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12064Fwd: NORML News of the Week 4/17/2014

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  • rebelljb@...
    Apr 20, 2014
      -----Original Message-----
      From: NORML News <letters@...>
      To: NORML News <norml_news@...>
      Sent: Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:45 pm
      Subject: NORML News of the Week 4/17/2014

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      Volume 17 Issue 16

      HomeAbout NORMLAbout MarijuanaState InfoLegal IssuesLibraryNews
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      From NORML.org:

      Study: Enactment Of Medical Cannabis Laws Associated With Lower
      Rates Of Violent Crimes

      Maryland: Marijuana Law Reform Measures Signed Into Law

      Study: Frequent Cannabis Consumers Less Likely To Engage In
      Problematic Alcohol Use

      Recent Action Alerts:

      Illinois: House Approves Legislation to Allow Universities to
      Research Hemp

      Pennsylvania: Legislation to Place Marijuana Legalization
      Question on Ballot Introduced

      Illinois: Senate Votes to Expand Medical Marijuana Program


      Study: Enactment Of Medical Cannabis Laws Associated With Lower Rates
      Of Violent Crimes

      Dallas, TX: The enactment of medicinal cannabislaws is not associated
      with any rise in statewidecriminal activity, but it is associated with
      reductions inincidences of certain violent crimes, according to data
      publishedonline in the journal PLoS ONE.
      Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas tracked crimerates
      across all 50 states between the years 1990 and 2006, a timeperiod
      during which 11 states legalized marijuana for medical use.Authors
      reviewed FBI data to determine whether there existed anyassociation
      between the passage of medicinal cannabis laws andvarying rates of
      statewide criminal activity, specifically reported crimes of homicide,
      rape, robbery,assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft.
      Investigators reported that the passage of medical marijuanalaws was
      not associated with an increase in any of the seven crimetypes
      assessed, but that liberalized laws were associated withdecreases in
      certain types of violent crime.
      "The central finding gleaned from the present study was that
      MML(medical marijuana legalization) is not predictive of higher
      crimerates and may be related to reductions in rates of homicide
      andassault," authors reported. "Interestingly, robbery and
      burglaryrates were unaffected by medicinal marijuana legislation,
      whichruns counter to the claim that dispensaries and grow houses lead
      toan increase in victimization due to the opportunity structureslinked
      to the amount of drugs and cash that are present. Although,this is in
      line with prior research suggesting that medicalmarijuana dispensaries
      may actually reduce crime in the immediatevicinity."
      Researchers concluded: "Medical marijuana laws were not found tohave a
      crime exacerbating effect on any of the seven crime types.On the
      contrary, our findings indicated that MML precedes areduction in
      homicide and assault. ... In sum, these findings runcounter to
      arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana formedical purposes
      poses a danger to public health in terms ofexposure to violent crime
      and property crimes."
      For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORMLDeputy
      Director, at: paul@.... Full textof the study, "The effect of
      medical marijuana laws on crime:evidence from state panel data,
      1990-2006," is available from PLoSONE.

      Maryland: Marijuana Law Reform Measures Signed Into Law

      Annapolis, MD: Democrat Gov. Martin O'Malleysigned two separate pieces
      of legislation on Monday reforming thestate's marijuana laws.
      Senate Bill 364 amends existing penalties formarijuana possession
      offenses involving ten grams or less from acriminal misdemeanor
      (presently punishable by arrest, up to 90 daysin jail, a $500 fine, and
      a criminal record) to a non-arrestable,non-criminal fine-only offense
      ($100 fine for first-time offenders,$250 for second-time offenders).
      The new depenalization law takeseffect on October 1, 2014.
      House Bill 881 provides for the state-licensedproduction and dispensing
      of marijuana to qualified patients whopossess a written certification
      from their physician. The new lawwill take effect on June 1, 2014, at
      which time the state shallestablish a commission to draft rules and
      regulations overseeingthe production and distribution of medical
      marijuana. However, thelicensing program is not anticipated to be up
      and running until2015.
      Maryland is the 18th state to depenalize minor marijuanapossession
      offenses to a non-arrestable offense. (Colorado andWashington have also
      enacted regulations allowing for the legalretail production and sale of
      the plant.) It is the 21st state toallow for the doctor-recommended
      access to cannabis therapy.
      For more information, please contact Allen. St. Pierre,NORML Executive
      Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML CommunicationsDirector, at (202)

      Study: Frequent Cannabis Consumers Less Likely To Engage In Problematic
      Alcohol Use

      Malmo, Sweden: Those who report consumingcannabis two or three times
      per week are less likely to engage inat risk drinking behavior,
      according to data published online in The AmericanJournal of Addictions.
      Investigators from Sweden's Lund University, Department ofClinical
      Sciences, analyzed data from a nationwide survey onalcohol and drug use
      conducted by the National Institute of PublicHealth. Over 22,000
      respondents between the ages of 15 and 64participated in the survey.
      Researchers reported that frequent cannabis consumers (definedas having
      used cannabis two or three times per week) were lesslikely to engage in
      hazardous drinking practices compared toinfrequent users (those who
      reported having consumed cannabis fewerthan four times per month).
      They concluded: "Among cannabis users, frequent cannabis use
      isassociated with a higher prevalence of other illicit drug use and
      alower prevalence of hazardous alcohol use when compared tooccasional
      cannabis use. ... The inverse relationship between thefrequency of
      cannabis use and hazardous drinking has not beenreported before to our
      knowledge. ... This may indicate thatcannabis users and alcohol users
      are different groups, albeit witha high degree of overlap between
      groups, with differentcharacteristics and clinical needs."
      A review paper published in February in the journal Alcohol
      andAlcoholism similarly acknowledged that some cannabis consumerslikely
      substitute the plant for alcohol. It concluded: "While moreresearch and
      improved study designs are needed to better identifythe extent and
      impact of cannabis substitution on those affected byAUD (alcohol use
      disorders), cannabis does appear to be a potentialsubstitute for
      alcohol. Perhaps more importantly, cannabis is bothsafer and
      potentially less addictive than benzodiazepines and
      otherpharmaceuticals that have been evaluated as substitutes
      For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORMLDeputy
      Director, at: paul@.... Full textof the study, "Alcohol and drug
      use in groups of cannabis users:Results from a survey on drug use in
      the Swedish generalpopulation," appears in The American Journal

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      Support Marijuana Law Reform

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      Study: Frequent Cannabis Consumers Less Likely To Engage In Problematic
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      04/15/14 5:43pm EDT

      Maryland: Governor Signs Marijuana Reform Measures Into Law Details

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