When Will Marijuana Finally Be Legalized Nationwide? Researchers Have A Forecast

When Will Marijuana Finally Be Legalized Nationwide? Researchers Have A Forecast

There’s been plenty of speculation attempting to predict when the successful state-level marijuana legalization movement will translate into federal action. But in general, all this prognostication has been pretty unscientific… until now.

When will marijuana finally be fully legalized nationwide?

Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the Santa Fe Institute recently compiled a data set based on the trajectories of 170 other policies that started at the state level and eventually became federal law—and then used predictive models to extrapolate that data to the cannabis question.

There were a few different ways the team thought they might be able to predict the outcomes of various policies—including adult-use marijuana legalization and “stand your ground” laws—but the one that showed the most promise was a “simple diffusion model, based on classic logistic growth.”

That form of analysis takes into consideration the “cumulative number of state-level adoptions of a policy,” which the researchers found to be “reasonably predictive of when a policy becomes national.”

The methodology behind the analysis is a bit tricky. You can read all about it the paper publish this week, but for simplicity’s sake, here’s what the team predicted when it comes to cannabis reform:

If you’re looking at the timing of state-level marijuana laws based on the first five states to legalize for adult-use, then the logistic growth analysis indicates that full cannabis legalization will most likely be made federal law in 2021.

Based on the timing of the first nine states to fully legalize, however, the analysis gets pushed back a bit, forecasting federal legalization in 2023.

Both models showed a strong likelihood of federal marijuana legalization “by the end of 2022,” though. The probability that it would happen after 2028 is lower than 30 percent.

In other words, the idea that cannabis won’t be legalized within the next 10 years is pretty far-fetched, based on the analysis.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

When Will Marijuana Finally Be Legalized Nationwide? Researchers Have A Forecast

Sessions: States Can Make ‘Own Decision’ About Marijuana, But Remain At Risk

Sessions: States Can Make ‘Own Decision’ About Marijuana, But Remain At Risk

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing questions from lawmakers about marijuana for his second day in a row of appearances on Capitol Hill, but he remains unwilling to give states a signal that they will be allowed to implement legalization without federal interference.

“Let’s be frank. What they’d like is a statement that they’ve been provided a safe harbor. I don’t believe I can give that,” he said. “They’ll just have to look and make their own decision about how they conduct a marijuana enterprise.”

Sessions was responding to a question from Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) during a Thrusday hearing of the House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

“The state of Washington and other states have either eliminated or virtually eliminated marijuana restrictions, some for medicine only and some for so-called recreational use,” Sessions said. “It remains a violation of federal law. That’s not off the books. The federal law is still enforceable throughout the country and I have felt it not appropriate for me to somehow give a safe harbor or protection to areas around the country where it still remains a violation of federal law.”

The attorney general made a point of saying he doesn’t think cannabis use is without harm.

“My view is that marijuana is not a healthy substance,” he said. “Whenever we talk about legalization and other such issues we need to make clear that we are not in any way suggesting that the consumption of marijuana is not harmful.”

But Sessions also noted that the Department of Justice was mostly focused on other drugs, such as fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, as well as unlawful use of prescription medications, which he said lead to “addiction and death.”

But federal prosecutors are still free to enforce marijuana prohibition, he pointed out.

“United States attorneys in your home state and every state have been instructed to use their financial resources and capabilities and their judgement, after meeting with local law enforcement and local leaders, to pursue the case they think are important and worthy, and I can’t exclude marijuana from that,” Sessions said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to do so.”

On Wednesday, during an appearance before a Senate committee, Sessions acknowledged that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana” and said that the Department of Justice would soon take steps to license more entities to legally grow marijuana for research.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Sessions: States Can Make ‘Own Decision’ About Marijuana, But Remain At Risk

Marijuana Poll: Military Veterans Strongly Support Legal Access

Marijuana Poll: Military Veterans Strongly Support Legal Access

The vast majority of U.S. military veterans want to have the option to use medical marijuana without being treated as a criminal for it, a new poll finds.

Eighty-one percent of veterans said they “want to have cannabis as a federally-legal treatment,” according to the national survey released on Thursday.

But under current U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs policy, those who want access to medical cannabis can’t get recommendations from their government doctors and must instead seek help from outside physicians.

Nonetheless, the new survey commissioned by the American Legion, which represents more than 2.4 million military veterans, found that one in five veterans already uses medical cannabis to alleviate a medical or physical condition.

“The majority of veterans surveyed that are using cannabis are over the age of 60,” the group’s polling firm wrote in a memo.

The Legion has been pressuring the federal government to evolve on medical cannabis over the course of the past year.

https://www.facebook.com/americanlegionhq/videos/1612354672148400

Video of the American Legion’s press conference with members of Congress.

Most recently, in August, it adopted a resolution calling on VA to let its doctors write medical marijuana recommendations. “More than half the states in the union have passed medical marijuana laws to date,” the group’s resolution reads. “The American Legion urge the United States government to permit VA medical providers to be able to discuss with veterans the use of marijuana for medical purposes and recommend it in those states where medical marijuana laws exist.”

The Legion and other medical cannabis advocates have also called for rescheduling and pressed VA to stop blocking federally-approved researchers from recruiting veterans for research on medical cannabis.

One such study on marijuana’s effects on PTSD has been prevented from reaching veterans at the Phoenix, Arizona VA hospital.

“This study needs 50 more participants and the Phoenix VA is in the best possible position to assist by simply allowing principle investigators to brief [VA] medical staff on the progress of the study, and by allowing clinicians to reveal the existence of the study to potential participants,” the Legion wrote to VA Secretary David Shulkin last month. “Your immediate attention in this important matter is greatly appreciated. We ask for your direct involvement to ensure this critical research is fully enabled.”

The group’s survey found that 92 percent of veterans support expanding medical marijuana research.

Several members of Congress spoke during a press conference at which the Legion released the results of its poll.

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) called the Legion’s advocacy on the issue “very significant” and said it would help convince more lawmakers to support policy change.

Gaetz also took the opportunity to “condemn in the strongest possible terms the outrageous” remarks that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made this week comparing the spread of medical cannabis laws to the overprescription of opioids.

“It is shortsighted, it is inaccurate and it is indefensible to suggest that the proliferation of medical cannabis that is saving lives and improving the quality of life for people is somehow analogous to the opioid crisis.”

Chris Christie Compares Medical Marijuana To Opioids Crisis

Gaetz boldly predicted that the House Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, will hold a hearing on expanding marijuana research by the end of the year.

A group of ten House Democrats last week wrote a letter urging the VA to expand medical cannabis research.

The Legion survey was conducted from October 8-10 and included 1,360 respondents with 802 self-identifying as a veteran or a caregiver of veterans. The margin of error is +/- 3.43% at a 95% confidence level.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Marijuana Poll: Military Veterans Strongly Support Legal Access

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