#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Tue, 29 Oct 2019 04:20:21 PST
Gallup: Super-Majority of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana
Washington, DC: A super-majority of Americans, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents support making marijuana use legal in the United States, according to nationwide polling data compiled by Gallup, first reported by Forbes.
Sixty-six percent of respondents endorse legalization, a total that is consistent with other recent polls and that is nearly 30 percent higher than 2012 totals -- when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize adult marijuana use. A separate nationwide poll released yesterday by PPRI (the Public Religion Research Institute) similarly reported that two in three Americans support legalizing and regulating adults' marijuana use.
Commenting on the poll results, NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said: "There is no buyers' remorse on the part of the American people. In recent years, American's support for legalization has only grown stronger. At the end of the day, every age demographic below 65, representing the overwhelming majority of the taxpaying public, would rather their dollars be spent to regulate cannabis, not incarcerate its consumers."
Study: Enactment of Medical Cannabis Laws Associated with Reduced Opioid Reliance/
Miami, FL: The enactment of medical cannabis access legislation is associated with lower rates of self-reported opioid use, according to data published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.
A team of researchers affiliated with Florida International University in Miami assessed the relationship between medical cannabis legalization and self-reported opioid use and misuse.
Authors reported, "[S]urvey respondents living in states with medical cannabis legislation are much less apt to report using opioid analgesics than [are] people living in states without such laws," even after controlling for potential confounding variables. They also determined that medicalization did not promote any increase in opioid misuse.
Investigators concluded: "[T]he present study found that in MML (medical marijuana legalization) states some displacement is occurring away from opioids toward medicinal cannabis. ... [M]edicinal cannabis may be one avenue to combat the consequences of the opioid epidemic without amplifying, beyond perhaps recreational cannabis, further illicit drug use. The association between cannabis and opioid use, however, demands further empirical scrutiny to establish causal order amidst less restrictive environments toward cannabis."
The findings are similar to correlations identified in several prior observational studies but are inconsistent with the conclusions of a paper published earlier this year which failed to identify a long-term association between medical cannabis access and opioid-related mortality.
Full text of the study, "The effect of cannabis laws on opioid use," appears in the International Journal of Drug Policy. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, 'Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.'
Court Dismisses Case Demanding DEA to Move Expeditiously to License Cannabis Cultivators
Washington, DC: A federal court on Friday denied a petition for a writ of mandamus that sought to order the US Drug Enforcement Administration to begin licensing private entities that wish to cultivate cannabis.
Justices for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied the petition following a filing by DEA in the Federal Register stating that the agency "intends to promulgate regulations" to review several dozen federal cultivation applications. However, most of those applications have been before DEA for several years, and the agency still has yet to provide any explicit timeline regarding when, if ever, it intends to act on them.
The agency in 2016 first announced its intent to license private entities to grow cannabis for FDA-approved clinical trials. That marked a reversal in agency policy; in 2011 it rejecting a ruling from its Administrative Law Judge finding that it would be 'in the public interest' to grant the University of Massachusetts a license to grow marijuana for federally regulated research. Since 1968, the agency has only licensed the University of Mississippi to engage in the growing of cannabis for FDA-approved clinical research.
In June of this year, one applicant – the Scottsdale Research Institute – filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals to order the DEA to comply with its 2016 policy. The Court dismissed the case on Friday, opining, "In light of respondent's October 11, 2019 publication in the Federal Register of a corrected notice of petitioner's application to manufacture controlled substances in bulk, petitioner's request for a writ of mandamus directing respondent to issue a notice of application is now moot." The Court further opined that petitioners had failed to establish that the DEA possessed a history of engaging in "chronic delays" when taking steps to expand scientists' access to medical cannabis.
The Court's order permits petitioners to return to the Court of Appeals "in the event" that DEA engages in "significant delays" in the future.
More information @ https://www.admin.law/sri-update
Clinical Trial: Cannabis Oil Capsules Provide Weight Gain in Patients with Advanced Cancer
Haifa, Israel: The twice-daily intake of capsules containing plant-derived oil extracts of THC and CBD is associated with weight gain in patients with cancer-related cachexia and anorexia, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies.
Israeli investigators assessed the use of high-THC/low-CBD capsules in patients with advanced-stage cancer for six months. Among the subjects who completed the trial, half showed a weight increase of greater than 10 percent. Cannabis treatment was also associated with increased appetite and improved mood, as well as a reduction in pain and fatigue. Researchers identified some degree of tumor necrosis associated with cannabis treatment, but this improvement did not meet statistical significance. Several subjects dropped out of the study before its completion.
"The results justify a larger study with dosage-controlled cannabis capsules in CACS (cancer-related cachexia and anorexia syndrome)," authors concluded.
Synthetic THC encapsulated in sesame seed oil (aka dronabinol) is already FDA-approved in the United States for the treatment of anorexia in patients with AIDS. It is also approved as a treatment to offset chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Full text of the study, "Effects of dosage-controlled cannabis capsules on cancer-related cachexia and anorexia syndrome in advanced cancer patients: Pilot study," appears in Integrative Cancer Therapies.
New Mexico: Governor's Task Force Issues Adult-Use Marijuana Recommendations
Santa Fe, NM: A 23-member task force has issued explicit policy recommendations to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham regarding the legalization and regulation of cannabis.
The report proposes a regulatory framework governing the retail production, sale, and taxation of cannabis. Recommendations by the task-force include: Prohibiting local municipalities from completely restricting cannabis sales; Automatically expunging criminal records; Limiting overall taxes on retail cannabis sales to no more than 20 percent; Allocating tax revenues to various programs and state agencies, including the state's medical cannabis program; and Allowing those with past convictions to participate in the licensed cannabis industry.
The report's authors estimate that adult-use legalization will create an estimated 11,000 new jobs and yield some $620 million in sales within five years.
The task force's Chairman stated: "Together, we believe the framework we are submitting is right for New Mexico. It is clear that we have both the necessary apprehension that goes with the venture, as well as the talent to make this happen the right way."
In a tweet, the Governor said, "I look forward to working with the Legislature to get a bill to my desk next year."
State House lawmakers passed adult-use legalization legislation this past spring, but the bill stalled in the Senate. Lawmakers ultimately enacted separate legislation decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession offenses.
Study: Taxation on Retail Cannabis Sales Influences Buying Behaviors
Corvallis, OR: The imposition of taxes on adult-use retail sales of cannabis products is associated with temporary changes in purchasers' behaviors, according to data published in the journal International Tax and Public Finance.
Investigators affiliated with Oregon State University and George Mason University assessed cannabis purchasing trends in Oregon immediately prior to and following the imposition of new retail taxes.
Researchers reported that the imposition of retail taxes was associated with a stockpiling of cannabis products just prior to policy's enactment (e.g., customers purchased larger-than-usual quantities of untaxed medical cannabis products), as well as with an increase in cross-border substitution afterward. "[I]n response to the tax-induced price increase in Oregon, it appears that proximity to the Washington recreational market caused some consumers in Oregon and in Washington to substitute Washington marijuana for Oregon marijuana," authors concluded.
A 2018 study published in the journal Addiction concluded that most consumers are willing to pay higher prices overall for cannabis products available in the legal marketplace, but that excessive taxation on these products – specifically those that drive marijuana's total price above $14 per gram – induces many buyers to return to the illicit market.
Full text of the study, "Marijuana tax incidence, stockpiling, and cross-border substitution," appears in International Tax and Public Finance.
Study Finds Minor Changes in Traffic Fatalities Five Years Following Adult-Use Legalization
Austin, TX: The enactment of adult-use legalization in Colorado and Washington has been associated with non-significant changes in traffic fatalities, according to data published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Investigators with the University of Texas at Austin and the David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles assessed trends in Colorado and Washington in the five years following the enactment of adult-use legalization laws as compared to control states.
Authors reported a slight, overall uptick in traffic fatalities following legalization, finding, "In the five years after legalization, fatal crash rates increased more in Colorado and Washington than would be expected had they continued to parallel crash rates in the control states (+1.2 crashes/billion vehicle miles traveled, but not significantly so."
By contrast, researchers reported that the opening of cannabis retailers was associated with "more pronounced and statistically significant" effects on traffic safety (+1.8 crashes/billion vehicle miles traveled.)
Their findings are inconsistent with trends reported by the same team in 2017 when they "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 suggested that the differing results "might be attributable to the longer follow-up time or to differences in methodology. The previous study included only non-medical marijuana control states and did not adjust for the same population, economic, roadway and traffic factors included in this analysis."
They concluded: "Fatal crash rates increased in Colorado and Washington after recreational marijuana legalization – and specifically after the opening of commercial recreational marijuana dispensaries – when compared with concurrent changes seen in nine control states that maintained stable medical marijuana or anti-marijuana status. ... The evidence for increased fatal crashes following recreational marijuana legalization ... stands in contrast to earlier studies finding decreases in traffic fatalities following medical marijuana legalization. ... [T]hese unexpected findings raise the possibility that legalization of medical and recreational marijuana represent two distinct policy exposures rather than "escalating doses" of the same exposure and pose very different risks. This is an area in need of further study."
Full text of the study, "Fatal crashes in the 5 years after recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington," appears in Accident Analysis and Prevention.