Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article called The Impact of Marijuana Policies on Youth: Clinical, Research, and Legal Update. While the report failed to recognize the benefits of regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol, it did support decriminalizing marijuana because of the harms caused by arrests and their aftermath.
We put together this handy guide to highlight the most important points. Please share it with anyone who still thinks arresting and prosecuting marijuana consumers is good for young people.
The AAP also recently published a study suggesting that random drug testing and zero tolerance policies in schools can actually harm teens.
A new poll released by the Castleton Polling Institute shows that a majority of Vermont residents want to make marijuana legal and regulated for adults.
Respondents in the recent poll were asked: “Two states — Washington and Colorado — have legalized and regulated marijuana for recreational use. Do you support or oppose passing a similar law in Vermont to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use?”
Of those surveyed, 54 percent supported the idea with 40 percent opposed. Six percent had no opinion.
Support was particularly strong among young people with 70 percent of respondents age 18-44 (or 161 people) in favor. The results were about opposite for those 65 and older, who opposed legalization 61 percent to 30 percent.
“Clearly, the opposition remains most substantial among voters who are 65-plus and Republicans,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project. “I guess some people remain nostalgic for a simpler time when you could ‘Just Say No’ and be done with the issue, but any realistic person realizes that those days are long gone — that marijuana is here to stay whether we like it or not, and we have to figure out how best to deal with it.”
Vermont lawmakers are currently considering a bill which would tax and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol.
More than half of Americans want to make marijuana legal, according to the highly regarded General Social Survey.
The Washington Post reports:
In interviews conducted between March and October of last year — when the legal marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington were ramping up — researchers asked 1,687 respondents the following question: “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?”
Fifty-two percent said pot should be legalized, 42 percent opposed it, and another 7 percent were undecided. Support is up 9 percentage points from 2012, the last time the survey was conducted.
The survey reiterates similar results in other major national polls, including Pew and Gallup.
The strong numbers in the latest General Social Survey indicate that the issue isn’t losing salience with the public. At the national level, support for legal marijuana remains robust — and doesn’t show signs of wavering any time soon.
Echoing results from last September, a new poll shows that an even greater percentage of Coloradans are happy with their marijuana laws.
From Denver Post:
More than 13 months after recreational pot sales first started in Colorado, residents of the state still support marijuana legalization by a definitive margin, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday.
When asked, “Do you still support or oppose this law?” 58 percent of respondents said they support the pot-legalizing Amendment 64 while 38 percent said they oppose it. Men support legalization (63 percent) more than women (53 percent). And among the 18-34 age demographic, of course, there was more support of legal pot (82 percent) than among voters 55 and older (50 percent against).
The new numbers show a certain kind of progress for legal marijuana in Colorado. In the 2012 election, Amendment 64 passed 54.8 percent to 45.1 percent, and a December 2014 poll by The Denver Post found that more than 90 percent of the respondents who voted in the 2012 election said they would vote the same way today.
A study recently published in Scientific Reports compared the risk of death associated with a number of drugs, including marijuana. The results added even more evidence proving that marijuana is far safer than legal alcohol.
The Washington Post reports:
Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly-used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.
And all the way at the bottom of the list? Weed — roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors, who ran calculations that compared lethal doses of a given substance with the amount that a typical person uses. Marijuana is also the only drug studied that posed low mortality risk to its users.
These findings reinforce drug safety rankings developed 10 years ago under a slightly different methodology. So in that respect, the study is more of a reaffirmation of previous findings than anything else. But given the current national and international debates over the legal status of marijuana and the risks associated with its use, the study arrives at a good time.
Given the relative risks associated with marijuana and alcohol, the authors recommend “risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs.” And they say that when it comes to marijuana, the low amounts of risk associated with the drug “suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach.”
In other words, individuals and organizations up in arms over marijuana legalization could have a greater impact on the health and well-being of this country by shifting their attention to alcohol and cigarettes. It takes extraordinary chutzpah to rail against the dangers of marijuana use by day and then go home to unwind with a glass of far more lethal stuff in the evening.