SAFE Banking gets a Senate hearing.
The lawmakers behind SAFE have recently outlined their strategy, as Cannabis Wire recently reported, which is to get SAFE through the Banking Committee, and then add on language that was in the SAFE Plus package that didn’t clear the finish line in the last Congress.
Pennsylvania’s adult use legalization push picks up.
Rep. David Delloso has introduced a bill that would legalize cannabis through the use of state-run stores. It’s an approach that’s been floated in other states like New Hampshire and Rhode Island, but it’s never been signed into law. The bill has 20 sponsors.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have tried and failed for years to legalize. Last February, the Senate Law & Justice Committee held a hearing that included lawmakers and members of law enforcement to testify on legalization.
Sen. Daniel Laughlin, who has pushed for legalization and co-sponsored adult use legislation in the past, said that the medical cannabis program without adult use cannabis was the “worst of both worlds.”
“By continuing to ignore this issue, we are supporting criminal enterprises, because for all intents and purposes, we de facto legalized adult use cannabis in Pennsylvania through the medical program,” Laughlin said.
+ More: Former Lt. Gov. John Fetterman was a big supporter of legalization in Pennsylvania before he moved on to Congress. Cannabis Wire spoke with Fetterman about his statewide listening tour that found widespread support for legalization among constituents.
+ Even more: Cannabis Wire published a story earlier this year about how the midterms, during which Democrats won a majority in the House for the first time since 2010, changed the prospects for adult use legalization in Pennsylvania.
“I think that we are in the best position that we’ve been in since this movement started here in Pennsylvania,” Meredith Buettner, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, told Cannabis Wire.
NIDA: “strong evidence” of link between cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia, especially for young men.
Researchers from Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found that young men who have cannabis use disorder are at a greater risk of developing schizophrenia. (As we always flag with research like this, these sentiments are describing an “association,” not a causation.)
Researchers analyzed health data that included more than 6 million people in Denmark and a timeframe of more than five decades to “estimate the fraction of schizophrenia cases that could be attributed to cannabis use disorder on the population level.”
“The entanglement of substance use disorders and mental illnesses is a major public health issue, requiring urgent action and support for people who need it,” NIDA director and study coauthor Nora Volkow said in a statement.
“As access to potent cannabis products continues to expand, it is crucial that we also expand prevention, screening, and treatment for people who may experience mental illnesses associated with cannabis use. The findings from this study are one step in that direction and can help inform decisions that health care providers may make in caring for patients, as well as decisions that individuals may make about their own cannabis use,” Volkow continued.
This research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Medicine.