Cannabis Education: The Weekly News Round-Up
This week we’re featuring articles about how cannabis impacts rural areas, how many people have access to cannabis in the US, and what researchers need when they study cannabis. What would you like to learn about cannabis? Share your favorite articles in the comments or on our Facebook page.
The sale of legal recreational cannabis has provided an economic boost to multiple struggling or uninhabited rural communities throughout the United States, particularly in areas that have been hard-hit by the collapse of more conventional industries.
One example is the small southeastern village of Trinidad (pop. 9,078). Following the departure of two major oil and gas companies, the town faced an uncertain economic future. Then, it allowed for the opening of multiple recreational cannabis shops.
Over the course of the next several years, the town’s economy rebounded. It has since ceased hemorrhaging residents and has managed to invest $1.5 million in new infrastructure and debt payment.
As manufacturing jobs dwindle and minimum wage workers fight for a living wage, the cannabis industry offers an opportunity for growth to people and communities that desperately need it.
Cannabis alone can’t solve the country’s economic problems, but it does create jobs and tax revenue. Revitalizing struggling communities is a huge step in the right direction.
Thus, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, and South Dakota remain as the only states that maintain absolute prohibition with arrest and criminal record for any person caught with any form of cannabis used for any purpose.
Add it all up and you come to this not insignificant fact: That’s just a shade over 3 percent of the US adult population.
Russ Belville gives us a thorough breakdown of how many people in the US are still living under prohibition. Despite the incredible progress cannabis has made, I will still surprised to learn that over 62% of adults in the US have access to medical marijuana.
While many of those states are still building functional medical marijuana programs, it’s obvious that the tide is turning. People would rather deal with the regulatory chaos inherent in ending a century of prohibition than accept the status quo.
Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse. And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it. Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.
President Obama has taken a largely hands-off approach to cannabis during his time in office. However, he’s also pardoned over 1,000 federal inmates, many of whom were serving time for non-violent drug offenses.
While his statement is hardly a ringing endorsement of legalization, it does acknowledge that prohibition isn’t working.
Maybe you don’t care about exotic cannabinoids and terpenes. Maybe you just want to get high. That’s cool, but you still care at least a bit about pesticides, don’t you? What about solvents, chemicals, and microbiological impurities?
Prop. 64 requires testing for all those things. Seriously. Check out Sec. 26101.
California’s new adult-use law, if as thorough in practice as it sounds on paper, will give consumers more information about their cannabis than any state law in the country. It could help restore California to the cutting edge of cannabis culture by inspiring new topics of conversation and innovation.
Cannabis testing allows companies to be transparent and consumers to be informed. Medicine Box thinks it’s hugely important to know what’s in your products so you can make informed decisions about your cannabis use.
California’s Prop. 64 mandates comprehensive testing by a third-party lab and that is great news for cannabis consumers. Hopefully that will become the industry standard as legalization progresses.
The federal government strictly limits cannabis researchers, requiring them to conduct all studies using material from a single approved cultivator. But with a maximum potency of roughly 10-percent THC — and zero availability of concentrates or refined cannabinoids — that material bears little resemblance to the cannabis products available for purchase in medical and adult use states. Researchers say this hinders their ability to produce meaningful data, and they’re asking for access to a wider array of higher quality cannabis products.
We need quality research into cannabis so we can better identify its medical potential. The federal government currently places heavy restrictions on anyone attempting to study cannabis, discouraging many researchers from even attempting to get access.
Providing cannabis that resembles what patients and consumers actually use would be welcome progress.
It’s been a big year for cannabis science. A plethora of studies have been released demonstrating its wide medical properties. Although it was a challenge, we’ve narrowed these down to the top 10, with two honorable mentions. These include what we believe to be the most important in their implications.
Despite the difficulties of researching cannabis, there were several studies conducted in 2016. The Joint Blog compiled a list of 10 of the most interesting, including studies on how cannabis effects cancer, pregnancy, and autism.
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