In today’s marijuana health news, learn more about how living in a U.S. state where marijuana is allowed for recreational use does not appear to enhance the risk of drug or alcohol abuse, a new twin study concludes. Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers adopted legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana sales and permit cannabis firms to take some tax deductions. Lastly, in Gulfport, a new medicinal cannabis clinic is now operational and accepting new patients.
Study Shows that Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Increase Drug, Alcohol Abuse
Original Source: Legalizing Marijuana Doesn’t Raise Drug, Alcohol Abuse: Study
A twin study found that the typical adult’s risk of “reefer madness” does not rise in states where recreational marijuana is permitted.
Researchers showed that adults in “legal” states are no more likely to acquire a substance misuse issue than their twins in states where marijuana is still illegal.
According to a new Psychological Medicine paper, they aren’t more likely to break the law, have mental health issues, relationships, work, finances, friendships, or community status.
Lead researcher Stephanie Zellers, a University of Helsinki postdoctoral researcher, stated, “We found primarily a lot of nothing, which I think is personally interesting.” I think this is an example where not discovering much is actually more intriguing than finding a lot.
Zellers and her team evaluated data from almost 4,000 twins in long-term studies at the University of Minnesota and University of Colorado.
They detected 240 twin pairs with one twin living in a state with legal cannabis and the other in a state without it. The researchers stated 21 U.S. states have authorized recreational cannabis.
Zellers, a PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder, said twin studies are valuable because identical twins share DNA and upbringing.
Zellers remarked, “There’s many of reasons why one person behaves one way or why people of one state behave one way compared to another.” “But with twins, we were able to rule out so many of those alternatives—not all of them.”
As expected, adult twins in legal states were more likely to smoke pot than their siblings in states where it’s illegal.
Zellers called that evident. People will use drugs more if they can legally obtain them.
Zellers noted that lawful twins were marginally less prone to have a drinking problem. The “substitution effect”—using marijuana instead of alcohol to relax—may explain that.
Zellers also found that twins in states with legal marijuana were less likely to “drink in scenarios that could be physically harmful,” such as drinking and driving.
Zellers remarked, “You’re mixing drinking with something physically risky.” “Interestingly, lawful states’ residents do that less.”
Marijuana is often called a “gateway” drug, but the researchers found no evidence of that.
Zellers explained, “We asked in the last 12 months have you tried or used heroin, prescription opiates, cocaine, methamphetamine, hallucinogens—kind of the whole 11 or 12 categories of illicit drugs.” “No difference there.” In states with legal cannabis, people aren’t necessarily switching to more illegal narcotics.
The study also found that twins in legal weed states don’t have higher mental or emotional issues, financial issues, unemployment, or relationship issues.
Zellers stated, “I would like this to be comforting for public policy, at least with respect to psychological well-being.” “Legalization isn’t doing much psychological damage.”
“The analyses were robust and the presentation of the results inside the journal paper were measured and appropriate,” said Linda Richter, Partnership to End Addiction’s vice president of preventative research and analysis.
Richter stated this study was about adults, not teens.
“Most of the public health community’s concerns about marijuana legalization center on young people—adolescents and early adults—who are more vulnerable to substance use and its consequences, since they are still undergoing significant brain development and are highly susceptible to increased normalization of and access to addictive substances that come with legalization and commercialization of cannabis,” Richter said
Richter said, “A rising body of evidence is pointing to a broad variety of harmful effects of legalization on kids, including greater rates of cannabis use, cannabis use disorder, driving under the influence, other substance use and mental health disorders.”
“Preventing adolescent use is extremely crucial going ahead, and can be handled with laws around legal purchasing,” Zellers said.
Zellers admitted that her study doesn’t address how legal marijuana would affect heavy marijuana users. “Maybe a few times a month at most,” she stated of the adult twins in this report.
Zeller stated, “If you approach legalization from the standpoint of substance misuse, for the ordinary low-using person, we’re not seeing harms.” “That’s important.”
Virginia Passes Marijuana Sales and 280E Tax Reform Bills
Virginia lawmakers on Friday passed proposals to legalize adult-use marijuana sales and allow cannabis businesses to take some tax deductions at the state level, which the IRS statute 280E prohibits.
Sen. Adam Ebbin carried the 280E bill, which passed 40-0. (D). Del. Jeffrey Campbell’s (R) House companion version passed an Appropriations subcommittee 7-1 and will be considered by the full panel.
Virginia lawmakers want to separate the marijuana sector from the federal tax system, like New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. State medical and recreational cannabis firms could claim deductions that IRS 280E prohibits federally.
In the Democratic-controlled Senate, the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee voted 9-6 to submit an Ebbin adult-use marijuana sales bill to the Finance and Appropriations Committee.
After legalizing marijuana possession for adults in 2021, the state legislature’s 2023 cannabis commerce policy was unclear. Sales clauses were subject to reenactment, and lawmakers in 2022 did not move on the issue under the new Republican governor and GOP-controlled House of Delegates.
Advocates are divided on how to continue with a commercial market in the House. Friday’s Senate committee vote would enable recreational cannabis sales on January 1, 2024.
Medical cannabis shops and new enterprises owned by “historically economically disadvantaged populations” would sell. Cannabis companies would train and support them.
The new law also resentences cannabis offenders.
If it passes the Democratic-controlled Senate, the House may support it. GOP lawmakers have introduced multiple regulated sales proposals in recent weeks. A House subcommittee defeated marijuana sales legislation early last year.
Some proponents, like Virginia NORML, want sales to start as soon as as so consumers can acquire regulated products, while others worry that giving medical cannabis businesses a head start in the recreational market could erode equity for communities targeted by the war on drugs.
Marijuana Justice, one of the most prominent equity advocates, called Friday’s substitute version of Ebbin’s sales legislation “a big accomplishment” since it “reflected the concerns of the public concerning exclusive early sales and the criterion for opportunity.”
“The current alternative stipulates that if medical operators were to start sales first, then a 1:1 ratio must be met of medical operators and small company franchisees,” the group told supporters in an email. “There was also more clarification on who will qualify for cannabis prospects in specific Virginia areas.”
On Friday, the Senate passed a bill by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) that would apply alcohol advertising laws to marijuana ads.
On Friday, the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee referred further cannabis product safety, inhalable product, crop expansion, and “Cannabis Incubator Project” bills to the Finance and Appropriations Committee.
A Senate Education and Health subcommittee also sent two medical cannabis expansion and operation bills to the full committee.
On Friday, the same subcommittee unanimously passed a bill to create a statewide psilocybin advisory board and lower the drug’s scheduling. A separate Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee rejected a plan to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use for persons with serious diseases with a doctor’s recommendation a week earlier.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) says he’s not interested in re-criminalizing marijuana possession, but there’s “still work to be done” before he supports commercial sales and production.
Gulfport’s New Cannabis Clinic
Original Source: New medical cannabis practice in Gulfport
Gulfport now has a medical marijuana clinic.
For over six years, Kaya Life has supplied medicinal cannabis services in Florida and now in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Dr. R Demetrius Steele, who spent 16 years working in Lucedale and several years at an Urgent Care in Mobile, leads the Gulfport clinic.
Coast patients can expect medical cannabis certifications with instructions on how to consume cannabis and customized suggestions. “If you have a qualifying condition then you come here and we have a consultation and we do an exam and we check your records and evaluate all your meds and then make a determination as to whether or not you fulfill the standards to be approved for a medical cannabis card,” Dr. Steele said.
Summary of Today’s Marijuana Health News
Overall, adults in “legal” states are not more prone to acquire substance abuse disorders than their twins in states where marijuana is illegal. According to a new analysis in the journal Psychological Medicine, this group is not more likely to commit crimes or experience difficulties with their mental health, relationships, jobs, finances, friends, or social standing.
On the other hand, it’s common secret that federal law prohibits cannabis firms from deducting some expenses, but in Virginia, lawmakers have advanced proposals to begin sales to adults and to enable such deductions under state law. Senator Adam Ebbin pushed the 280E measure through the Senate, and it was approved with a perfect 40-0 vote (D). The corresponding bill sponsored by Del. Jeffrey Campbell (R) in the House of Delegates was approved by an Appropriations subcommittee with a 7-1 vote and will now be considered by the entire committee.
Finally, in case you’re in need of medical cannabis, a brand-new clinic serving the Gulfport area has recently opened its doors. Opening their first site in Gulfport, Mississippi, Kaya Life has been providing medicinal cannabis services for over six years, initially in Florida and now extending to the rest of the United States.