijuana sales in 2014, has updated its regulations around packaging and marketing after the first couple of years of legal marijuana revealed issues.
Since 2015 the Centennial State has required marijuana products to be sold in childproof packaging and in 2016 banned edible marijuana products in the shape of humans, animals or fruits, which had made them attractive to children. CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said Tuesday the commission was mindful of the issues other states have had with exposure of marijuana products to children as it crafted the rules for Massachusetts.
The Conservative Case For Legalizing Marijuana
Marijuana legalization is an issue that unites people across the political aisle. Regardless of whether one accepts the individual-liberty case for legalizing marijuana, the consequentialist case is convincing. Marijuana is a drug, as abusable as any intoxicant is, and its long-term use is in some people associated with undesirable effects. A great many people will avoid being convicted of crimes for a relatively benign recreational indulgence – and those criminal convictions often have much more severe long-term consequences on pot-smokers’ lives than marijuana does. Perhaps most important, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado – and the push for its legalization elsewhere – is a sign that Americans still recognize some limitations on the reach of the state and its stable of nannies-in-arms.
To a large degree, this is due to the influence of William F. Buckley Jr. himself, who seemed to have held a largely libertarian view on the issue of marijuana use and was rumored to have sailed out beyond the territorial limits of the United States on at least one occasion to give smoking marijuana a try. Although there is a perfectly respectable case against using marijuana, the penalties imposed on those who reject that case, or who give way to weakness of resolution, are very difficult to defend. Most transgressors caught using marijuana aren’t packed away to jail, but some are, and in Alabama, if you are convicted three times of marijuana possession, they’ll lock you up for 15 years to life.
Professor Ethan Nadelmann, of the Drug Policy Alliance, writing in National Review, estimates at 100,000 the number of Americans currently behind bars for one or another marijuana offense. Critics of reform do make a pretty plausible case when they say that whatever is said about using marijuana only for medical relief masks what the advocates are really after, which is legal marijuana for whoever wants it. An estimated 100 million Americans have smoked marijuana at least once, the great majority, abandoning its use after a few highs. A Boston commentator observed years ago that it is easier for an 18-year old to get marijuana in Cambridge than to get beer.