Eighty-five percent of Americans believe that marijuana “should be legalized for medical use,” and 57 percent of respondents endorse regulating it for anyone over the age of 21, according to national survey data compiled Harris Insight & Analytics.
A fiscal report issued by the state’s Auditor General estimates that taxing Pennsylvania’s existing retail cannabis market would yield $581 million in new annual revenue. “It is time for Pennsylvania to stop imagining the benefits of marijuana and realize them,” it concludes.
Oklahoma’s Attorney General warns that members of the state Board of Health “acted in excess of their statutory authority” when they amended State Question 788 – the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis access law. He concluded, “It is therefore my judgement that the Board reconvene to reconsider the rules … in a manner consistent with the advice of this letter.”
A state-commissioned study released today by the New York Department of Health recommends replacing cannabis criminalization with a policy of adult use legalization. It concludes, “A regulated marijuana program enjoys broad support and would have significant health, social justice, and economic benefits.”
The enactment of medical cannabis access laws is associated with significant reductions in prescription opioid use among Medicaid enrollees, according to just-published data in the journal Addiction. Authors reported, “For Schedule III opioid prescriptions, medical cannabis legalization was associated with a 29.6 percent reduction in number of prescriptions, 29.9 percent reduction in dosage, and 28.8 percent reduction in related Medicaid spending.”
Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed legislation permitting those with past marijuana convictions to have their records expunged. “If an act has been decriminalized since a person was charged and paid their price for it, that person shouldn’t have to keep paying the price in the form of being denied jobs and other opportunities because of their criminal record,” bill sponsor Sen. Harold Metts said in a statement.
Legislation to significantly expand patients’ access to medical cannabis will become law later this fall following a decision today by Maine lawmakers to override the Governor’s veto.
Proponents of a statewide ballot initiative to legalize the adult use of marijuana in North Dakota turned in nearly 19,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office today in an effort to place the measure before voters this November. State officials must certify 13,452 signatures in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot.
Members of the Canadian House and Senate have reconciled and given final approval to C-45, sweeping legislation amending the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act so that those over the age of 18 may legally possess, purchase, and grow personal use quantities of cannabis.