A recent poll found that fifty-five percent of American adults think that the laws regulating the legal cannabis markets in some states are successful, or that they are at least “more of a success than a failure.”
The survey, taken by YouGov on April 20 of this year, asked 27,328 Americans living in the states that have already enacted laws to legalize marijuana, “Do you think the legislation has been a success or a failure?”
The poll provided 5 response options to participants:
More of a success than a failure
More of a failure than a success
Combining to account for the majority, thirty-six percent of poll participants say the laws regulating the legal cannabis markets in eleven of the states are “more of a success than a failure” and nineteen percent replied that they are a total success.
Believing the opposite, thirteen percent of respondents stated that recreational legalization laws have been “more of a failure than a success.” Only six percent view the legislation as a complete failure. Unsure of the effectiveness of the laws, twenty-six percent of people replied that they “don’t know.”
YouGov sorted the survey results according to:
Significant imbalances in responses among the geographical regions, gender, age, and income levels of poll participants were not observed.
Disparity Among Political Parties
The only category that produced a notable difference among respondents was political party affiliation. Not surprisingly, Democrats and Independents were more likely to reply that the legislation was a “success only” or “more of a success than a failure” than their Republican counterparts.
Sixty-seven percent of Democrats and fifty-four percent of Independents attested that regulated markets were operating within one of the two positive poll response choices. Forty-one percent of poll participants that described themselves as Republican also categorized the legislation as successful.
Independents (21 percent) were more likely than Democrats (10 percent) to consider the law to be a complete failure or “more of a failure than a success.” Thirty-four percent of Republicans agreed that the legislation is unsuccessful.
National Shift Toward Support
Another YouGov poll administered on the same day found that sixty-two percent of Americans believe that the use of cannabis will be legal in every one of the United States within the next decade and that fifty percent of voters believe that “recreational marijuana should be legalized.”
In-line with the results of this recent poll from YouGov, the opinion of the majority of Americans has been steadily shifting in support of legalization for many years now. A poll released by Gallup last year revealed that an even greater percentage of voters (66 percent) are now in favor of a regulated recreational cannabis market. That number increased from fifty-eight percent, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.
Polls from the last several years show that most voters in states like Maryland, Connecticut, and Wisconsin support the recreational legalization of marijuana. Some large cities in states where the plant has not yet been legalized for recreational use, like New Orleans, LA, and Dallas, TX, have still supported the trend by choosing to decriminalize personal possession.
Furthering the mystery of the cannabis-induced munchies, adults with safe, reliable access to legal recreational-cannabis spend more money on cookies, ice cream, and chips than their counterparts, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University reviewed high-calorie-food sales-data from states that have legalized cannabis, and a correlation was observed.
The retail-data analysis covered more than 2,000 counties over a period of a decade, from 2006 to 2016. Only states that could provide at least 18 months of sales-data for the period after a legalization amendment was enacted were included in the data review. Purchase trends from grocery, convenience, drug, and mass distribution stores were included in the analysis.
Michele Baggio, assistant professor of economics at the University of Connecticut, partnered with Alberto Chong, a professor at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, to conduct the data review. Most of the data was contributed by the Nielsen Retail Scanner database.
The Data Review
Immediately following legalization, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington reported an increase in the purchase of junk foods, specifically those of cookies, ice cream, and chips, according to the study.
Chip purchases increased by 5.3 percent. Cookie sales grew by 4.1 percent, and a 3.1 percent increase was observed in the sale of ice cream. While cookie sales maintained steady growth, there was a slight dip in ice cream and chip sales for a short time after legalization. Ultimately, an increase was observed overall.
“The increase in sales starts at the time the legislation becomes effective,” according to the study published in the Social Science Research Network.
Legalization amendments were approved by voters in Colorado and Washington state in 2012. The legal retail market in Colorado was first to explode, while the Washington market took a little longer to kick off. In 2015, Oregon joined the ranks of Colorado and Washington in the legalization of recreational cannabis.
“These might seem like small numbers, but they’re statistically significant and economically significant as well,” said Baggio.
The brands which saw the most increase in product sales were not reported in the study.
Originally intending to study the effect of legal cannabis on obesity rates, Baggio and Chong focused only on sales trends this time instead. Baggio said he plans to continue searching for links between legalization and obesity as well as other trends correlating with cannabis policy reform.
“I’m just interested in whether there are unintended consequences to the policy,” he said.
Why does cannabis sometimes stimulate a hunger response?
While the source of cannabis-induced munchies remains mostly a mystery, a 2014 study published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that it begins with an enhanced sense of smell.
According to the study, the sensitivity of receptors in the olfactory bulb of rats and humans increases with the administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prevalent psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. This increased sensitivity to certain smells may translate into an increased craving for certain foods.
While THC is known to stimulate a hunger response, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is known to illicit the opposite response. Cannabis strains high in THCV are advertised as the go-to phenotypes for those trying to lose weight or at least avoid the munchies.
The Garden State is overwhelmingly in support of legalizing marijuana.
New Jersey voters are on board with ending cannabis prohibition by a margin of 62 percent to 33 percent, a new poll shows. That includes strong majorities of Democrats, independents, men, women, whites, nonwhites and every age group except those older than 65.
A whopping 90 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 support cannabis legalization.
A separate question in the new Quinnipiac University survey, released on Wednesday, finds that voters support “erasing criminal records for marijuana possession,” 63 percent to 27 percent.
And when it comes to allowing legal marijuana sales in one’s own community, voters are comfortable with that to the tune of 50 percent to 45 percent.
Marijuana regulators in Washington State will entertain sweeping changes to how marijuana is tested, processed, packaged and sold in one of the U.S.’s oldest recreational marijuana markets, officials announced late Wednesday.
Recreational cannabis has been sold in regulated retail outlets in Washington since 2014. Consumers there pay one of the country’s highest tax burdens, generating nearly $400 million in revenue through the first three years of legalization, as the Stranger reported in late 2017.
But medical marijuana patients have long complained about limited product availability. And a recent string of testing labs suspended for erratic results that allowed unsafe product to reach retail shelves has shaken confidence in product safety.
“Requests from the industry have…been received regarding testing requirements, and changes in testing requirements in other states have prompted further review of WSLCB rules for potential adjustment,” the new notice from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board said. “Additionally, the WSLCB has heard from the medical marijuana patient community that they would like to see additional product types or levels of potency that are not currently supported by the regulatory structure.”
“For these reasons, changes to products, serving amounts in packaging, and other related requirements may be considered,” the regulators announced Wednesday.
Wednesday evening’s notice is the initial notification of potential rulemaking, and “no rule language is offered at this stage of the process.”
Members of the public can submit comments or proposals until October 24. No proposed rules changes are expected to be filed until “on or after October 31,” the notice said.
“Following the comment period, the agency will send out and publish the proposed rules, establish a comment period on the proposed rules, and hold a public hearing before the rules are adopted,” according to the agency.
Until then, the agency “will consider the following topics for potential rulemaking changes,” according to Wednesday’s notice:
Lot and batch sizes;
Fields of testing and pass/fail level adjustments;
Potency testing requirements;
Pesticide testing requirements for all cannabis products;
Heavy metals testing requirements;
Sample deduction requirements;
General testing rule adjustments;
Product, THC serving limits, and packaging requirements; and
“Other related rule changes that may be necessary or advisable,” according to the notice.
Whatever “further adjustments” the agency will propose are meant to “increase efficiencies in testing” and “increase the availability of compliant [cannabis] products,” the notice said.
Anyone interested in submitting comments or proposed rules can contact Joanna Eide, Policy and Rules Coordinator, at [email protected].
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Drug testing policies for federal employees have gone largely unchanged over the past 30 years—and that’s created a conflict for individuals who chose to use marijuana in states that have legalized.
A bill introduced by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) last month aims to resolve that conflict, though. In an effort to protect prospective federal job applicants and workers, the legislation would effectively prohibit employment discrimination against cannabis consumers living in legal states.
One of the primary goals of the legislation is to protect veterans, who comprise about one-third of the federal workforce.
“I think it’s an issue of fairness, and it’s always been, for me, an issue also of compassion,” Crist said at roundtable event about the bill on Wednesday, which involved veterans and members of Florida’s cannabis industry.
“Medical marijuana is an issue of compassion, and in the veterans’ community, access is even more important as more and more veterans are turning to cannabis to address chronic pain and PTSD,” Crist said. “At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of veterans; however, private cannabis use even in states that have legalized medical marijuana is prohibited in these positions.”
Veterans are more likely than the general population to use cannabis as a treatment option for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain.
“We appreciate your bipartisan leadership on this issue because it is so essential,” Veterans Cannabis Coalition founder Eric Goepel wrote in a letter of support for the legislation. “Self-care and gainful employment are critical components of life-long success for not just veterans but all Americans.”
“For the federal government to essentially punish citizens, who are under the protection of their state laws, for exercising their right to care for themselves is an affront to personal liberty.”
Talked medical marijuana with Pinellas veterans – a life-changing treatment for many. That’s why I’m pushing a bill to end federal hiring discrimination for those that depend on it! pic.twitter.com/CwtfaCYmq7
Cosponsoring the new bill with Crist is Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA).
“American workers are reaping the benefits of our growing economy, but some workers are finding themselves caught between federal and state laws governing medical marijuana use,” Ferguson said in a press release. “No one should face unemployment for choosing to pursue private legal medical treatment.”
As the law currently works, veterans and others who seek federal employment can be turned away if they test positive for marijuana metabolites. That’s left many with an uncomfortable choice: stop using marijuana even if it’s proven therapeutic or continuing using and miss out on potential job opportunities.
“The time for the federal government to end the practice of arbitrarily discriminating against current and potential workers for marijuana consumption is now,” NORML political director Justin Strekal said in a press release. “With 47 states having reformed their cannabis laws to be in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act, individuals acting in compliance with state law should not be denied the opportunity to serve their country as public servants.”
Though exact numbers are hard to come by, earlier reports show that employers in the federal government are at least aware of the problem. In 2014, former FBI director James Comey publicly voiced concerns that the agency’s drug testing policy could complicate recruitment efforts, for example.
“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said at the time.
Crist’s Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act would not take away an employer’s right to issue probable cause drug tests when a worker is suspected of on-the-job impairment. It also makes an exemption for “individuals occupying or seeking a position requiring a top-secret clearance.”
Several states have either passed or attempted to pass laws that similarly prevent employment discrimination against marijuana users in legal states, according to NORML. That list includes states like California, Wisconsin, Florida and New Jersey.
But with cannabis still strictly banned under federal law, Crist’s bill seeks to stop employment discrimination at executive branch agencies, getting ahead of the curve to ensure that legal consumers aren’t forced to choose between treatment and gainful employment.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below: