Connect with us

Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture

Super majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana

Published

on

marijuana legalization, gay news, Washington Blade

Super majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana

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 by 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 buyer’s 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.”

Taxing retail cannabis influences buying behaviors: study

CORVALLIS, Ore. — 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.

N.M. guv task force issues adult-use pot recommendations

SANTA FE, N.M. — 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.

Medical cannabis laws associated with reduced opioid reliance

MIAMI — 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.

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, visit norml.org.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cannabis Culture

New Mexico guv signs marijuana legalization

Retail sales would begin by April 2022

Published

on

decriminalizing possession, gay news, Washington Blade

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham earlier this month signed two separate measures into law amending the state’s marijuana policies. The first measure (House Bill 2) legalizes and regulates marijuana possession, production, and sales for adults. The second measure (Senate Bill 2) facilitates the automatic review and expungement of the records of those convicted of low-level marijuana offenses.

Lawmakers approved both bills during a special legislative session demanded by Gov. Lujan Grisham, who had been a vocal proponent of the reforms.

NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf said: “This is a day to celebrate! New Mexico will greatly benefit from this new revenue stream and the creation of thousands of jobs. Most notably though, legalization will spare thousands of otherwise law-abiding residents from arrest and a criminal record, and the state’s new expungement law will help provide relief to many who are suffering from the stigma and other collateral consequences associated with a prior marijuana conviction.”

The adult-use measure (House Bill 2) permits those ages 21 and older to legally purchase up to two ounces of marijuana and/or up to 16 grams of cannabis extract from licensed retailers. It also permits adults to home-cultivate up to six mature plants for their own personal use. Retail sales would begin by April 2022.

The expungement measure (Senate Bill 2) stipulates that those with past convictions for offenses made legal under this act are eligible for automatic expungement of their records. Those currently incarcerated for such offenses are eligible for a dismissal of their sentence. It’s estimated that over 150,000 New Mexico residents are eligible for automatic expungement under this measure, according to the Department of Public Safety.

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Culture

Delaware cannabis activists take on corporate marijuana

Criticism from medical marijuana operators claimed that HB150 offers too many cultivation and retail licenses

Published

on

cannabis regulation, gay news, Washington Blade

As the country moves forward with sweeping changes in cannabis policy reform, locals in Delaware are tangling with corporate, multi-state medical marijuana permit holders to pass a bill for full legalization.

Adult-use activists and registered medical patients were stunned to hear opposing testimony from Delaware’s medical marijuana operators. Patients already deal with limited access and costly products. Now, many see the established industry voicing opposition as simply obstructing the progress of adult-use legislation. In response, some patients are now staging a boycott of the regulated dispensaries.

During the first committee hearing for HB150, Delaware’s adult-use bill, four of the state’s six currently licensed, multi-million dollar medical cannabis facilities offered negative testimony.

Zoë Patchell, executive director of Delaware CAN responded: “This market belongs to the long-time consumers, patients, and activists. We create the demand, we’ve been the ones driving the reform efforts, and we pay the prices at dispensaries. Cannabis is more than a market – cannabis is a community. These companies cannot reasonably fathom that we are going to purchase cannabis from any entity that has proven to put profits over patients. And now they seem willing to put consumers’ lives and freedom at risk just to hold out for an unfair advantage in the industry.”

These included publicly traded Columbia Care, “Fresh Delaware” aka CCRI, CannTech Research Inc., and the owner of EZY Venture aka “The Farm.”

They all went on record condemning HB150, and pushing a false narrative about oversupply. The core demand from the permit cartel was some protection for their private business interests with guaranteed adult-use licenses.
Criticism from the medical marijuana operators claimed that HB150 offers too many new cultivation and retail licenses, underlined by deep yet unfounded fears that the new competition would put their companies out of business.

Patchell noted, “We are not going to sit back while multi-state corporate entities, that already monopolize East Coast medical markets, work to undermine our social equity and micro-license provisions.”

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Culture

Virginia marijuana legalization takes effect July 1

Adult possession of cannabis up to one ounce without penalty

Published

on

Adam Ebbin, gay news, Washington Blade

Following legislative approval of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s amendments to Senate Bill 1406 and House Bill 2312, Virginia became the first southern state to legalize the possession and use of marijuana by adults.

Senate Bill 1406, introduced by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30) and Senate President Pro Tempore Senator Louise Lucas (D-18), and House Bill 2312, patroned by House Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46), establish a statutory timeline for the legalization of the commercial marijuana market in Virginia. The measure also permits for the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis by those ages 21 or older.

Last week, Gov. Northam recommended changes to the legislation to permit the personal use provisions of the law to take effect on July 1, 2021 rather than on January 1, 2024, the enactment date initially approved by lawmakers. A majority of the legislature concurred with that change.

Therefore, beginning July 1, 2021, adults will be permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household without penalty.
The timeline by which state regulators have to enact provisions licensing commercial cannabis production and sales remains July 1, 2024.

Commenting on final passage, NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as executive director of Virginia NORML, said: “This is an incredible victory for Virginia. Legalization will bring an end to the thousands of low-level marijuana infractions occurring annually in the Commonwealth — ending a discriminatory practice that far too often targets Virginians who are young, poor, and people of color.”

Majority Leader Charniele Herring added: “It is a huge day for equity in the Commonwealth. Virginia is now the first state in the South to legalize recreational marijuana use, and I am so proud to have been able to carry this monumental legislation.”

Sen. Ebbin said, “The passage of SB1406 caps off years of struggle to reform our broken and outdated marijuana laws and begins the deliberate steps to repeal the harms of the failed prohibition. I am thankful to NORML, the governor, and my colleagues for moving this 283 bill from inception to passage over the last four months, and look forward to continuing to partner with them to establish a regulated, equity focused, adult-use marketplace in the coming years.”

Newly released statewide polling data finds that 68 percent of registered voters in Virginia, including majorities of Democrats and Republicans, support legalizing marijuana for adults.

Additional amendments added by Gov. Northam will allow the sealing of records related to crimes involving the misdemeanor possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Those records will begin to be sealed starting on July 1, 2021. Separate legislation enacted in 2020 previously sealed records related to misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Records specific to the simple possession of marijuana and/or misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute records will be automatically expunged no later than 2025. Those with records specific to crimes involving the felony possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute may begin to petition the courts for an expounging of their records in 2025.

The bill also allows for the re-sentencing of individuals currently incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. The measure permits those individuals to have a hearing before the court that originally sentenced them, with legal counsel provided for indigent individuals. However, this portion of the bill must be reenacted in 2022.

The legislation also establishes an independent agency, the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, to oversee the establishment of regulations that will govern the adult-use market. This agency is set to convene this summer. The remainder of the 300-page bill, which details the regulatory and market structure and social equity provisions, is subject to a second review and vote by the Assembly next year.

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular