Monday, August 20, 2018
Taking the problem of marijuana addiction seriously and thinking seriously about dynamic policy responses
I have recently seen a number of thoughtful pieces about marijuana addiction, and it seems worthwhile to do a quick round-up here:
From Annie Lowrey at The Atlantic, "America’s Invisible Pot Addicts: More and more Americans are reporting near-constant cannabis use, as legalization forges ahead."
From Jonathan Stea at Slate, "Cannabis Addiction Is Not Heroin Addiction. That Doesn’t Make It Any Less Real. A large minority of people have trouble with cannabis, and for those people, it’s important to find help."
From Rachel Browne at Vice News, "Inside Marijuana Anonymous, the group for people addicted to weed"
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper authored by Benjamin Hansen, Keaton Miller and Caroline Weber. Here is its abstract:
Over the last few years, marijuana has become legally available for recreational use to roughly a quarter of Americans. Policy makers have long expressed concerns about the substantial external costs of alcohol, and similar costs could come with the liberalization of marijuana policy. Indeed, the fraction of fatal accidents in which at least one driver tested positive for THC has increased nationwide by an average of 10 percent from 2013 to 2016. For Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized marijuana in 2014, these increases were 92 percent and 28 percent, respectively. However, identifying a causal effect is difficult due to the presence of significant confounding factors.
We test for a causal effect of marijuana legalization on traffic fatalities in Colorado and Washington with a synthetic control approach using records on fatal traffic accidents from 2000-2016. We find the synthetic control groups saw similar changes in marijuana-related, alcohol-related and overall traffic fatality rates despite not legalizing recreational marijuana.
Some prior related posts:
Sunday, December 3, 2017
The final student presentation this year in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is looking at how communities of color are participating in the marijuana industry. Specifically, as the student has put it, the topic involves "an exploration of the hurdles communities of colors face when trying to break into the marijuana industry, and a discussion of the policy considerations we ought to engage when developing a framework for this new and emerging industry." Here are links for background reading on this topic:
December 3, 2017 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, History of Marijuana Laws in the United States, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Race, Gender and Class Issues, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Who decides | Permalink | Comments (0)
Saturday, December 2, 2017
As my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is approaching its final class, a final set of students are scheduled to deliver presentations on the marijuana-related topics of their choosing. One such student has decided to "focus on the environmental impact of illegal marijuana cultivation, and how/why legalization can mitigate these effects."
Here are readings she has suggested as background on this topic:
December 2, 2017 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, History of Marijuana Laws in the United States, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate | Permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, December 1, 2017
A student in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is looking closely at the law, policies and practices surrounding banking activities for the marijuana industry, and he has provided for class reading the following links in preparation for his presentation this coming week:
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
As mentioned in this prior post, one student in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is this week giving a presentation focused on scientific studies concerning driving under the influence of marijuana. Another set of students also have taken up this topic, although it appears they are focused more on existing laws concerning drugged driving. Here are links they have provided as background reading:
Ohio Drugged Driving (via NORML)
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Exploring how federal illegality / state legality impacts applicability of other laws to marijuana businesses
As my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is hitting its homestretch, the last group of students are continuing to deliver great presentations on the marijuana-related topics of their choosing. One student scheduled for the next class has been "looking into the way the federal illegality / state legality of marijuana affects applicability of other laws to marijuana businesses":
For example, will a court enforce a contract to grow, provide, or produce marijuana, even though courts will not usually enforce contracts for illegal activities? Can an injured worker be reimbursed for medical marijuana expenses through workers' compensation? Can federal agencies assert jurisdiction over businesses in an industry that the federal government is itself tasked with eliminating? These are some examples of questions I will attempt to answer during my presentation.
Here are links to recommend reading materials that the student suggested as background on the topic:
Mann v. Gullickson, No. 15-CV-03630-MEJ, 2016 WL 6473215 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 2, 2016)
Vialpando v. Ben's Auto. Servs., 2014-NMCA-084, 331 P.3d 975 (App. N.M. 2014)
Taylor G. Sachs, The Wellness Approach: Weeding Out Unfair Labor Practices in the Cannabis Industry, 43 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 287 (2015)
Greenwood v. Green Leaf Lab LLC, No. 3:17-CV-00415-PK, 2017 WL 3391671 (D. Or. July 13, 2017), report and recommendation adopted, No. 3:17-CV-00415-PK, 2017 WL 3391647 (D. Or. Aug. 7, 2017)
Yahoo Ctr. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. 2:16-CV-01397-SVW-SS, 2016 WL 9138061 (C.D. Cal. June 16, 2016)
Barnett v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 200 Cal. App. 4th 536, 132 Cal. Rptr. 3d 742 (2011)
Anh Hung Huynh v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., No. C 12-01574-PSG, 2012 WL 5893482 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 23, 2012)
Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. McDermott, 603 F. App'x 374 (6th Cir. 2015)
United Specialty Ins. Co. v. Barry Inn Realty Inc., 130 F. Supp. 3d 834 (S.D.N.Y. 2015), appeal dismissed (Nov. 17, 2015)
Tracy v. USAA Cas. Ins. Co., No. CIV. 11-00487 LEK, 2012 WL 928186 (D. Haw. Mar. 16, 2012)
Friday, November 24, 2017
After the long weekend, my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar turns to its homestretch and the last group of students are delivering presentations on a marijuana-related topic of their choosing. One student for the next class will be looking at three recently decided cases involving marijuana law. As he has explained, he plans to "present the facts and procedural history regarding the case, and an analysis of how the deciding courts ultimately made their decisions." Here are the case citations, with links to articles discussing the decision and other background information:
Arizona v. Maestas, 394 P.3d 21 (Ariz. App. 1st Div. 2017).
- ASU student saw 'opportunity' to use arrest to fight for medical marijuana on campus
- UC guidance on use and possession of marijuana on UC property
- Colorado State University Guidelines on Marijuana Use and Hemp Research
People ex rel. Feuer v. Nestdrop, LLC, 245 Cal. App. 4th 664 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 2016).
- Court Shuts Down L.A. Marijuana Delivery App ‘Nestdrop’
- L.A. is set to be a hot market for marijuana sales. But there might not be many places to smoke it
- Eaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding
State ex rel. Polk v. Hancock, 347 P.3d 142 (Ariz. 2015).
- Arizona justices: OK for probationers to use medical pot
- Medical Marijuana on Probation? Courts Saying Yes!
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
A student in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar this week in his presentation is addressing what he calls "one narrow evidentiary aspect of a much broader area of study: the effect of legalization on how society and the law treat people with marijuana-related felonies who would not have been guilty of the offense after legalization." As he explains, he will be using California as a case study to "examine the effect of Proposition 64 (The Adult Marijuana Use Act) on Cal. Evid. Code 788, which allows parties to admit criminal records of convicted felons to impeach their credibility." Here are the materials he has suggested for class consumption in this way:
In the Weeds:
Richard S. Frase, Punishment Purposes, 58 Stan. L. Rev. 67 (2005).
Joshua Dressler, Hating Criminals: How Can Something that Feels So Good Be Wrong?, 88 Mich. L. Rev. 1448 (1990).
My students know that I strongly believe legal and social histories are critical topics for anyone and everyone interested in any aspect of criminal justice reform. (I always find astute the William Faulkner quote: "The past is never dead. It's not even past.") Consequently, I am especially excited that one of my students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is making his presentations this week on "The Temperance Movement and Its Relevance on Today’s Marijuana Policy." Here are some of the major sources that the student working on this topic has provided for class consideration:
David F. Musto, The American Experience with Stimulants and Opiates (previous class material that everyone already read)
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
As mentioned repeatedly in recent posts, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are making presentations on marijuana-related topics of their choosing. One of the planned student presentations for this week will be exploring the "costs of raids" with "examples from states including Utah, California, and Colorado." Here is an impressive array of materials/links that the student working on this topic has provided for class consideration:
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
A pair of students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are this coming week to be discussing marketing and advertising in the marijuana industry. In preparation for the discussion, they suggested review of Leafy's "State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Advertising Regulations," which gets started this way:
As the cannabis industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, it can feel overwhelming to keep up-to-date with the constantly-changing federal and state regulations. Advertising regulations are especially strict, as many marketing platforms restrict or outright ban cannabis advertisements due to the substance’s federal status.
We put together a state-by-state guide to cannabis advertising regulations that should help cannabis businesses adhere to the guidelines set forth by both the state they’re operating in as well as any states in which they want to advertise.
As mentioned repeatedly in recent posts, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are every week delivering presentations on a marijuana-related topic of their choosing. I am professorially giddy about the large number of presentations planned for the next few weeks, and the first student presentation planned for this coming week aspires to "give insight into the pros and cons of starting a cannabis-related business." And here are links the student provided as background for the discussion:
Thursday, November 2, 2017
As I mentioned in recent posts, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are now gearing up for and delivering presentations on a marijuana-related topic of their choosing. The second student presentations planned for this this coming week, as described here, is taking a localized look at marijuana reform issues with "background on the marijuana process in Ohio and progress at The Ohio State University [emphasizing] Ohio State’s role specifically." In addition, this student is bringing a guest speaker, Mr. Thomas Rosenberger, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio. And here are links the student provided as background for the discussion:
Monday, October 30, 2017
As I mentioned in this recent post, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are now gearing up for and delivering presentations on a marijuana-related topic of their choosing. The first of the student presentations planned for this this coming week is exploring industrial hemp, and here are the links my student has assembled in preparation for her presentation this coming week:
Monday, October 16, 2017
I am excited to realize and report that, after spending the first half the current semester preparing various presentations for the students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar, this week begins the part of the class in which students are to begin making presentations to each other. The first of the student presentation planned for this this coming week is exploring "tax liability." Here are the links the presenting student has assembled in preparation for his presentation this coming week:
Relevant Internal Revenue Code Provisions:
Three Short Articles on the Economic Impact of Marijuana
October 16, 2017 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, Federal Marijuana Laws, Policies and Practices, Taxation information and issues | Permalink | Comments (0)
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
The book website includes:
- more information about the book, including two sample chapters
- updates on big post-publication developments in the field, like the 10th Circuit Civil RICO decision and Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act (the latter of which I cross-posted here last week)
- teaching resources, including syllabi to help in designing and teaching a marijuana law cla
- in the coming weeks I’ll also be adding materials (cases, articles, etc.) that I couldn’t fit in the book but which might be of interest to readers
I’ll continue to cross-post here on some of the biggest developments in the field (thanks to Doug for the ongoing hospitality!), and I’ll continue to follow this blog with enthusiasm – it’s a terrific resource for anyone interested in the field!
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The title of this post is the title of this notable newly updated report with newly updated statistics about the road-safety problems created by drugged driving. Here is a part of the report's introduction and background:
This report, originally released in September 2015, was prepared by Dr. James Hedlund under contract with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the national association of state and territorial highway safety offices that address behavioral highway-safety issues, including drugimpaired driving. An open forum on drugged driving at GHSA’s 2014 Annual Meeting noted the need for this type of resource. Funding was provided by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org).
This revision, also prepared by Dr. Hedlund, updated the report to April 2017. It includes 34 additional citations, drug-impaired driving data from 2015, state laws as of April 2017, and 15 state programs.
The report was guided by an advisory panel of experts from the states, the research community, and several organizations concerned with impaired driving. It provides references to research and position papers, especially papers that summarize the research on drugs and driving that have appeared in the last 20 years. It includes information obtained by GHSA from a survey of state highway safety offices. It does not attempt to be a complete review of the extensive information available on drugs and driving.
Drug-impaired driving is an increasingly critical issue for states and state highway safety offices. In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that drugs were present in 43% of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result, more frequently than alcohol was present (FARS, 2016). NHTSA’s 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22% of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekday days (Berning et al., 2015).
In particular, marijuana use is increasing. As of April 2017, marijuana may be used for medical purposes in 29 states and the District of Columbia (NCSL, 2017a). The most recent is West Virginia, which authorized medical marijuana in April 2017, with use to begin in July 2019. Recreational use is allowed in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia and 13 other states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana (NCSL, 2016). Congress identified drug-impaired driving as a priority in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/). This multi-year highway bill directed NHTSA to develop education campaigns to increase public awareness about the dangers associated with drugged driving. The Act also required the Department of Transportation to study the relationship between marijuana use and driving impairment and to identify effective methods to detect marijuana-impaired drivers. Legislatures, law enforcement, and highway safety offices in many states are urged to “do something” about drug-impaired driving, but what to do is far from clear.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The title of this post is how West Academic Publishing is promoting its latest notable nutshell publication authored by Mark Osbeck and Howard Bromberg. In part because I think it is near impossible to summarize modern marijuana law in short form, I view this nutshell effort as extraordinary in various respects. And here is how West briefly describes the product:
Concise yet comprehensive text that provides an overview of marijuana law. It discusses important issues pertaining to public policy, legal history, constitutional law, criminal law, and jurisprudence, as well as practical legal issues that concern both marijuana-related businesses and individuals, in areas such as banking, employment, tax, bankruptcy, and child custody.
The text provides in-depth coverage of federal laws governing marijuana, along with an overview of international, state, and local laws relating to marijuana regulation. It also provides an overview of arguments for and against medical and/or recreational legalization, as well as an analysis of how marijuana compares to other potentially harmful substances, both legal and illegal.
April 26, 2017 in Assembled readings on specific topics, History of Marijuana Laws in the United States, Medical Marijuana State Laws and Reforms, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms | Permalink | Comments (0)
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Examining interaction between the marijuana legalization and crime rates, accidents and other feared harms
Empirical article published in March 2014, "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006"
Cato policy analysis published in September 2016, "Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations" Empirical article published in December 2015,