Report: 1 in 5 Mass. adults use marijuana
BOSTON – About 21 percent of adults in Massachusetts have used marijuana in the last 30 days, and of those who have consumed the drug, about a third reported having driven under the influence, according to a new Department of Public Health report. The study found that more than half of adults in Massachusetts perceive marijuana to have slight or no risks, and more than half of marijuana users consume it for non-medical purposes. The DPH reported that 26 percent of men and 17 percent of women have used marijuana in the last month, a total of roughly 21 percent of adults in the state. The study, required by the marijuana law legislators put on the books a year ago, began in early 2017 and found that the rate of marijuana use is greatest among people aged 18 to 25. DPH said baseline data suggest that about 7 percent of all adults drove under the influence of marijuana in the past 30 days and that about 12 percent of all adults rode with a driver who was under the influence of marijuana.
Nearly 35 percent of adults who reported using marijuana in the past 30 days also reported driving under the influence of marijuana, DPH said. There is currently no roadside test, similar to a breathalyzer test for alcohol, for law enforcement to check for marijuana impairment. Legal non-medical marijuana sales were expected to start July 1 in Massachusetts, but that target will not be met. The Cannabis Control Commission meets Monday and is expected to license the state’s first retail marijuana shop. In total, 3,022 individuals responded to the survey, DPH said.
About 71 percent of the state’s marijuana users are white, 12 percent are Hispanic, 7 percent are black and 3 percent are Asian, the report found. The report said white non-Hispanic men and people between ages 18 and 20 have the highest prevalence of marijuana use.
Marijuana-friendly campuses? I don’t think so
In the run-up to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018, many universities and colleges are still in a wait-and-see position concerning marijuana use on campus. TRU’s 20-person Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, of which I am a member, unanimously voted on March 5, 2018, to ban all smoking of marijuana products on campus – for health and safety reasons. Pro-marijuana smokers on the TRU committee argued that marijuana smoke is no different than cigarette smoke and that smoking areas designated for cigarette smoke should also be used for marijuana. Naïve bystanders cannot tell the potency of the marijuana smoked just by smell alone. Most animal studies demonstrate the ease with which such second- hand marijuana smoke can negatively affect behaviour.
Very few know that marijuana smoke has 300 to 500 per cent more carcinogens than tobacco smoke. Marijuana has been linked to addiction, drops in grades, slips and falls and car accidents. The JOHSC at Thompson Rivers University is considering individual ingestion of medical marijuana – via brownies, gummy bears or pills – on campus because the consumption of such medicinal products doesn’t negatively impact others directly. Marijuana is an intoxicant and therefore is analogous to drinking alcohol on campus. Smoking marijuana should therefore fall under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act Section 40, 1996, chapter 267.
As TRU did not allow the open consumption of alcohol in public places on campus, neither would it allow marijuana to be smoked on campus. Marijuana has been linked to impaired motor co-ordination, altered judgment and risky sexual behaviour.
High Maintenance Archives
Joel Fernando, a Brooklyn filmmaker with hipster hair and bright red aviators, pitched his marijuana venture at a popular Colorado Springs coffee shop, reports Rebecca Celli of The Colorado Independent. Fernando’s plan is two-fold: to start up a major pot production operation in Colorado and to chronicle his process for a new web series, to be distributed by Slate this January,. The series will explore Fernando’s business endeavor through numerous short documentary installments. Each episode will be less than 10 minutes, and will feature people and policies central to Colorado’s budding marijuana economy. Fernando is not the first aspiring marijuana entrepreneur to drive cross-country on a whim.
He’s also not the first young urban filmmaker to create a pot-oriented web series. If New York is the fifth character in Sex and the City, then pot is the third in the YouTube web series turned half-hour-long Comedy Central show, Broad City. The series, which follows the female twenty-somethings in New York City trope, is known for its crude humor and memorable scenes of pot-smoking through Skype. The episodes of High Maintenance, the most intricate rendition of the pot web series trend, are the well-crafted vignettes of diverse New Yorkers – middle-aged bird watchers, Passover seder-goers, couch surfers, a cross-dressing father – all subtly bound together by the narrative of a nameless pot delivery man. The best web series sell out, or at least begin to sell.
Slate, the distributor of Fernando’s series, publishes stories commenting on all of these shows. As for Joel Fernando, his upcoming series will be free and relatively unpublicized.