United States
 Higher than US  
 Lower than US  
 US Average
Past-month marijuana use ages 12 and older, 2017-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health State Estimates.

Marijuana & Legalization

Switzerland: Access to medical cannabis broadened, pilot projects for nonmedical cannabis to be launched

4/22/21--The Swiss parliament approved an amendment to the Swiss Narcotics Act that allows broader access to cannabis for medical use. The amendment is subject to an optional referendum, and the deadline for collecting enough signatures to hold a referendum is July 8, 2021. In addition, on March 31, 2021, the Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) adopted an ordinance that specifies the requirements for pilot projects on the controlled distribution of cannabis for nonmedical use. Read

Federal cannabis regulations working group releases its ‘Principles for Federal Cannabis Regulations & Reform’ on 4/20

4/20/21--The Federal Cannabis Regulations Working Group released its Principles for Federal Cannabis Regulations & Reform, outlining what a federal regulatory framework—grounded in justice and social equity—should look like. The working group was convened by the Drug Policy Alliance at the beginning of this year. Read

Labour’s ‘responsible’ drug abuse

4/13/21--In a relentless drive to legalize drug abuse, Labour issued a White Paper entitled, ‘Towards the strengthening of the legal framework on the responsible use of cannabis’. Labour’s White Paper asserts that “Nothing in this White Paper is intended to encourage, promote or lead to consumption of cannabis,” but according to The Shift's Kevin Cassar, it proceeds to do just that. Read

Too high, or not high enough? Study finds cannabis potency labeling is often wildly inaccurate

4/14/21--A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that a regulatory labeling system featuring two three-letter acronyms accompanied by percentages: CBD and THC could frequently be way off — giving consumers radically different psychoactive experiences than what they might be expecting. Read

New coalition launched to end cannabis prohibition, bridge across ideological, party lines

4/6/21--The Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) launched to end the prohibition, criminalization, and overregulation of cannabis in the United States. The CFA aims to do so in a manner consistent with helping all Americans achieve their full potential and limiting the number of barriers that inhibit innovation and entrepreneurship in a free and open market. Read

Marijuana & Health

Are researchers getting the terms used to denote different types of recreational cannabis right? – a user perspective

4/29/21--There is a pressing need to identify simple terminology that is understood in the same way by researchers and users of cannabis. The results of this study suggest a disparity between the common terms used by researchers in academia and those used by cannabis consumers. Results of this study indicate a need to move towards descriptors that incorporate information on the concentration of key cannabinoids as well as information on methods of preparation and consumption. Read

Cannabis ‘gravest threat’ to mental health of young people

5/4/21--Cannabis is the “gravest threat” to the mental health of young people in Ireland, a psychiatrists’ group has warned, with an estimated 45,000 15-34 year olds now meeting the criteria for cannabis dependence. A combination of increasingly potent strains of the drug and a “widespread conception” among the public that it is generally harmless has had “devastating effects”, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland said. Read

Op-Ed: Are marijuana use and suicide linked?

4/23/21--In an op-ed by addiction psychiatrist Libby Stuyt, MD, she points out that data linking marijuana use to people with suicidal ideation, attempts, and completed suicides are steadily increasing. There has been a significant increase in the number of teen suicides in Colorado in the last 5 years, up to 80 in 2019, along with a significant increase in the number with marijuana found in their system. The fact that marijuana is the number one drug found when toxicology is reported correlates with the increased THC potency and availability. Read

Chapter Six – Exposure to drugs of abuse induce effects that persist across generations

4/29/21--This segment of the study highlights intergenerational and transgenerational phenotypes in offspring following a history of parental drug exposure. Special attention is paid to parental preconception exposure studies of five drugs of abuse (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, cannabinoids, and opiates) and associated behavioral and physiological outcomes in offspring. The highlighted studies demonstrate that parental exposure to drugs of abuse has enduring effects that persist into subsequent generations. Read

Heritable traits that appear in teen years raise risk for adult cannabis use

3/23/21--The journal Addiction published the findings of a major new analysis by researchers at Emory and Brown University showing that at least a small portion of the risk for developing into an adult marijuana user may be related to inherited behaviors and traits that appear during adolescence. Read  

Marijuana & Safety

Cannabis legalization and link to increase in fatal collisions

4/6/21--Legalization of recreational cannabis may be associated with an increase in fatal motor vehicle collisions based on data from the United States, and authors discuss the implications for Canada in an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Read

Driving impairment following vaporization of cannabis

3/23/21--This study confirmed previous findings from on-road and driving simulator studies showing that THC produces modest but clinically relevant driving impairment similar to that seen in drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. It also showed that THC-induced impairment was transient and no longer present between 240 minutes and 300 minutes after vaporization, even though most drivers still tested positive for THC in blood. Read

Prevalence and correlates of driving under the influence of cannabis in the U.S.

3/13/21--In 2020, public-use data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health were examined, using an analytic sample of 128,205 adults interviewed between 2016 and 2018. Findings from a study suggest that prevention efforts should focus on frequent and problem cannabis users and should include content related to other illicit drug use and other drug-impaired driving. Read

Can green energy power the cannabis boom?

1/28/21--According to an article by Bill McKibben published in The New Yorker, it was estimated that one per cent of the country’s electricity was used for raising pot as early as 2012. Many growers apparently pair their bright lights with high-powered air-conditioning in order to “shorten a plant’s growing cycle.” While energy use desperately needs to be reduced, seemingly it is greatly being used in marijuana production. As stated by McKibben in his article, "It’s an especially ironic use of power because of marijuana’s history in the otherwise green counterculture and because you can grow it outdoors—in the sunlight." Read

The dangers of drugged driving are outpacing drunk driving

1/26/21--A recent study of drugged driving, by a team of University of Cincinnati researchers, shows that a sizable percentage of individuals reported the use of marijuana and other illicit drugs while operating behind the wheel. The study found that while 8.52% of adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol, compared to 4.49% who drove under the influence of marijuana, a sizable number of adults used both marijuana and other drugs while under the influence of alcohol. Read

Marijuana & Commerce

Former Calexico City officials sentenced to prison for bribery

5/5/21--Former Calexico City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem David Romero, along with Bruno Suarez-Soto, a former commissioner on the city’s Economic Development and Financial Advisory Commission, were each sentenced to two years in prison today for taking bribes in exchange for “guaranteeing” a City permit for a cannabis business. Read

Marlboro-maker Phillip Morris keeps cannabis options open

4/28/21--Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International Inc. is beginning to take a closer look at the marijuana market. According to Chief Executive Officer Andre Calantzopoulos, the company is assessing factors like the toxicity of cannabis, efficacy, and differences between pharmaceutical and consumer options, while also continuing to analyzing the industry because the market is so young and there isn’t robust regulation yet, he said. Read

Facebook allows advertisers to target children interested in smoking, alcohol and weight loss

4/27/21--According to research by the lobby group Reset Australia, Facebook is allowing businesses to advertise to children as young as 13 who express an interest in smoking, extreme weight loss and gambling for as little as $3. While Facebook will not allow the advertising of alcohol and other age-inappropriate content to people under 18, it does not prevent advertisers from targeting children determined by Facebook’s profile to have an interest in alcohol, for advertising that might not appear explicitly to be about those topics. Read

Truss introduces six new cannabis beverages in Canada

4/23/21--Eight months after introducing Canada’s largest portfolio of cannabis beverages, Truss Beverage Co., a joint venture between Molson Coors and HEXO Corp., has announced the addition of six more products into the fast-growing market, building on its industry leading position. The new products feature flavors inspired by summer and contain varying levels of THC and CBD. Read

Counterfeit edibles are being sold on Instagram – And putting kids in hospital

4/22/21--Cannabis edibles that have been hospitalizing UK school children are being sold on Instagram and made in bulk using packaging bought on Amazon and eBay. Last month the Metropolitan Police warned schools in the capital about the dangers of cannabis sweets after several children were taken to hospital in Sutton, south London. Read

Marijuana & Culture

What is the price of science?

5/4/21--Scientific publishing is undergoing dramatic changes, which include the expansion of open access, an increased number of for-profit publication houses, and ready availability of preprint manuscripts that have not been peer reviewed. This opinion article covers the inequities and concerns that these changes have wrought. Read

NBA stars John Wall, Carmelo Anthony invest in cannabis company LEUNE

4/15/21--National Basketball Association stars John Wall and Carmelo Anthony are new investors in California-based LEUNE. The cannabis company raised roughly $5 million and said it would use the funds for marketing and expanding its products as it looks to capitalize on more states legalizing marijuana. Read

Even YouTube is chilling out on weed

3/31/21--In a Wednesday update posted to the company’s ad-friendly content guidelines, YouTube announced it would be easing up on the monetization restrictions for certain kinds of content dealing with “recreational drugs and drug-related content,” among other topics. Read

Big Pot tries to stop Patrick Kennedy from becoming drug czar

3/1/21--Patrick J. Kennedy, the former eight-term congressman and son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, wants to be the next White House drug czar but the marijuana industry is dead-set against him. According to a Bloomberg article, the marijuana industry has spotlighted Kennedy out of concern he would be an obstacle to its goal of broader legalization. Read

Dana White says UFC is looking into research on micro-dosing psychedelics to combat brain trauma

1/14/21--With the rise of brain injuries in mixed martial arts and following a devastating MMA Fighting article about former UFC veteran Spencer Fisher’s condition, UFC president Dana White revealed that he wants to see if micro-dosing psychedelics help with traumatic brain injury, addiction, and mental-health problems. Reportedly, the UFC could become a benefactor of a psychedelic study, with the possibility of recruiting current or former UFC fighters to take part. Read 

Marijuana & Enforcement

The declining significance of race in criminal sentencing: Evidence from US Federal Courts

3/15/21--Racial inequality in sentencing has decreased substantially over the last decade. In 2009, the average sentencing difference between black and white defendants in federal court was nearly 3 yrs. By 2018, this difference was less than 6 mos. During the same time, the black–white gap went from 47 mos. down to zero among drug defenders. Read

2020 National Drug Threat Assessment

3/2/21--The 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is a comprehensive assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs, the diversion and abuse of licit drugs, and the laundering of proceeds generated through illicit drug sales. It also addresses the role domestic groups, including organized violent gangs, serve in domestic drug trafficking. Read

DEA releases 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment

3/2/21--DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans today announced the release of the 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment, DEA’s annual publication outlining the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs. Read

9 amicus briefs filed with Supreme Court in support of removing cannabis from Controlled Substances Act

9/17/20--Plaintiffs in the Washington v. Barr case, which seeks to declare the federal law that criminalizes marijuana unconstitutional, have received impressive support in the form of several amicus briefs from cannabis industry organizations, researchers and current federal lawmakers. The case, brought by former NFL player and current cannabis business owner Marvin Washington, claims that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is unconstitutional by blocking patient access to the medication and sits in contradiction with the U.S. government’s own statements. Read

“False and Misleading:” Suit claims select vapes contain less THC than labelled

7/31/20--A new class action lawsuit against Oregon cannabis company Cura CS LLC seeks more than $10M over claims that its Select Elite vape cartridges contained much less THC than labeled. Read