A recent ad campaign, titled "Don't be a Lab Rat" has been launched in Colorado, aimed at persuading teens against using marijuana. As part of the $2 million dollar campaign, human sized "rat cages" were commissioned to be placed near teen hangouts, including the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Additional funding was spent creating a series of movie trailers and YouTube videos to instill mixed messages of fear mongering. Not only do many consider this a waste of tax-payer money, recent studies show marijuana usage among teens has dropped.
Between 2009 and 2014, teen "30-day" marijuana use has dropped from 25% to 20%, according to findings in the Healthy Kids Colorado study just released by officials at the Department of Public Health and Environment.
According to Colorado's recent tax report, marijuana sales in retail stores have reported over $25 million in sales. This comes with a 14% increase since May, when recreational sales were reported at $22 million.
Medical cannabis sales have slipped several times this year as the recreational industry gains steam. But dispensaries still racked up $194 million in revenue through the first six months of the year. The state has pulled in roughly $30 million from taxes, licenses and fees tied to medical and recreational marijuana in 2014.
Illinois residents are now being permitted to apply online for medical marijuana permits after Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill to initiate the pilot program in January 2014. While the implementation has been delayed for quite some time, it's great to see the state taking initiative on the issue. However don't get your hopes up quite yet, as the application process is moving forward at snail's pace.
To prevent the newly-formed state medical marijuana agency from being flooded, patients will have to stagger their submissions. If you've got a last name starting with the letters A through L, the submission period runs from Sept. 2 to Oct. 31. Remaining patients can submit their applications from November 1 through December 31.
Applicants may enroll here.
The ballot initiative, submitted by the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, was approved by the D.C. Board of Elections and garnered enough signatures to qualify to be on the November general election ballot. Ballot Initiative 71 proposes allowing adults over the age of 21 to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana, as well as give up to one ounce to other adults. Additionally, the ballot initiative allows for the home cultivation of up to three marijuana plants.
The argument that marijuana is poised to become Big — as in Big Tobacco — begins more than a hundred years ago, argues Dr. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Changes in curing made tobacco easier to inhale, additives made it more addictive, and machines began to churn out inexpensive, readily available cigarettes, she says. With these “innovations” and lots of market savvy ads, tobacco use and addiction rose dramatically.
“Is there anything to prevent innovative products with marijuana that will do the exact same thing?” asked Levy, who runs the adolescent substance abuse program at Children’s.
Original article: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/08/big-marijuana-medical-massachusetts
As voters and lawmakers in more states decide to legalize marijuana, policy makers will have to answer a fresh and difficult question: How should governments regulate the production and sale of the drug?
Beyond keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors, a good regulatory system has to limit the increase in drug abuse that is likely to accompany lower prices and greater availability after legalization. It should protect consumers from both dangerous and counterfeit products, reducing the physical risk from a psychoactive substance. And a well-regulated system should undermine and eventually eliminate the black market for marijuana, which has done great damage to society.
Over the weekend, The New York Times made waves when their Editorial Board released their six-part series calling for the end of cannabis prohibition. Running from July 26 to August 5, the series covers their position on cannabis, states’ rights, the high amount of cannabis arrests, the history of the federal government’s cannabis ban, scientific health studies, track records, and regulation.
Shortly after the debut of this editorial series, the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy issued a formal response to The New York Times’ call for the federal legalization of cannabis. And shortly afterthat, The Washington Post laced up their gloves and entered the ring to criticize the White House’s rebuttal to the NYT piece.