This Week’s Marijuana News Round-Up: Marijuana Lifer Paul Free’s Sentence Reduced to 30 Years; The Growing Movement for Marijuana Amnesty; The DEA Bursts the CBD Bubble; How CO and WA Dispelled the Myth That Recreational Marijuana Results in Teen Drug Addicts; Mexican Attitudes Towards Marijuana Mellowing; Another Study Shows States with Medical Marijuana Laws Have Lower Traffic Fatality Rates; and more.
Medical/Health Marijuana News
Marijuana Laws Have Lower Traffic Fatality Rates — States with medical-marijuana laws have fewer traffic fatalities than those without, especially among younger drivers, a new study has found. You would think crash rates might be higher, supposing that more drivers are, too — especially around midnight, when a run to a 7-Eleven becomes necessary. But, no. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found an 11 percent reduction in traffic fatalities on average when examining places that have enacted medical-marijuana laws — 23 states and the District of Columbia. The presence of medical-marijuana dispensaries also correlated with fewer traffic fatalities, the study found.
Legal/Political Marijuana News
The DEA Bursts the CBD Bubble — After hovering on the sidelines for several years while CBD ecommerce traversed state lines, America’s federal drug police have announced new rules that may portend a crackdown on CBD oil products — be they single molecule formulations or whole plant extracts derived from low-resin industrial hemp or high-resin cannabis. Many CBD hemp oil entrepreneurs seemed caught off guard. Apparently they believed the fantasy that cannabidiol was legal in all fifty states, a misperception promoted by numerous online businesses.
Marijuana Lifer Paul Free’s Sentence Reduced to 30 Years — President Obama commuted the sentence of Paul Free, who has served over 22 years of a Life Without Parole sentence for a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy offense, to 30 years.
The Growing Movement for Marijuana Amnesty — With an estimated $7 billion in sales in 2016 and potentially exponential growth due to recent ballot initiatives on recreational use, the legal marijuana industry has a lot of businesses seeing green. But as is so often the case in this country, there’s a darker side to this story and it splinters on the lines of race. For decades, the war on drugs has disproportionately targeted black and brown users for arrest and incarceration, and legalization efforts have until recently not addressed what happens to people who have been put in prison for possessing a substance that voters have since opted to make legal.
How CO and WA Dispelled the Myth That Recreational Marijuana Results in Teen Drug Addicts — Teens living in Colorado and Washington are using less marijuana now than they did when it was illegal, according to federal data. It seems while marijuana prohibitionists cannot help but lean on old-school propaganda tactics when trying to combat the progress of the marijuana movement, the latest findings from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health provides additional evidence suggesting that all of the noise about legal marijuana turning children into smokers is simply talk.
International Marijuana News
Mexican Attitudes Towards Marijuana Mellowing — IN NOVEMBER 57% of Californians voted to legalise the growing and use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Americans in seven other states and Washington, DC, are now, or soon expect to be, free to puff away at leisure, but liberalisation in the most populous border state will be felt acutely down south. Mexico has just marked the tenth anniversary of a war on drugs. It has spent millions of dollars on eradicating cannabis. Now it will abut a huge regulated market for the stuff—and one where 30% of the population is Mexican or Mexican-American. Changes in the United States may be prompting a rethink in Mexico, too—among ordinary people, policymakers and purveyors of pot alike.
Marijuana News State by State
Arizona: Federal Law Does Not Trump medical Marijuana Act — Local officials cannot use federal laws outlawing marijuana to refuse to provide necessary zoning for dispensaries, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. In their unanimous decision, the judges acknowledged the federal Controlled Substances Act makes the possession and sale of marijuana a felony. And they noted that the zoning sought by White Mountain Health Center was specifically to be able sell the drug from a shop in an unincorporated area of Sun City. But Judge Donn Kessler said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery had no legal basis to claim that federal law trumps the 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. And he also rejected Montgomery’s contention that having county officials issue the required zoning would mean they were aiding and abetting in the violation of federal law.
Maine Marijuana Ballot Recall Cancelled, Recreational Use Allowed in a Matter of Weeks — Adults in Maine will likely be able to legally grow, possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes in a matter of weeks after anti-pot activists agreed to accept the results of a closely contested ballot measure that narrowly passed last month, the secretary of state’s office said Monday. An opposition group’s decision to abandon calls for a recount over the weekend means Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will soon have to certify the results of Question 1, a recreational marijuana ballot measure approved by voters on Nov 8. by a margin of just over 4,000 votes.