#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:20:21 PST
Study: Adult Use Marijuana Laws Do Not Adversely Impact Traffic Fatality Rates
Austin, TX: The enactment of statewide laws regulating the adult use and sale of cannabis is not associated with subsequent changes in traffic fatality rates, according to an analysis of traffic safety data published today in the American Journal of Public Health.
Investigators from the University of Texas-Austin evaluated crash fatality rates in Colorado and Washington pre- and post-legalization. They compared these rates to those of eight control states that had not enacted any significant changes in their marijuana laws.
"We found no significant association between recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado and subsequent changes in motor vehicle fatality rates in the first three years after recreational marijuana legalization," authors concluded.
Authors also reported no association between adult use marijuana legalization and the total number of non-fatal crashes.
Commenting on the findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "These conclusions ought to be reassuring to lawmakers and those in the public who have concerns that regulating adult marijuana use may inadvertently jeopardize public safety. These results indicate that such fears have not come to fruition, and that such concerns ought not to unduly influence legislators or voters in other jurisdictions that are considering legalizing cannabis."
A prior study published last year in the same journal reported that the enactment of medical marijuana legalization laws is associated with a reduction in traffic fatalities compared to other states, particularly among younger drivers.
Fatal accident rates have fallen significantly over the past two decades - during the same time that a majority of US states have legalized marijuana for either medical or social use. In 1996, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were an estimated 37,500 fatal car crashes on US roadways. This total fell to under 30,000 by 2014.
Full text of the study, "Crash fatality rates after recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado," appears online in the American Journal of Public Health.
Study: CBD Administration Reduces Blood Pressure
Oxford, United Kingdom: Oral CBD administration is associated with reduced blood pressure in healthy volunteers, according to clinical trial data published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Investigators from the University of Nottingham assessed the effects of a single oral dose of 600 mg of CBD extract versus placebo in nine male subjects.
Cannabidiol administration reduced resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contraction). Compared to placebo, CBD intake was associated with reduced BP levels following exercise and in response to stress. Increased heart rate was observed following CBD administration, but no "adverse events" were reported by participants either during or following the study sessions.
Authors concluded: "Our data show that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress, particularly cold stress, and especially in the post-test periods. This may reflect the anxiolytic and analgesic effects of CBD, as well as any potential direct cardiovascular effects. ... Further research is also required to establish whether CBD has any role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders such as a hypertension."
Full text of the study, "A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study," appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Vermont: House Blocks Marijuana Depenalization Bill From Further Consideration
Montpelier, VT: Members of the House voted Wednesday to block a marijuana depenalization measure, H. 511, from further consideration this legislative session. The vote came after Senate members approved the bill, which eliminated civil and criminal penalties for the private possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana. Republican Gov. Phil Scott -- who had vetoed an earlier version of the bill in May -- had also recently expressed his support for the revised legislation.
Further action on the bill during this week's special veto session required the votes of three-quarters of the House. But only a majority voted to take action on the bill, with almost all Republican House members voting 'no.'
If enacted, the bill would have permitted adults to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis and to grow up two mature plants at home.
New Jersey: Racial Disparity In Marijuana Arrest Rates Rising
Newark, NJ: African Americans are arrested in New Jersey for violating marijuana possession laws at approximately three times the rate of whites and this disparity is rising, according to an analysis of statewide arrest data by the American Civil Liberty Union.
Researchers reviewed marijuana possession arrests records from the years 2000 to 2013. They found that blacks were 2.2 times as likely as whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana in 2000, but three times as likely to be arrested by 2013.
Recent reviews of statewide arrest data from California, Maryland, and Virginia have identified similar trends. A 2013 American Civil Liberties Union study found that nationwide blacks are approximately four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though both ethnicities consume the substance at approximately similar rates.
Overall, New Jersey police made some 280,000 marijuana possession arrests between 2000 and 2013, with annual arrests increasing 26 percent during this time.
Full text of the report, "Unequal & Unfair: NJ's War on Marijuana Users," is online.
New Hampshire: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Measure
Concord, NH: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation into law expanding medical cannabis access.
House Bill 157 permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with "moderate to severe chronic pain." Senate Bill 17 makes it easier for patients suffering from hepatitis C to qualify for the program.
A third measure, House Bill 160, seeks to allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients with post-traumatic stress. The bill awaits action from the Governor.
Over 2,000 patients are registered in the state's medical marijuana program.