Marijuana News Roundup: Pot, Politics and Money in California

Print Email

By the time Californians vote on Proposition 64 in November, millions of dollars will have been spent both by backers and opponents of legal recreational marijuana use in the state. By one count the war chests now total more than $10 million, and the money is heavily tilted toward legalization.

Supporters of Prop 64 have raised almost $9.3 million according to a report at LA Weekly while opponents have raised about $160,000. But those only include the groups that report contributions to the California Secretary of State. The LA Weekly noted:

But there’s a third horse in this race. The antipot group Smart Approaches to Marijuana says its political arm, SAM Action, has raised more than $2 million to fight legalization in California and elsewhere this election season.

Contributions to the main committee supporting legalization, “Yes on 64,” total at least $6.6 million to date, and many big donors have a dog in the fight. The Sacramento Bee reported that a company named Weedmaps that helps patients with legal dispensaries and doctors, has given $1 million to support the legalization effort. And that’s just a single example, the newspaper reports several¬†others.

At stake is a recreational marijuana market that could reach $6.5 billion in annual sales by 2020 and raise $1 billion annually in state taxes. To paraphrase Mark Twain, whiskey’s for drinking, pot is for fighting over.

Marijuana Use Leads to Laziness, Study Suggests
The popular notion may hold true: marijuana can cause laziness. This is the conclusion of a new study by researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada, who found the primary active compound in marijuana – tetrahydrocannabinol – made rats less willing to attempt a cognitively challenging task.

Lead study author Mason Silveira, of the Department of Psychology at Columbia, and colleagues report their findings in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States; a 2014 survey found more than 22 million Americans reported using the drug in the past month.

However, as of June 2016, 25 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, and more states are expected to follow suit. This highlights the need to gain a better understanding of the risks and benefits marijuana use may pose.

Read more at Medical News Today.