Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Exploring the "complicated relationship between marijuana use and parenting"

The fourth and final planned presentation (both this week and for the semester) by a student in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar will look closely at the intersection of marijuana use and parenting. Here's a brief summary of the student's approach to this topic, along with some relevant articles she assembled:

As states increasingly legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, one largely unexplored area is the complicated relationship between marijuana use and parenting.  As with other substances (both legal and illicit), marijuana can have a significant impact on the lives of both parents and children.  Parents who use marijuana likely have conflicting interests and may prioritize their own use over the care of their children.  This could take the form of neglect, through inadequate supervision, or through misallocation of family resources to buy marijuana and other non-essentials.  Parents who use marijuana also risk exposing their children to marijuana in any number of ways.  Second-hand smoke is an obvious risk, as is the potential for children to gain access to marijuana (particularly edibles).

Expectant and breast-feeding mothers are also of particular concern, as there is some data linking marijuana use at these critical stages in development to a whole host of lifelong issues in children.  As with most issues surrounding marijuana use, there simply is not yet enough data in this area.  For example, although some studies have linked marijuana use during pregnancy to particular developmental problems, existing studies have not been able to isolate marijuana as the cause (as opposed to other drugs, nicotine, etc.).  I plan on providing background on existing public health research, giving examples of how various states are dealing with this issue, and presenting issues that have not been adequately addressed by research or policy.

Readings:

"The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Child Maltreatment: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1995-2014"

"Marijuana and Child Abuse and Neglect: A HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT"

"The Contentious Issue of Parents Who Smoke Pot"

"Is Smoking Marijuana Child Endangerment?"

"No Cause for Marijuana Case, but Enough for Child Neglect"

April 10, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Criminal justice developments and reforms, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms | Permalink | Comments (0)

Critically and skeptically examining the claims in support of medical marijuana

The third planned presentations from a student in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar this coming week will, in his words, "marshal the tools of critical thinking and scientific skepticism against the mounting claims about medical marijuana."  Here is how this student explains his plans and suggested background reading:

I have noticed worrying signs in the medical cannabis industry that bear all the hallmarks of pseudoscience and “alternative medicine.” For example, how many ailments fall under the ever-broadening curative umbrella of CBD? The ability to think critically and skeptically is the most useful skill we have as humans for discerning the truth, and it is most important to engage such skills when our biases most threaten our steady course. Remember the frequent allusions this semester to those who embrace medical legalization as a stepping stone to recreational use? Such people may be more inclined to jettison their critical thinking capabilities when it comes to scrutinizing claims in whose outcome one holds an interest.

I will provide a brief primer on thinking critically and skeptically, and then describe the signs of pseudo-scientific reasoning. Then, armed with this toolkit of sorts, I will explore the various claims about the benefits of cannabis as a medicine, including the current research, its blind spots, and its shortcomings. I will then critically explore the ethics and policy behind prohibition, comparing and contrasting cannabis with prescription drugs and alcohol; we shall see how the claimed justifications for cannabis prohibition stand up to critical scrutiny.

Links to Reading Matter

It is not vital that people read anything prior to the presentation, but here are some useful links for those wishing to get ahead of the game:

  • Steven Novella et al., The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe 57–140 (2018).

Of course, I understand that people might not have access to the above-mentioned book, in which case the following website will suffice (although I commend the book highly in its entirety to anyone interested in how we get at the truth of things).

April 10, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Medical Marijuana Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Examining the development of cannabis churches and religious freedom

The last of four exciting presentations planned this week for my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar concerns the intersection of marijuana use and religion claims.  Here is how my student describes her project along with her selected background reading:

Since its founding, religious freedom has remained a core value of the United States.  Recently, small groups of individuals have tried to apply this core value to the use of cannabis, specifically with establishing “cannabis churches.”  These churches offer congregants a space to come together as a community and consume cannabis as a way to experience a new level of spirituality.  Cannabis churches have popped up in both states where recreational consumption is legal (in Colorado, for example) and in states where recreational consumption is illegal (Indiana). 

In Colorado, the founders of the International Church of Cannabis have been charged with public consumption.  In Indiana, the founder of the First Church of Cannabis asserts that his church is protected under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  As more cannabis churches are established in other states, the main question that church founders will need to answer is whether the use of cannabis is a sincerely held religious belief deserving of protection.

Links:

• "Cannabis Churches and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act"

• "Future of public pot smoking in Denver may be impacted as International Church of Cannabis co-founder heads to court Tuesday"

•  "About Us" page for the International Church of Cannabis

• "How The First Church of Cannabis Got Serious"

• "Smoking Cannabis Is Not Covered Under Religious Freedoms Law, Says Indiana Judge"

April 3, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Religion, Who decides | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 1, 2019

"Challenges in Securing Intellectual Property (IP) Rights in the Cannabis Industry"

The title of this post is the title of a presentation to be made by one of my students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar this coming week. Here is part of his explanation of his topic and links to some background reading:

The cannabis industry has been growing rapidly and has become more mainstream.  In 2018, New Frontier Data forecasted that the legal U.S. cannabis market ― worth an estimated $8.3 billion in 2017 ― would grow to almost $25 billion by 2025.  While many innovators of the cannabis industry are heavily focused on the business activities to get the company off the ground by dealing with cannabis-specific challenges such as marketing, financing, and differentiations.  However, it is also critical to evaluate the significance of intellectual property (IP) and the benefits it can provide.

As with any other new ventures, enforcing an IP protection strategy early on can maximize the profits of a new invention and minimize the risk of potential infringement.  However, there are some challenges because cannabis (or at least THC) is still illegal under federal law.  My paper will focus on elucidating the IP issues and challenges in a budding cannabis industry.  Further, I will discuss some factors and complexities to secure IP rights on cannabis-related inventions.

Background readings:

* "Cannabis: IP Issues in a Budding U.S. Industry"

* "Building Cannabis IP Includes Both Your Brand and Your Technology"

* "The Complicated Relationship Between IP Law & Cannabis"

* "Protecting Your IP Is (No Surprise) Even Harder in the Cannabis Business"

* "Securing U.S. Patents in the Cannabis Industry"

April 1, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Federal scheduling and research challenges for cannabis and psychedelics

The second of four student presentation this coming week in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar will focus on  federal scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act and the research and market realities impacted by the placement of marijuana in Schedule I.  Here is how my student has summarized his topic, along with the background readings he has provided:

The placement of cannabis in Schedule I practically prevents comprehensive and meaningful research into its medical applications and potential harms.  The federal government cites cannabis' placement in Schedule I as the reason rigorous research must be conducted before it can be rescheduled, but places restrictions on its research, because of its schedule, that are nearly impossible to overcome.  Is there an alternative pathway to federal cannabis legalization, or at least rescheduling, so that more meaningful research can be conducted? 

My presentation will examine U.S. drug scheduling, looking at the criteria and examples of substances in each schedule.  I will then provide an overview of the FDA research model by which new drugs come to market, contrast it with the type of research conducted on cannabis, and discuss why meaningful, rigorous research into cannabis is so difficult.  With this background, I will discuss the findings of a former UK drug-policy adviser that suggests substantial rescheduling is necessary, and how these findings helped initiate research into other Schedule I drugs.  Finally, I will provide an overview of research into other Schedule I substances, particularly psychedelics, and how this research may accelerate the rescheduling or federal legalization of cannabis so that its impact on health may be studied more effectively.

Background Resources:

March 31, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Federal Marijuana Laws, Policies and Practices, Medical Marijuana Data and Research, Recreational Marijuana Data and Research, Who decides | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Examining links between popular culture and the legalization of marijuana

Students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are continuing with in-class presentations and continuing to cover diverse subject matter in consistently impressive ways.  The first of four presentations scheduled for this coming week will take a foray in to pop culture.  Here is how my student has summarized her topic, along with the background readings she has provided for classmates (and the rest of us):

From the jazz musicians in the 40s, the Beat authors in the 50s, rock and roll in the 60s, and rap in the 80s to present, popular culture has slowly changed the public perception of recreational marijuana use and paved the way for legalization.  My paper will focus on the influence of hip hop, gangsta rap, and Snoop Dogg on modern legalization efforts and cannabusiness.  Dr. Dre's 1992 album "The Chronic" launched Snoop Dogg's career and is commonly regarded as not only the best rap album of all time but one of the best albums in any genre.  After featuring heavily on "The Chronic," Snoop Dogg sold over 30 million of his own albums world-wide (46.35% of Snoop’s songs are about marijuana), became a cultural icon inextricably associated with marijuana use, and launched a multitude of business ventures in the legal marijuana space.

Background readings:

"How Marijuana Contributed to the Creation and Spread of American Forms of Music"

"Day of the Dre: Hip-hop’s biggest star and his protégé, Snoop Doggy Dogg, take hardcore rap from South Central L.A. to your house"

"25 years later, Dr. Dre's 'The Chronic' remains rap's world-building masterpiece"

"Snoop Dogg’s Business Empire Harvests Green From Marijuana Legalization Trend"

"A Brief History of Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson's Marijuana Romance"

March 30, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Examining state medical marijuana programs and historic links to alcohol prohibition

A set of students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are taking a deep dive into state medical marijuana programs this coming week.  Here is how they explain their planned presentation and links to some background reading:

For our presentation, we analyzed each state’s medical marijuana programs to determine ease of accessibility for patients.  We studied each state’s medical marijuana program and compared variables such as cost of registration, reciprocity, approved conditions, and many others.  Through our research, we discovered that there is wide spectrum of accessibility among the states which have legalized medical marijuana.  More specifically, we concluded that the top 5 easiest states to obtain a medical marijuana card are California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, and Nevada.  Additionally, we concluded that the hardest states (among those which have legalized it) to access medical marijuana are Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Utah.

Next, we sought to determine if there was any correlation between the states that had easier/hardest accessibility with when those states ratified and abolished prohibition.  Our hypothesis was that the states with the laxer medical marijuana laws would be the ones that repealed prohibition sooner than those with the harsher medical marijuana laws.  Generally, we found that that states that ratified the 21st Amendment sooner seemed to have laxer medical marijuana laws and the states with the harsher laws repealed prohibition later on.  Also, side note, Oklahoma didn’t even repeal prohibition until 1959!

Background Sources

March 27, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, History of Alcohol Prohibition and Temperance Movements, History of Marijuana Laws in the United States, Medical Marijuana State Laws and Reforms | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rounding up just some (of so many) stories about CBD

There is so much talk and so many stories about CBD, I know I can barely scratch the surface on this topic.  But it seems this past week I have seen an especially notable number of notable stories on this front.  Below I provide a partial round-up, and suggested particular attention to the first linked piece for its science and thoughtfulness:

March 27, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Medical Marijuana Data and Research, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Exploring how employers should reform drug policies in an era of marijuana reform

As mentioned in prior posts, my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is now deep into the student presentation unit, and we will have four presentations each week in coming weeks and thus lots of great student-assembled content here on the blog  The first presentation for next week will focus on updating employment  policies, and here is how my student has summarized his topic, along with the background readings he has provided for classmates (and the rest of us):

As more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses, the business community must acknowledge that larger portions of the American public will consume marijuana. Consequently, the labor market now includes more marijuana users than ever before. The zero-tolerance drug policies that employers use to discourage marijuana consumption are driving labor shortages throughout corporate America. To remain competitive and recruit the next generation of talented employees, Fortune 500 companies should revise their drug policies to permit off-duty marijuana use. Efforts to reform workplace drug policies should consider the labyrinth of federal and state laws that require certain employers to test for marijuana. Provided that corporate employers include exceptions for these rules, workplace drug policies will remain legally compliant.

 

Lisa Nagele-Piazza, How Do Recreational Marijuana Laws Affect the Workplace?, Society for Human Resource Management (Jan. 17, 2018).

 

Roy Maurer, Employers in This State Can’t Reject Job Applicants ‘Solely’ for Smoking Pot, Society For Human Resource Management (February 16, 2018) .

 

Judy Stone, The Sham Of Drug Testing For Benefits: Walker, Scott And Political Pandering, Forbes (Feb. 17, 2015).

 

Nelson D. Schwartz, Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll, N.Y. Times (July 2017).

 

Federal Laws and Regulations, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Nov. 2, 2015).

March 22, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, Employment and labor law issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"Native Americans & Cannabis: History, Religion, Fraud, & the Future"

The title of this post is the title of a presentation to be made by one of my students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar this coming week.  Here is part of her explanation of her topic and links to some background reading:

   Native Americans have a tricky and unique history with cannabis. Indians have always used “teaching plants.” And almost every single ceremonial herb used by Indians has been illegal at some point in the United States: salvia, peyote, mullen, mints, and sage.  In particular, cannabis is more controversial, given its growing popularity in the United States by non-Natives.  Cannabis is considered a sacred herb in many tribes, but not all tribes.  For example, the First Nation tribe uses it in rituals, some tribes claim great visionaries used it with their sacred pipes, and other tribes, such as the Dakota and Lakota tribes, state that their medicine men have never used cannabis as a part of their ceremonies.

   There has recently been a rise in "cannabis churches,” with the most controversial church, the Oklevueha Native American Church, leading such controversy.  The church was founded by James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney.  Mooney claims to have native American ancestry, but does not have any official tribal affiliation.  The church is comparable to the fundamentalist mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not condone of affiliate itself with fundamentalist mormons, and the National Council of Native American churches released a statement, advising the public that it does not “condone the activities of the illegitimate organization.”  This complicates Indian history, as some tribes may wish to use it as a sacrament, and others use the Oklevueha church as a scapegoat and a reason to ban cannabis on its tribes.

   U.S. courts have previously ruled that cannabis being used as a religious sacrament does not give tribes the right to use it.  Overall, my goal is to: 1) explain the history of peyote, ayahuasca, and cannabis in Native American culture; 2) describe the use, or lack thereof, of cannabis and how it differs from tribe to tribe; 3) describe the rise of “cannabis churches” generally, with a focus on the Oklevueha Native American Church, and the legal troubles they have faced; 4) the legal argument to allow Indian churches to use cannabis as a sacrament or a ritual herb, and the legal argument to prohibit Indian churches from using cannabis as a sacrament or a ritual herb; and 5) the potential implications which it would have on tribes in the future.

 

Background Resources:

 

March 19, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Race, Gender and Class Issues, Who decides | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Assessing employment law realities in Ohio’s medical marijuana system

As mentioned in a prior post, the students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are back from break and back at presentations on their research topics. The second presentation this week will focus on "on Ohio’s employment law future and will draw inferences from other states’ statutory language and case law to predict how discrimination cases may (or may not) proceed." Here is how my student has summarized her topic, along with the background readings she has provided for classmates (and the rest of us):

In Ohio, the law gives employers discretion to accommodate employees' medical marijuana use or not, and has a provision specifically designed to thwart disability claims from proceeding.  It is possible that a court could find that failure to accommodate is not per-se unreasonable, and an Ohio court decision could follow the lead of a in Barbuto and Connecticut court in Noffsinger.   This interpretation would require that an employee argue that the Americans with Disabilities Act's carve-out for medications should be used to interpret Ohio's Revised Code § 4112.02, creating a carve-out for legal (under state law) marijuana used as medication under the supervision of a medical professional.  Due to fairly clear legislative intent to prevent employment discrimination actions for medical marijuana under Revised Code § 3796.28(5), the more likely path in Ohio is probably the way of Colorado in Coats which allowed an employer to fire a disabled employee for failing a baseline Cannabinoid presence test, regardless of his medical status, as violating employer policy.

 

Here are some additional background resources:

A Survey of Medical Marijuana Laws Impacting the Workplace by Joseph H. Yastrow

Employers and workers grapple with laws allowing marijuana use by G. M. Filisko

 

Here are resources more specific to my topic:

Ohio’s medical marijuana employment provision: Revised Code § 3796.28(5)

Links directly to leading cases: Noffsinger from CT and Barbuto from MA and Coats from CO

Ohio's disability anti-discrimination regulation under Code § 4112: OAC § 4112-5-08 Discrimination in the employment of the disabled

March 17, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Employment and labor law issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Examining public and individual health issues amidst debates over marijuana reform

After a well-deserved week off for spring break, the students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform Seminar are back at it this coming week with presentations on their research topics.  The first presentation this week will focus on health issues, and here is how my student has described his topic, along with the background readings he has provided for his classmates (and the rest of us):

I will be looking at the various public and individual health issues – both real and imagined – pertaining to the national debate over marijuana in general and legalizing the drug's recreational use in particular.  Special attention will be given to the way in which our society's normative value judgments have dictated how we view marijuana products in the context of public health. 

As a result, I will be examining a number of associated issues including whether edibles are safer than smoking marijuana, marijuana's addictiveness or lack thereof, the cognitive and non-cognitive health problems that can be caused by regularly using marijuana products, and whether the accidental consumption of edible marijuana products by children is a legitimate cause for concern. 

Finally, I will also offer my thoughts on how we can most effectively respond to the genuine health risks posed by a post-legalization America.

1) Manisha Krishnan, We Fact-Checked an ER Doctor Who Said Weed Edibles Can Kill Kids, Vice (Aug. 21, 2018)

2) Douglas A. Berman, New Report Details Big Decrease in Pedestrian Fatalities in Marijuana Legalization States…but Makes No Mention of Trend Despite Fear-mongering Last Year, Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform (Mar. 10, 2019)

3) Nora D. Volkow et al., Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use, 370(23) New Eng. Med. J. 2219 (2014)

4) DrugAbuse.com, Joints vs. Edibles: How Marijuana Affects the Body (last visited Mar. 15, 2019)

5) National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Chapter Highlights (Jan. 12, 2017)

March 16, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 4, 2019

Podcasting to join an ever-growing cannabis (and podcasting) community

2018-Podcast-Stats-infographicAs mentioned in a recent post, this time of year students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are advancing research projects/papers around topics of their choosing, and they are starting to gear up for in-class presentations.  The presentation includes the requirement that they provide for posting here materials/links with background reading and information for the discussion they will lead. 

This coming week a student will be discussing his work starting a new podcast, and here are his descriptions of his plans and associated links:

I have created, along with a classmate, a podcast focused on business development in the cannabis industry (called Cannabiz with Canna-Chris).  The podcast can be found here via Soundcould and also found here via YouTube.  The podcast provides updates on legalization efforts around the world, and insightful interviews with leaders in the cannabis space covering different topics each week.

In addition, this link provides lots of basic information (and a number of infographics) about podcasting and podcast audiences in general.  This data provides some context for how we create and manage our content to try to make it easy to listen and enjoyable as possible.  Here are a few facts from the source:

A common question is “how many podcasts are there?” and most of the data out there is outdated, but we have an accurate method for determining the number of shows – and it’s currently over 660,000....

To highlight the growth, Apple confirmed there were over 550,000 podcasts at WWDC 2018 in early June.

An article published April 25, 2018, by FastCompany states "there are over 525,000 active shows and over 18.5 million episodes."

And an article by Variety back in Feb 2018 said "Apple Podcasts … features more than 500,000 active podcasts, including content in more than 100 languages."

It’s no surprise that those numbers are climbing daily.

Finally, here is a a link to a recent article titled "The Best Weed-Related Podcasts To Listen To Right Now," which discusses some of the most relevant and popular cannabis related podcasts.  There is a large variety in both length and content in these podcasts that creates a lot of varying information available.  Here is how the article previews its list:

People love podcasts. Despite the wealth of media available, the dominance of streaming services like Netflix, and the perennial appeal of books, folks just love to pop on headphones and fall into episodes of their favorite programs.  And cannabis — that oft-debated, nap-inducing, mind-expanding herb — crushes it in the on-demand audio space.  Given the growing industry and the large number of (often surprising) converts, it’s no surprise that new shows pop up regularly.

Over the past few years, pot pods have appeared en masse on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and other podcasting platforms, but their quality varies widely.  If you’re a cannabis consumer, you know going in that you have some level of interest in the topic and you don’t want to waste hours surfing through half-baked programs looking to be engaged.  To that end, we crafted a list of the ten best weed podcasts streaming right now.

Our focus was on programs with high entertainment and information levels.  Some lean a bit more educational and some go the other direction, but none of them are pedantic or dry.  Every host on this list is someone with whom you’ll want to get stoned and chat.  So, listening to an episode is like a power hang with a bud.  A really smart bud who wants to talk cannabis for an hour.

March 4, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A look back at Ohio's first effort to legalize marijuana via 2015 ballot initiative

As long-time readers know from series of posts in prior years, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar develop research projects/papers around a topic of their choosing.  Students are required to make an in-class presentation during the second-half of the semester, and a few days prior to their presentations the students need to send me a set of links providing as background for the discussion they will lead.   Every year the students do an extraordinary job with their presentations, and I am professorially giddy that these  presentations are starting in class next week. 

The first student presentation planned for next is to be week aspires to "focus on what happened in Ohio’s 2015 election with ResponsibleOhio. "  The student will be taking "a look at how the results may have been shaped by the country’s past, the state’s more-recent history, and individual concerns and uncertainty of voters."  The student will also examine "where the future may lie with Ohio’s recent legalization of medical marijuana [and] give insight into the pros and cons of starting a cannabis-related business."  Here are links the student has provided as background reading:

Newspaper Articles:

Past Seminar Student’s Paper: 

 

February 28, 2019 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Political perspective on reforms, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 20, 2018

Taking the problem of marijuana addiction seriously and thinking seriously about dynamic policy responses

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Early Evidence on Recreational Marijuana Legalization and Traffic Fatalities"

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:

"Medical or Recreational Marijuana and Drugged Driving"

NHTSA releases "Marijuana-Impaired Driving A Report to Congress"

"Too Stoned to Drive? The question is trickier than you’d think for police and the courts to answer."

Examining issues surrounding "Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana"

Still more on drugged driving laws and marijuana

"The April 20 Cannabis Celebration and Fatal Traffic Crashes in the United States"

March 20, 2018 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Recreational Marijuana Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Looking into challenges facing communities of color in the marijuana industry

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:

Drug Policy Alliance, "Race and the Drug War"

"Rigged game: inequality on the rise in legal pot industry; How people of color are blocked from Washington’s legal pot marketplace"

"Minorities, punished most by war on drugs, underrepresented in legal pot"

"Pioneering women in cannabis industry losing ground, author says"

"Battling the racial roadblocks to joining the legalized marijuana trade"

"In politically charged D.C., cannabis is a cottage industry"

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

Looking at the environmental impact of illegal marijuana cultivation and import of legalization

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:

5 Reasons Legalizing Pot Is Good for the Planet

Everything you need to know about pot's environmental impact on the planet

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

Examining banking challenges in the marijuana industry

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Still more on drugged driving laws and marijuana

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)

"How to Beat a Marijuana DUI"

"UI studies impact of marijuana on driving: First-of-its-kind study at University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator shows how marijuana and marijuana with alcohol impact driving"

"DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI: What Do They Mean?"

"The Confusing Science of Stoned Driving"

"Evidence of Inactive Drug Metabolites in DUI Cases: Using a Proximate Cause Analysis to Fill the Evidentiary Gap between Prior Drug Use and Driving under the Influence"

 

November 29, 2017 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Criminal justice developments and reforms | Permalink | Comments (0)