This Week in Cannabis: After recent elections, and the highs that came with it, it seemed inevitable that there would be some bubble bursters looking for column space. Here are some of those mixed in with more good news for legalization supporters. First, the good news from the Nevada marijuana legalization efforts…
Nevada Marijuana Legalization 2015
It seems that the people of the Battle Born State are ahead of the curve, having collected almost double (200,000) the 102,000 signatures required to get a Nevada marijuana legalization measure on the next election’s ballot.
If approved, the measure will “hold the state legislature accountable for at least considering a legalization proposal in the 2015 session.” If they fail to consider or pass the measure, the question will automatically go before voters in November of 2016.
So, best possible case scenario is that the state legislature will consider the legalization proposal in a 2015 session, and at the worst voters get a crack at it in 2016.
More on Brains Going to Pot
What good would a couple of victories be without someone reporting about the losses? And so we come with exhibit A — the Washington Post’s article The brains of marijuana users are different, especially if they are young.
Taking a highline look at a recently released study, the article quotes the findings of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas in Dallas—more specifically the perceived negative effects on the orbitofrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for decision-making.
More interesting than the timing of the report’s release (right on the heels of the most recent election results) and funders (the National Institute of Drug Abuse) is the retort from the folks at Toke of the Town. They point out, “…there’s no link between the decrease in the gray matter and IQ, as no correlation was proven. The scientists point out that even their study doesn’t actually prove a correlation.”
Oh, the damage a simple headline can do.
The Colorado marijuana industry was dealt a slight blow when state reports revealed that September marijuana sales figures were down.
The Colorado Department of Revenue reported 7.2 million in taxes and fees from medical and recreational marijuana sales in Sept, which down slightly from August’s 7.7 million figure.
Local store owners seem unconcerned though, confident that the upcoming ski resort season will make up for any losses.
Race to the Top
Racial disparity in marijuana arrests has been fairly well documented. It was one of the main tenets D.C. touted when they moved to decriminalize earlier this year.
But in response to the recent announcement by New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, regarding marijuana arrest policy, the New York Times has questioned the premise of how the ticket-versus-arrest scenario fully addresses the racial disparity aspect. They also examine how the lack of transparency in the summons system ultimately impacts those issued a ticket.
As sentiments soften, and more states and cities move toward progressive marijuana policy changes hopefully this issue can find resolution.
Stirring the International Pot
Whether the U.S. should be flattered or concerned, the recent spate of recreational legalizations has prompted a response from the United Nations, or more specifically the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Reuters is reporting that a delegation will meet with the U.S. State Department and other U.N. agencies to “raise the problem” of the U.S. not being in line with international drug conventions.
It should be interesting to see what type of reception they receive considering President Obama’s self-determination stance with regards to a state’s marijuana policies. It will be even more interesting to see what effect—if any—U.N. saber rattling would have on marijuana legalization in this country.