Reason Foundation’s Drug Policy Newsletter, August 2018
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Drug Policy Newsletter

Reason Foundation’s Drug Policy Newsletter, August 2018

Marijuana polling, demand in states that legalize cannabis, next steps in New Jersey, and more.

News and Opinion

Despite being sanctioned for use, there are still serious questions about the efficacy of Canada’s new roadside saliva cannabis testing device.

The New Jersey Attorney General has ordered a halt to all cannabis-related court cases, clearing the way for New Jersey to learn valuable lessons from California as they move towards legalization.  

Colorado and DEA officials are blaming legalization in Colorado for increased violence and gang presence, but the data don’t bear out those observations.   

A key alcohol trade group has officially changed its stance to argue that the federal government should let states decide marijuana policy on their own with no threat of a federal backlash.  

California is engaging in a public-facing study which attempts to create a device or method for accurately determining cannabis impairment, mostly for the purposes of enforcing DUI laws.  

Legislation, Regulation, and Markets

Florida’s head cannabis regulator has stepped down amongst controversy over the consistent delays in Florida’s medical cannabis rollout.  

Congress has put forth the Marijuana Data Collection Act, which would create a national data collection program across all states tracking the amount of tax revenue being collected, jobs created, and what medical purposes are being utilized.  

Many conservative states previously opposed to legalization have cannabis ballot measures on the docket for November, setting up new political battles and creating an evolving political dynamic.    

Some groups in Colorado are calling on the legislature to suspend certain marijuana products such as eye drops and nasal sprays until they can be proven safe.    

New Jersey is very close to legalizing cannabis but still faces several hurdles before the process is completed.  

California reminded its citizens and businesses last month that hemp derived CBD oil is illegal in the state, despite the fact that cannabis-derived THC is legal.  

Evidence

A new study shows that legalization of cannabis has resulted in more time for police to focus on other tasks.

Despite the reputation for giving the munchies, a new study suggests that cannabis may help users lose weight in the long run by balancing out an omega fatty acid imbalance usually caused by a typical American diet high in carbs and sugar.  

New data suggests that recreational legalization is reducing the demand for medical marijuana in states with both options.  

New polling data shows that 56 percent of Americans think states should control marijuana policy, while some 67 percent support decriminalization.  

A new policy brief shows that cannabis legalization is not directly to blame for increases in cannabis-related hospitalizations as social changes may be leading people to be more honest in medical questionnaires as well as other causes, but concludes that cannabis products should be labeled for safe use and packaged for child prevention.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.