Advertise On Marijuana Passion

MJ News for 08/10/2014

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
781
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...hy-marijuana-wont-become-another-big-tobacco/




Why marijuana won’t become another Big Tobacco


I wrote earlier this week about the sophisticated ad campaigns recently launched by supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization. The two camps agree that marijuana is going mainstream but part company on whether this is an ominous development or cause for celebration.

The argument put forth by the anti-legalization Grass Is Not Greener coalition is a novel one, and worth digging into. "If we’re not careful, the marijuana industry could quickly become the next Big Tobacco," its Web site warns.

"I think most Americans would be surprised to learn how quickly this industry has matured," Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and an outspoken legalization critic, told me. "Big Tobacco ignored major scientific findings about cigarettes, deceived the public, funded their own research, and devoted every ounce of their energy to one thing: increasing use for profit." He says the marijuana industry is doing the same today.

Even if there is some truth to this, legalization opponents are on shaky ground when it comes to ignoring scientific findings and misleading the public. After all, the federal case for marijuana prohibition continues to be built on half-truths and the occasional deception. Grass Is Not Greener's Web site repeats many of these same talking points in a breakdown of "Facts" and "Myths" that takes considerable liberties with the definition of both.

On the other hand, there's no doubt that the marijuana industry is becoming more sophisticated. There is a trade organization, the National Cannabis Industry Association, that promotes "the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry." There are at least two full-time pro-marijuana lobbyists working on Capitol Hill.

It seems inevitable that marijuana will continue to get bigger, but a comparison point with Big Tobacco doesn't work. For starters, marijuana is simply less harmful than tobacco. Marijuana's addictive potential is less than a third of tobacco's. THC, the active compound in marijuana, is considerably less toxic than nicotine, which until this year was used as an industrial insecticide in the U.S.

Currently the evidence is mixed on the prevalence of cancers associated with marijuana use, although it seems reasonable to conclude that inhaling flaming plant material into your lungs on a regular basis could produce negative health consequences down the road.

Mark Kleiman, a UCLA professor who studies drug abuse and drug policy, says that compared to tobacco, marijuana will be "a smaller industry and therefore less powerful. But I don’t think it will be less insidious." He thinks the alcohol industry is a better comparison, because the usage breakdown of alcohol is similar to marijuana's.

Most of the alcohol industry's revenue comes from the top 10 percent of drinkers, who consume half of the drinks, Kleiman says. This tracks with the marijuana sales figures currently coming out of Colorado, which show that the top 20 percent of marijuana users account for 67 percent of the overall demand so far.

The distribution of tobacco users, on the other hand, is different. The average smoker consumes about 15 cigarettes per day, or three-fourths of a pack. The tobacco industry is "appealing to the median smoker, and the median smoker has a drug problem," Kleiman says. Tobacco revenues are more evenly distributed across the user base, but marijuana revenues are likely to come largely from a smaller share of heavy users.

While there's plenty of room for debate about whether it's preferable for marijuana to tread the path of alcohol or tobacco, there's no doubt that the stakes are considerably smaller. "The dangers of really bad cannabis policy simply aren't as great as the dangers of really bad alcohol policy," Kleiman says.

A privatized marijuana industry's profit-making motives are almost certain to conflict with various public health interests. But conflicting interests don't constitute grounds for outright prohibition and criminalization - if that were the case we would have outlawed fast food, congressional lobbying, and much of the financial industry a long time ago.

They do, on the other hand, make a compelling case for smart, cautious regulation. A recent Brookings institution report concluded that, from a governance perspective, the rollout of legal marijuana in Colorado has largely been a success (the report is agnostic over whether the actual policy of legalization is a good one). You can be sure that other states will be watching closely as they consider similar legalization measures in the coming years.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
781
http://gazette.com/anti-marijuana-campaign-aimed-at-colorado-teens-starting/article/1535352




Anti-marijuana campaign aimed at Colorado teens starting


DENVER — A campaign to discourage Colorado youths from using marijuana titled "Don't Be a Lab Rat" will use human-sized rat cages and television and movie-theater ads, with the goal of telling teens there's uncertainty surrounding the effects of pot.

The campaign launching Monday moves away from trying to scare teens like some anti-meth commercials, The Denver Post reports (http://goo.gl/QGTPpQ ). The $2 million campaign was commissioned by the governor's office and uses money from legal settlements with various pharmaceutical companies.

A handful of rat cages will be displayed throughout Denver with campaign messaging, including one calling for volunteers for a lab experiment.

"Volunteers needed," one of the messages will read. "Must have a developing brain. Must smoke weed. Must not be concerned about schizophrenia."

One of the television and theater commercials will show teens lighting up in a smoke-filled car, with text on the screen referencing a Duke University study that argues teenage pot use results in lasting drops in IQ.

Teens will also be directed to a website, DontBeALabRat.com, to read studies on the possible consequences of pot use.

"We don't say, 'It's absolute'; we say, 'This study exists. Some people dispute that. Make up your own mind,'" said Mike Sukle, who created the campaign. "At some point, they have to make up their mind. The days of 'Just Say No,' that was a fairly failed effort."

Sukle has previously worked on anti-meth campaigns designed to shock teenagers to try to prevent them from using the drugs. But with acceptance of marijuana use increasing, the challenge for the campaign was bigger.

"This was a tricky one," Sukle said.

He said his team pitched possible messages to teens, such as telling them marijuana could cost them a scholarship or get them in trouble. But Sukle said the message that stuck was one that addressed the teens' sense of self, and what bothered them was being told about research suggesting marijuana could affect their brain development.

Mason Tvert, a marijuana activist who helped lead the legalization effort in Colorado, is skeptical of the ad campaign and said that it's designed to scare like past anti-drug efforts.

"What it comes down to is are the ads intended to scare them or are the ads intended to inform them?" he said. "These ads are intended to scare them."
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
781
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slat...ach_new_record_in_june_with_24_7_million.html




Colorado Recreational Pot Sales Total $24.7 Million in June, a New Record


Sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado reached a new record in June, with dispensaries selling $24.7 million worth of weed, reports the Associated Press. That marks a 19 percent increase from May. In the first six months of 2014, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado totaled $115 million, which has translated into $20 million for the taxman, notes Colorado Public Radio. Recreational and medical pot sales totaled a whopping $308 million during the January-June period. While medical sales continue to outpace recreational purchases, the trend could soon shift as more recreational stores open. There are around 120 recreational pot dispensaries in the state, compared to some 500 medical storefronts.

Meanwhile, stores sold a little less than $3.8 million of weed in Washington in July, the first month of legal pot sales in the state. That would translate into a little more than $1 million in cash for state coffers, according to the Associated Press. “It’s off to a healthy start, considering that the system isn’t fully up and running yet,” said Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington Liquor Control Board.

Earlier in the week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released the results of a survey that revealed a slight drop in the percentage of teenagers who have used marijuana in the last month even as the number of high school students in the state who believe pot is harmful has also declined, reports Reuters. The percentage of teenagers who believe marijuana poses “a moderate to serious risk” declined four percentage points to 54 percent. Even so, the number who acknowledged taking marijuana in the past month declined two percentage points to 20 percent.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
781
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ates-marijuana-is-a-bargain-compared-to-beer/




In most states, marijuana is a bargain compared to beer


Marijuana is really cheap relative to beer in most states—and really not in, well, only a few.

We used marijuana street prices from crowdsourcing site priceofweed.com to estimate the price of a single marijuana joint (or roughly 0.4 grams of weed, because academia says so) in each state. We also took the listed price for a six-pack of beer from online alcohol retailer wineaccess.com and applied state-specific beer taxes to approximate the cost of a 12 ounce bottle of Bud Light (or roughly one drink, because the government says so) in each state. What we found is that the relative affordability of each drug varies quite a bit depending on where you live.

Measuring the price of marijuana relative to beer might seem a bit arbitrary. After all, marijuana, however cheap, is still illegal in most of the country. But there's actually good reason to believe the comparison is not only telling, but a potentially significant indicator of future marijuana use in the U.S., especially among America's poor and young.

For those in Oklahoma, for instance, a joint is quite the bargain. Marijuana costs only $2.09 per joint in the state (the least expensive of anywhere in the U.S.), while a Bud Light sells for roughly $0.87 a 12 ounce bottle —meaning that price of a joint is the same as the price of 2.4 beers. In Kentucky, where a joint costs about $2.61, and a Bud Light costs roughly $0.90, the ratio is closer to 2.9; in Arkansas, where a joint costs $2.58 and a Bud Light $0.86, it's 2.99; and in Washington, where weed is $2.72 per joint and Bud Light $0.90 per bottle, it's 3.01.

For those in Nevada, however, marijuana isn't nearly as wallet-friendly. Marijuana costs more than $5.20 per joint in the state (the most in the country), while a beer runs for about $0.85—meaning a joint costs the same as more than six beers. In Wyoming, where a joint costs about $5.00 and a Bud Light costs just over $0.83, the ratio is roughly 5.99; In South Dakota, where a joint costs $5.02 and a Bud Light costs $0.86, it's 5.86; and in Vermont, where weed is $4.51 per joint and Bud Light $0.86 per bottle, it's 5.28.

"Cannabis is a remarkably cheap product to produce," UCLA's Mark Kleiman said in an interview. Kleiman is an expert on drug abuse and crime control policy. He says marijuana's low price makes it more accessible to minors and low-income users, who are more sensitive to price differences. "If you're a naive user [of pot] a half a joint should do you plenty. You're now stoned for three hours for two bucks. The Doritos cost more."

Widespread legalization of marijuana could cause the prices to fall even further. A 2002 study in Australia found that lower marijuana prices increased marijuana consumption and decreased alcohol consumption, with users substituting the former for the latter. Considering that many experts say that marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol on just about any measure, this may not be a bad thing.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
781
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/cannabis-use-drops-because-teenagers-4029072




Cannabis use DROPS because teenagers in U.S. state where it was legalised think it's 'uncool'


Teenagers are turning their back on marijuana in a U.S. state where the drug has been legalised because it is no longer 'cool'.

The legalisation of cannabis in Colorado led to the drop with one theory suggesting it's an 'adult' drug.

Kayvan Khalatbari, co-founder of a marijuana dispensary, said: "Cannabis, now that it's legal, kind of is an old person's drug.

"It is something that kids are seeing adults use all over the place. It just doesn't seem as cool to kids anymore."

However, the Washington Examiner says that public officials are saying that the drop is as a result of an anti-cannabis campaign.

The use of the drug on a recreational basis was legalised in 2012 and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said youngsters found the drug less risky.

In 2008, 58 per cent thought it was risky compared with 54 per cent in 2013.

Smoking tobacco is also down, at a faster rate than the drop in cannabis, which is put down to a combination of smoking bans, tobacco taxes, enforcement and awareness campaigns.

Larry Wok, executive director and chief medical officer, said: "We know what works to protect young people from unhealthy substances.

"As with tobacco, youth prevention campaigns will help ensure adult legalisation of mairjana in Colorado does not impact the health of Colorado kids.

"If we want Colorado to be the healthiest state in the nation, then we need to make sure our youngest citizens understand the risks of using potentially harmful substances," Dr Wolk added.

"Later this month, we'll launch a youth prevention campaign that encourages kids not to risk damaging their growing brains by experimenting with marijuana."
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
781
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...es-cannabis-overdose-fairground-candy-n176121




Colorado Lawsuit Alleges Cannabis Overdose From Fairground Candy


DENVER — A Colorado man overdosed on the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana after eating chocolate bars obtained from a fairground vendor promoting the drug but whose products should have been cannabis-free, court documents showed. This year's Denver County Fair, which was held August 1-3 in the state, capital, included exhibitors selling marijuana-themed merchandise and other products at a "Pot Pavilion," where Jordan Coombs said he was given the confections.

In a negligence lawsuit filed in state court on Thursday, Coombs said he was hospitalized after ingesting the chocolate, which was handed out by staff at an exhibition booth for LivWell, a Denver-based marijuana retailer. Coombs said he "projectile vomited" in his car and that emergency room physicians diagnosed him "as overdosing on THC," the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, the lawsuit said. LivWell did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The fair said in its promotional advertising that no actual marijuana would be allowed on the grounds, the lawsuit said. "During our event we had a very strict policy that all of our vendors agree to, banning all marijuana ... products from the fair," Denver County Fair officials said in a statement.
 

Latest posts

Top