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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:20:21 PST

Some State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

Washington, DC: Political leaders in several states are threatening to thwart the implementation of voter-approved initiatives specific to the regulation of marijuana.

"Voters spoke clearly on election day. They believe that cannabis should be legal and that its sale ought to be regulated accordingly," said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. "Politicians should respect these outcomes, not undermine them."

In Massachusetts, where voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent on election day to legalize the cultivation, use, and retail sale of cannabis by adults, politicians have suggested amending the law and delaying its implementation. Specifically, lawmakers have called for pushing back the date when adults may legally begin growing cannabis from December 15, 2016 to an unspecified point in time. Legislators have also called for delaying retail sales of cannabis until late 2018, and have proposed increasing marijuana-specific sales taxes. In Maine, where voters narrowly approved a similar ballot measure, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has said that he will seek federal guidance before moving forward with the law's implementation. Governor LePage, who adamantly opposed the measure, said that he "will be talking to Donald Trump" about how the incoming administration intends to address the issue, and pronounced that he "will not put this (law) into play" unless the federal government signs off on it.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson made similar statements following voters' decision to legalize the medical use of cannabis. "I don't like the idea of implementing laws in Arkansas that violate federal law," the Republican Governor and former head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration said. "This does not call for a state-by-state solution, it calls for ... a national solution."

During the Presidential campaign, Donald Trump voiced support for the authority of individual states to impose regulatory policies specific to the use and dispensing of medical cannabis, but was somewhat less clear with regard to whether he believed that state lawmakers ought to be able to regulate the adult use of cannabis absent federal interference. His nominee for US Attorney General, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, strongly opposes any liberalization in cannabis policy, stating in April, "[M]arijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized."

In 2013, the Obama administration issued a memorandum directing US prosecutors not to interfere with statewide marijuana legalization efforts, provided those efforts did not undermine specific federal priorities - such as the diversion of cannabis to non-legal states. According to Gallup pollsters, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that states should be allowed to decide their own cannabis policies.

Voters in eight states - Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota - approved statewide ballot measures this November regulating marijuana for either medicinal or social use.

Study: Enactment Of Medical Cannabis Laws Not Predictive Of Increased Use By Teens

Waltham, MA: State laws regulating the use and dispensing of medical marijuana are not associated with increased cannabis use rates among young people, according to findings published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers at Brandeis University and Harvard Medical School assessed adolescent marijuana use patterns in 45 states between the years 1991 to 2011. Authors reported "little evidence for an increase in past-30-day marijuana use, or past-30-day heavy marijuana use, among adolescents in response to state-enacted MMLs (medical marijuana laws), regardless of most provisions."

The conclusions are consistent with those of multiple other studies finding that changes in the statewide legal status of cannabis are not predictive of greater use by teens.

Full text of the study, "The design of medical marijuana laws and adolescent use and heavy use of marijuana: Analysis of 45 states from 1991 to 2011," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Studies: Vaping Prevalent Among Medical Cannabis Patients

Ontario, Canada: Medical marijuana patients are increasingly turning to vaporization as their preferred means of cannabis delivery, according to survey data published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence and in the Harm Reduction Journal.

In one study, investigators from the University of Waterloo, School of Public Health surveyed the consumption habits of 364 patients registered in Canada's medical marijuana program. Authors reported that vaporization was "the most popular mode of delivery for medical cannabis" among patients. Subjects in the study said that they preferred vaping because it "reduce[d] the negative health consequences associated with smoking."

In another study, researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed 1,485 state-registered medical cannabis patients. Among respondents, 39 percent reported having vaporized cannabis during the past month. However, most patients also acknowledged smoking cannabis as a means of drug delivery. Younger patients (those under the age of 44) and those with a more extensive history of medical marijuana use were most likely to report using a vaporizer device.

Vaporizer technology heats marijuana to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion. Clinical trials evaluating the technology conclude that vaporization is a "safe and effective" cannabinoid delivery mode that "does not result in exposure to combustion gases."

Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis use in Canada: Vaporization and modes of delivery," appears in the Harm Reduction Journal. Full text of the study, "Prevalence and correlates of 'vaping' as a route of cannabis administration in medical cannabis patients," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence."

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