If CA Legalizes MJ, Consumption Will Increase
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If CA Legalizes MJ, Consumption Will Increase
Posted by CN Staff on May 16, 2016 at 06:13:56 PT
By Beau Kilmer
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether or not to legalize the large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives.You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment, and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite.
Although you shouldn't believe either extreme, one fairly safe bet is that if we legalize and allow profit-maximizing firms to produce, sell, and advertise recreational marijuana, use will increase.The data from Colorado and Washington, where voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, are still preliminary. We do know, however, that the number of Coloradans who reported using marijuana in the past month increased from about 10.5% in 2011-12 to nearly 15% in 2013-14. In Washington, reported use increased from just above 10% to almost 13%.Given that both states' preexisting medical systems already provided quasi-legal availability, it is hard to imagine that commercial legalization did not account for at least some of these increases. (That said, other factors could influence marijuana use and it will be some time before researchers have enough data to conduct rigorous analyses. Some of the increase could also come from respondents being more honest now that marijuana is legal in their states).But is an increase in marijuana consumption a bad thing from a public health standpoint? Not necessarily.Much will depend on the types of users who account for the increase — adults or children? Heavy users or light users? No one wants kids to get stoned at school or to become regular users while their brains are still developing. And no one wants adults to be impaired at work or behind the wheel. Some heavy marijuana users, moreover, struggle to control their consumption and this can create challenges for them and their families. But there are real benefits associated with marijuana use, such as medical relief or simply pleasure.Exactly how people consume marijuana will also help determine public health consequences. In addition to vaporizing marijuana plant material (which reduces inhalation of carcinogens and other substances), people can and do eat, drink, vape hash-oil, and “dab” waxes that are high in the intoxicating chemical THC. The negative effects of overconsuming edibles are well-documented, but much less is known about the pros and cons of these other forms.Although the social costs of heavy alcohol use are much larger than the social costs attributable to heavy marijuana use, we do not know if legalization will lead to more or less drinking. The research on the relationship between alcohol and marijuana use is split down the middle.This connection is especially important in terms of traffic safety. The bulk of the research suggests that driving drunk is more dangerous than driving stoned, and driving stoned is worse than driving sober. Research also suggests that driving under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana is worse than either by itself.It would be a real blow to public health if an increase in marijuana use led to increased tobacco use. Even though the bulk of the research suggests this is a possibility, one cannot assume that the relationship would remain the same under a different legal regime. Besides, most of the relevant studies were conducted before e-cigarettes and marijuana vape pens became popular, so researchers and voters alike have to be careful about making projections.There is also a new and much smaller body of research suggesting that increasing the availability of marijuana reduces problems with opioid painkillers. Some of these studies, however, are working papers that have not yet been subject to rigorous peer review.When you vote on whether to legalize marijuana, public health consequences may not be at the top of your list. If they are, I'm here to tell you the experts have more questions than answers. That won't change before November.Beau Kilmer is codirector the Rand Drug Policy Research Center and coauthor of the recently revised book “Marijuana Legalization.”Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Beau KilmerPublished: May 16, 2016Copyright: 2016 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on May 18, 2016 at 21:53:04 PT
Get to the heart of the matter.
The issue isn't if cannabis use increases. The issue is whether or not it is acceptable to cage and or punish responsible adults for using the relatively safe, extremely popular God-given plant.I believe it is a bad thing, to cage My fellow citizens who choose to use what God says is good on literally the very 1st page of the Bible.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on May 18, 2016 at 17:22:42 PT
reported load of BS
of course "reported" MJ use is going to increased after legalization. People are going to more open about using a legal substance.
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Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on May 18, 2016 at 01:50:24 PT
""The data from Colorado and Washington, where voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, are still preliminary.""***" We do know, however, that the number of Coloradoans who reported using marijuana in the past month increased from about 10.5% in 2011-12 to nearly 15% in 2013-14. In Washington, reported use increased from just above 10% to almost 13%.""Data from 2012 is preliminary...but data from the past month is relevent...If the data from 2012 were tilted for Kilmer's certianly would be super hyped in this stuff...
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Comment #3 posted by observer on May 16, 2016 at 15:37:51 PT
Finally, a Man of Understanding: Kilmer
Beau Kilmer's concern for the use of arrest, jail and prison, not to mention property forfeiture (gov't stealing) and prison rape is quite touching. His passionate yet cogent arguments that prison, specifically, is morally, ethically, wrong for the created-out-of-thin air "sin" and "crime" of marijuana, is really amazing. Just fantastic. Kilmer wants none of the sweeping under the rug of prison, this memory hole for jail, this gigantic blind-spot over the use of government guns for the "crime" of cannabis. At least RAND (led by the brilliant Beau Kilmer) isn't giving in to the police statery, and Machiavellian divide-and-rule lying we've come to expect from others. Yes, Beau Kilmer: bucking the establishment, and taking a bold, bold stand for truth, justice - and the American Way.Oh wait ... I'm wrong, Kilmer didn't mention jail or prison. But he is oh-so worked up that Californians might suffer from the increasing disease of "consumption". Kilmer: "Although you shouldn't believe either extreme..."Look at that. Kilmer (and RAND and BOTEC) are fair! See? They're "in the middle". They're not on either "extreme", you see. They (RAND, BOTEC other crypto-prohibitionists) want you to see them as moderate.Not extreme. Neither legalizer nor prohibitionist. They (RAND, BOTEC, etc) aren't legalizer "doves"; they're not prohibitionist "hawks", oh no no no! Tres gauche! How naive! How unsophisticated! No, BOTEC (Humphreys, Kleiman, etc.) and RAND (Kilmer etc.) are moderate, reasonable, middle-of-the-road, "Owls". Sure, they gloss over the police state, the evil of making up cannabis "crimes" and pot "criminals" out of thin air. Yes, they dismiss, minimize, and deny the government prohibition guns, and they can't see the government prohibitionist for-profit prison slavery. They may forget about all that. But, oh oh, looky here, says RAND and BOTEC. Adults might use more marijuana.Kilmer: " fairly safe bet is that if we legalize and allow profit-maximizing firms to produce, sell, and advertise recreational marijuana, use will increase."So notice all that concern for profit-maximizing government, using profit-maximizing police (and their unions) to strip mine people, to literally enslave them in prison with literal bars and chains, and punishment for refusal to work. How can it be that these middle-of-the-roaders, professing themselves to be wise "Owls" (RAND), are so worked up about increased "consumption" - yet so unconcerned with the 600,000 annual US pot arrests, the increasing police state, the growth of packed US slavery "prisons"?
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on May 16, 2016 at 13:31:17 PT
consumption increasing!!!
this is perhaps one of the most pathetic propaganda stories ever! consumption of plants is going to INCREASE!  anything but that!where was this guy when sugar and corn syrup consumption went through the roof, condemning an entire generation to obesity and diabetes complications?where was he when greenhouse emissions soared, ensuring the devastation of our society?  RIVERS of water are pouring off the worlds ice sheets - sea levels are going to rise by 40+ feet from the ice on Greenland and Antarctica alone.
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Comment #1 posted by gloovins on May 16, 2016 at 11:02:22 PT
LA Times
The LA Times literally is the weakest, lamest newspaper today when it comes to cannabis coverage. So lame. Corporate non-sense word drool, it's sad and pathetic. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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