#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 20 Aug 2019 04:20:21 PST

Poll: Most Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legalized

Los Angeles, CA: Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that marijuana ought to be legalized nationwide, according to polling data compiled by Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.

Overall, 63 percent of respondents backed legalization – a percentage that is consistent with other recent polls. Seventy-five percent of self-identified Democrats endorsed legalization, as did a majority (66 percent) of Independent voters. A majority of Republicans did not support legalization.

Nearly one in four Americans said that "they or someone in their home had consumed cannabis for medical or recreational purposes over the past half-year." Self-reported use was highest among those ages 25 to 44.

American Bar Association Endorses Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Washington, DC: The American Bar Association (ABA) has passed a resolution in support of ending federal marijuana prohibition and removing the substance from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

In language that does not mince words, the proposal reads: FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact legislation to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

Commenting on the passage of the resolution, NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup said "As a young lawyer, I started NORML in 1970 because the legal case needed to be made that the criminalization of marijuana was wrong, and activist lawyers have always played a key role in the expansion of the NORML network across the country. The approval of this recent motion by the ABA, which calls for marijuana to be removed from the Controlled Substances Act altogether, is welcome vindication of the efforts of NORML and all the attorneys who fought against this unjust prohibition for the past fifty years."

There are various pieces of legislation pending in Congress that would remove marijuana from the CSA, including a bill that was recently introduced by the House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler entitled The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act.

Study: Enactment of California's Medical Marijuana Law Associated with Sustained Decline in Traffic Fatalities

Irvine, CA: The enactment of California's 1996 medical cannabis access law is associated with a significant and a sustained decline in motor vehicle fatalities, according to data published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology.

A team of investigators from the University of California at Irvine assessed the relationship between the enactment of California's medical cannabis law and statewide traffic fatalities. They estimated that California experienced a greater decline in fatal accidents compared to synthetic controls.

"California's 1996 MML (medical marijuana law) appears to have produced a large, sustained decrease in statewide motor vehicle fatalities," they concluded. "To summarize, our results suggest that Proposition 215 led to a reduction in statewide motor vehicle fatalities amounting to an annual average reduction between 588 and 902 fewer motor vehicle fatalities annually between 1996 and 2015."

Separate reviews assessing the impact of statewide marijuana liberalization laws on traffic safety have also generally failed to identify any significant uptick in traffic accidents or fatalities attributable to the change in law.

Full text of the study, "Marijuana medicalization and motor vehicle fatalities: A synthetic control group approach," appears in the Journal of Experimental Criminology. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, "Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance."

Report: Legal Cannabis Sales in Washington State Displacing Illicit Market

Olympia, WA: Adult-use cannabis retailers in Washington sold an estimated 26 metric tons of cannabis and cannabis-infused products between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, according to a report by the RAND Corporation.

The report, prepared for the Washington State Liquor and Control Board, determined that licensed retail sales doubled from the prior year. Nearly 70 percent of all cannabis sales were for marijuana flower.

Comparing market sales data with self-reported data on marijuana use, authors estimated, "In the third year after implementing a regulatory system for cannabis, between 40 percent and 60 percent of THC obtained by state residents was likely purchased in Washington's state-licensed stores." Marijuana not obtained via retail sales presumably "came through the illicit market or from those authorized to grow for medicinal purposes."

Commenting on the report, NORML State Policies Coordinator Carly Wolf suggested that various factors, including elevated tax rates and local moratoriums on cannabis retailers, play a role in the perpetuation of the illicit cannabis market. "That said, it is encouraging to see that, over time, licensed retail sales are gradually displacing a significant portion of the underground market. Moving forward, one would expect this trend to continue and for the illicit market to become further marginalized."

Full text of the RAND report, "Assessing Cannabis Supply and Demand in Washington State," is online.

Report: CBD Products Available in the UK Often Mislabeled, Possess Variable Quality

London, United Kingdom: CBD-infused products sold commercially in the United Kingdom often provide inaccurate potency data on their labels and may contain elevated levels of heavy metals and solvents, according to independent lab test results commissioned by the British advocacy group Centre for Medicinal Cannabis.

The group compiled potency and purity data on 30 commercially available CBD oil products. Third-party testing revealed that over 60 percent of the products inaccurately labeled their CBD content. Eleven (38 percent) of the products possessed less than 50 percent of the advertised CBD content, while one product possessed no CBD. Nearly half of all products (45 percent) possessed measurable quantities of THC, and seven products tested positive for elevated levels of either heavy metals or solvents.

"The industry as a whole must use these results to understand the areas of weakness in producing a quality product that consumers can trust, and use the findings to justify additional steps they should take for their own production, or for reassurance across their supply chain, that some of these negative results are not reflected in their own products," the Centre reported.

Third-party testing of CBD-infused products commercially available in the United States have frequently produced similar results – such as those available here, here, here, and here.

In May, NORML provided written testimony to the FDA calling on the agency to move expeditiously to provide regulatory guidelines governing the manufacturing and lab testing of certain CBD-infused products.

Full text of the Centre's report, "CBD in the UK," is online. More information is available in the NORML fact-sheet "FAQs About Cannabidiol."

New York City: Council Resolves that Marijuana Possession Should Not Result in Loss of Child Custody

New York, NY: Members of the New York City Council have adopted a resolution calling on administrators to revise policies specific to marijuana possession and child custody.

Resolution 0740 calls upon "the New York City Administration for Children's Services to implement a policy finding that a person's mere possession or use of marijuana does not by itself create an imminent risk of harm to a child, warranting the child's removal."

It cites racial disparities in marijuana enforcement, along with the legalization of medical cannabis, as reasons for revising Administration policy.

Earlier this year, City lawmakers passed separate pieces of legislation limiting situations where those seeking employment or on probation may be drug tested for past cannabis exposure.

Vermont: Traffic Searches Decline Following Marijuana Legalization

Burlington, VT: Police in the city of Burlington (population 42,000) are executing far fewer traffic searches since the enactment of statewide marijuana legalization, according to a new report provided by the city's police department.

According to the report, traffic searches fell some 70 percent following the enactment of legalization last July. In addition, African American drivers are less likely to be stopped by police following legalization than before its enactment. However, the report acknowledges, "Despite improvements, [the] stop rate for black drivers [is] still higher than their share of the driving population."

It concludes: "The legalization of marijuana significantly changes how traffic stop searches are conducted. ... While searches in the past years still provide historical context, the legal landscape for roadside searches has changed dramatically since [marijuana legalization], and the number of BPD (Burlington Police Department) searches reflect that."

A 2017 analysis by The Marshall Project and the Center for Investigative Reporting similarly reported that the frequency of traffic stop-related searches conducted by Colorado and Washington state patrols declined dramatically following the enactment of marijuana legalization in those states.

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