#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: email@example.com media :: news - Tue, 27 Dec 2016 04:20:21 PST
Marijuana Use Continues Rapid Decline Among Younger Teens
Ann Arbor, MI: Self-reported marijuana use continues to fall among younger teens, according to nationwide survey data compiled by the University of Michigan.
Results from the 2016 edition of the Monitoring the Future survey find that marijuana use by 8th-graders and 10th-graders is declining year by year. Further, a greater percentage of younger teens now say that their ability to obtain marijuana is more difficult than ever before. Among 12th graders, marijuana use patterns have held steady since 2011.
Approximately 50,000 students are surveyed annually as part of the University of Michigan study.
Since 1997, self-reported lifetime use of cannabis has fallen 44 percent among 8th-graders, 30 percent among 10th-graders, and ten percent among 12th-graders. Overall, teens' reported use of alcohol and/or any illicit substance aside from marijuana is at a historic low.
Separate survey data released this week by the US Department of Health and Human Services also reports that rates of marijuana use by teens has fallen in Colorado and Washington between the years 2013 and 2015.
Previous federally funded surveys by the US Centers for Disease Control and others have similarly reported that changes in statewide marijuana laws are not associated with rising levels of youth use.
Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Fewer Traffic Fatalities
New York, NY: The passage of medical marijuana legalization is associated with reduced traffic fatalities among younger drivers, according to data published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.
Investigators from Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Davis analyzed traffic fatality data from the years 1985 to 2014.
They reported that states with medical cannabis laws had lower overall traffic fatality rates compared to states where cannabis is illegal, and that there was an immediate decline in motor vehicle deaths following the establishment of a legal cannabis market - particularly among those under 44 years of age.
Authors concluded: "[O]n average, MMLs (medical marijuana laws) states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states. .... MMLs are associated with reductions in traffic fatalities, particularly pronounced among those aged 25 to 44 years. ... It is possible that this is related to lower alcohol-impaired driving behavior in MML-states."
Full text of the study, "US traffic fatalities, 1985-2014, and their relationship to medical marijuana laws," appears in the American Journal of Public Health.
Report: Beer Sales Fall In States With Retail Marijuana Markets
New York, NY: Beer sales are falling in states that permit the retail sale of marijuana to adult consumers, according to an analysis performed by the New York-based research firm Cowen & Company.
Their analysis reports that beer sales by several of the larger domestic producers have "collectively underperformed" the past two years in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. They added, "With all three of these states now having fully implemented a [marijuana] retail infrastructure, the underperformance of beer in these markets has worsened over the course of 2016."
Data published in July reported that per customer spending on retail marijuana products is on track to overtake consumer spending on alcohol sales.
A 2014 scientific review published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism posited that cannabis primarily acts as a substitute for alcohol rather than as a complement. It concluded, "While more research and improved study designs are needed to better identify the extent and impact of cannabis substitution on those affected by AUD (alcohol use disorders), cannabis does appear to be a potential substitute for alcohol."
Maine: Recount Effort Halted, Election Result Stands
Augusta, ME: The group opposing Maine's marijuana legalization initiative has withdrawn its recount effort.
Last month, representatives from 'No on 1' requested a recount of the vote totals specific to Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act. On Saturday, the campaign conceded that the recount would not impact the Election Day result, which estimated Question 1 winning by slightly over 4,000 votes.
The measure is now expected to be enacted 30 days after Gov. Paul LePage affirms the result.
The Act permits adults who are not participating in the state's medical cannabis program to possess personal use quantities of marijuana (up to two and one-half ounces and/or the total harvest produced by six plants). The measure also establishes regulations for the commercial cultivation and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Regulations governing marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017.
Speaking live on WGAN radio last week, Gov. LePage criticized the measure, stating, "If there was ever a bill that the legislature should just kibosh, that's it." The Governor further suggested increasing the retail sales tax rates associated with the measure, as well as abolishing the state's medical cannabis program, which has been in place since 1999.