Articles Posted in California Marijuana

There has been a lot of uncertainty for some Americans in recent weeks as President Donald Trump has taken office, and that has extended to the question of how the federal government will proceed with regard to legal marijuana. Especially troubling was the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to the post of U.S. Attorney General over the Justice Department. Sessions in the past has been outspoken in his opposition to legalized marijuana, questioning the character of those who use the drug for any purpose. american

However, there is some evidence Sessions may be softening somewhat on his position, and there could be new reason to be hopeful about the Trump-era as far as legal cannabis is concerned. In a recent confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Sessions, although shying away from a definitive plan for how to treat states’ legalization of the drug, did concede during questioning that to disrupt the legal marijuana markets by enforcing federal cannabis laws could result in an unnecessary strain on federal resources.

Beyond this revelation came the recommendation of Jim O’Neill for the appointment to lead the U.S. Food & Drug Enforcement Administration (FDA). According to Bloomberg News, O’Neill is managing director at Mithril Capital Management and a Silicon Valley investor. He previously served as the principal associated deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Although he doesn’t have a medical background (and the head of the FDA has been for the lats 50 years either a medical doctor or prominent scientific researcher), he is believed to be a supporter of medical marijuana. He has strong ties with billionaire Peter Thiel, a Trump transition team member who co-founded the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform.  Continue reading

Law enforcement leadership for years were on the side of tighter marijuana laws. But now, it seems there may have been a substantial shift. police lights

A recent poll of 8,000 officers by the Pew Research Center finds that almost two-thirds of them believe marijuana should be legal for either medical or personal use.

This was a survey that was nationally representative, which mean it took into account a myriad of factors of police demographics. It was also one of the largest surveys of its kind ever conducted.

According to the report, a third of officers said cannabis should be legal for both recreational and medicinal use, while 37 percent opined it should only be allowed if someone needs it as medicine. Thirty percent said marijuana shouldn’t be legal whatsoever.  Continue reading

U.S. Air Force policy has historically been extremely strict with its entry criteria. This is the agency that refused entry to those who suffered from eczema, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder *(ADHD) and prior marijuana use. airforce

Now, a number of those rules are being relaxed – including the one regarding previous use of cannabis. This coincides with the fact that a growing number of states allow marijuana as medicine and for adult recreation.

Of course, the Air Force will continue to maintain a zero tolerance policy with regard to service members using or smoking cannabis. However, the number of days/ weeks/ months since the marijuana use prior to service is no longer going to be a limiting factor. Additionally, the service is no longer going to ask potential recruits how long it has been since their last time using marijuana in the standardized questioning forms.  Continue reading

The marijuana industry in the U.S. is slated to become a $20 billion industry in the next four years. However, we could change course on that very rapidly depending on the approach taken by our new new commander-in-chief and those he has placed in top positions of power. There are millions of dollars and many businesses at stake. newspaper

There is reason to believe Donald Trump may lean toward favoring states’ rights on the issue. Others believe he may at the very least support medical marijuana rights. However, we also know that Trump has shown no problem walking back from several of the promises he made on the campaign trail, so it’s not illogical that he would shy away from statements in support of medicinal marijuana. On top of this, there is concern given that his U.S. attorney general pick Jeff Sessions is a vocal opponent of any form of marijuana legalization, refusing to concede even the benefits of the drug as a form of medicine.

Still, states have already taken incredible measures to pass laws and initiate regulation. What impact could Trump really have on the industry? It turns out a lot. Here are four scenarios we might see over the next four years.  Continue reading

Farmers in San Diego County have worked the fields in the rural/ residential spans of this region for decades – sometimes for generations. They grow tomatoes, avocados and lettuce. They want to continue to farm. But as The San Diego Union Tribune notes, they are looking to expand their yield. field

Specifically, they want to start growing marijuana and hemp. They already have the land. They have the skill. They have most of the tools. They argue the best people to grow and cultivate legal marijuana are the people whose families have been farming the region for the better part of the last century.

Unfortunately, their hopes are counter to what the county’s Board of Supervisors may have in mind. The county is looking to possibly outlaw local marijuana cultivation, or else leave it solely up to licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Both of these approaches cut independent farmers out of this equation entirely. Continue reading

There are a lot of reasons to make California a vacation destination. Now, the newest it seems is recreational cannabis. airplane

On the West Coast, we now have California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada that allow recreational marijuana. The only other places allow it are Alaska, Washington D.C., Massachusetts and Maine. For people who live in all the states in between, most are limited to recreational marijuana access, if they have it at all. It’s anticipated that legal marijuana is going to be a major driver of tourism to these states in the coming years.

This has resulted in a number of ancillary cannabis businesses, including travel agencies booking “tours” of various dispensaries and must-see sites. Travel research company MMGY Global reports that while overall travel to California didn’t surge much right after the election, it did spike 23 percent when looking at just Millennials. It also increased notably among households that earned $100,000 or more – presumably because they had more discretionary income to spontaneously make that trip. But others could be planning a trip for the coming months or years.  Continue reading

There is no question that driving impaired or under the influence of any substance is unwise. Unquestionably, marijuana is known to contain compounds that can impede a person’s cognitive abilities and reflexes, which are imperative for driving safely. However, a new study reveals that the approval of medical marijuana is not met with an uptick in traffic fatalities, as many detractors for years insisted. driving

The study, published recently by the American Public Health Association, looked at at U.S. Traffic Fatalities from 1985 to 2014 in various states and compared their relationship to medical marijuana laws. Conducted by researchers at Colombia University, the University of California at Davis and Boston University, what they discovered was that traffic deaths fell in seven states where medical marijuana is legal and that, in general, states that had medical cannabis statutes tended to have reduced traffic fatality rates than states where the drug is strictly outlawed.

What’s more, researchers discovered that states with medical marijuana statutes had the impact of immediately lowering traffic deaths among younger cohorts. Specifically, those between the ages of 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 saw the most marked decreases during that time.Those between the ages of 25 to 44 saw gradual reductions every year thereafter. Continue reading

Recreational marijuana is now legal in California. But that doesn’t mean it’s Ok for teens to use it for recreation, as there is evidence it can have negative health effects – and of course there is the risk of impaired driving. Although some marijuana advocates downplay these concerns as “Reefer Madness” ridiculousness, the reality is that if the marijuana industry is going to garner legitimacy, there needs to be a concerted effort to keep cannabis away from children who don’t have a medical reason to be taking it. teen

Part of the concern is that teens do not view marijuana as harmful as they once did. Research at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program indicated that the harmfulness perception of marijuana among eighth-graders fell by 14 percent in Washington state since the drug was legalized. It fell by 16 percent among those in 10th grade. In states where marijuana has not (yet) been legalized, perceptions of the plant’s harmfulness fell at much lower rates, between 5 and 7 percent.

Still, there is competing evidence about whether this translates to more teens actually using the drug for fun. For example, the U.C. Davis study indicated marijuana use by Washington’s eighth-graders spiked 2 percent since legalization, while increasing 4 percent among 10th-graders. In non-legal states, marijuana use fell by about 1 percent. However, a study by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicated the percentage of high school students there who used marijuana was actually smaller than the national average – 21.2 percent in the previous 30 days (down a percentage point since before legalization) while the nationwide rate of teen marijuana use was a bit higher at 21.7 percent. The department concluded that “marijuana use (among teens) has not increased since legalization.”  Continue reading

One of the primary arguments given by federal drug regulators about why it would be unwise to lower the Schedule I classification of marijuana is that the drug has not been well enough studied to know whether it has legitimate medical benefits. Of course, there are many people who use it as medicine who would beg to differ. Beyond that, it’s something of a Catch-22 because the Schedule I listing makes it next to impossible for scientists to get a hold of it, let alone conduct clinical trials. That means researchers must explore other ways of examining the drug’s risks and benefits.hospital hall

Recently, an analysis published in the journal Cancer Medicine revealed that a history of marijuana use among patients admitted to the hospital was correlated with lower rates of heart failure, cardiac disease and cancer deaths. This conclusion was based on analysis conducted by researchers at Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Alabama, who looked at the health outcomes of nearly 4 million hospitalized patients.

Patients who tested positive for marijuana were more likely than those who didn’t have a history of using the drug to be admitted for a stroke. However, they had much lower odds of suffering from cardiac disease or heart failure. They had especially good survival rates when it came to various types of cancer, and their survival rates overall were better than non-users. Continue reading

One of the primary concerns of opponents to marijuana legalization was that it was going to fall into the hands of teenagers, whose brains are still developing and lack the full capacity for risk assessment. teen

Now, a new study analyzes a host of risky teen behavior, including marijuana consumption. Among the findings of the Monitoring the Future survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, younger teens are reporting that marijuana is more scarcely available to them now than it was nearly 25 years ago.

At this point, explanations for this trend are theoretical. What we do know, however, is that legalization of marijuana leads to greater regulation. It undercuts the black market, where there are no rules about who can buy marijuana or how much. With those black market outlets shrinking, it puts most of the supply in the hands of regulated dispensaries, which are overseen by the state. The state has very strict rules about who can purchase the drug, how much they can buy – and how old those buyers have to be.  Continue reading