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Cannabis use is on the rise, among youth, and overall.
The 2019 Annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health was recently released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and, in short, cannabis use is on the rise — slightly.
Among those aged 12 and older, 46.2 percent now say they have consumed cannabis, compared with 45.3 percent last year; 17.5 percent say they consumed in the past year, compared with 15.9 percent; and 11.5 percent say they consumed in the past month, compared with 10.1 percent.
New survey shows “dramatic” spike in vaping among college students, including cannabis.
The University of Michigan’s annual U.S. national Monitoring the Future Panel Study was released this week. The survey covers trends related to a number of substances, from alcohol and opioids, to nicotine and cannabis.
One finding was a “dramatic” increase in cannabis vaping. Between 2017 and 2019, adults aged 19-22 who said they used a cannabis vape in the past month, rose from 5 to 14% among full-time college students, and jumped from 8 to 17% among those who were not enrolled in college.
Also, in 2019, overall consumption of cannabis in any form, from flower to vaporizer, by young adults between 19-22, was at “the highest levels seen over the past four decades,” the authors noted.
The researchers suggested that one reason for increased use is the reduction is perceived risk over the years.
“Perceptions of great risk peaked at 75% in 1991, when marijuana use among college and noncollege youth was at historic lows,” Lloyd Johnston, the original principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future study, said in a statement. “We have consistently seen this inverse relationship between perceptions of risks of harm and actual use, with changes in perceptions of risk typically preceding changes in use.”
The Vermont House votes in favor of cannabis sales bill.
The state’s House of Representatives voted 92-56 in favor of S. 54, a bill to regulate and tax cannabis sales. Earlier this week, a conference committee of key House and Senate lawmakers finally found common ground on cannabis sales after a series of virtual meetings during which reps from the two chambers hammered out their differences.
Before Thursday’s vote, there was discussion specifically around concerns about advertising and the potential to increase youth use, as well as fears over impaired driving. There was also discussion about how the required saliva tests, while they require a warrant and can’t be conducted on the roadside, could violate residents’ rights.
Burlington Rep. Barbara Rachelson spoke out against the saliva testing. “This bill legitimizes saliva testing for evidentiary use to determine impairment, which is a massive step backwards for civil liberties,” she said before the vote, and “ignores the science and the facts.”
“It is the widespread scientific consensus through peer reviewed study that saliva tests are ineffective at detecting recent cannabis use without an abundance of false positives,” she said. “This bill legitimizes a flawed test leading to our friends and neighbors being falsely accused, detained, taken to the barracks to wait for a warrant, and their privacy is violated in order to give them this faulty test.”
Poll shows Arizona residents favor legalization by a slim margin.
A Monmouth University poll shows that 51% of the 420 voters polled would vote in favor of legalization, while 41% are opposed, and 6% are unsure.
As Cannabis Wire has reported, Arizona voters will see legalization on their November ballots again, after being the only state in 2016 where voters who saw a cannabis initiative failed to pass it.