The latest poll on marijuana legalization shows not only do 58% of Americans support it, but the most recent polling shows 61% in support and growing. CivicScience questioned over 450,000 Americans using an online poll distributed through multiple websites and protected against vote stuffing. CivicScience has asked “Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol?” for over two years. Their responses show 58% support and 35% oppose legalization; however, responses from just May-August show 61% support and just 30% opposition, with 40% in the “strongly support” category. Men still outrank women in support for legalization, 60% to 55%. And in some interesting marketing data, strong supporters of legalization tend to favor brands like Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, and Apple Computers, strong opponents favored Wal-Mart, Texas Roadhouse, and Cracker Barrel.
The city council of Kennewick, Washington, voted unanimously to ban all marijuana licensees approved under Initiative 502. The move comes after the city of Fife was allowed by a judge to ban licensees because doing so would not thwart the will of the voters to regulate marijuana statewide, since Fife is tiny and adjacent to Tacoma, population 202,000, which has plenty of legal pot shops. Kennewick will face lawsuits from I-502 licensees, who will note that, unlike Fife, the city numbers 75,000 in population. Kennewick is also part of a “tri-cities” metro region consisting of Pasco (65,000), which has already banned I-502 businesses, and Richland / West Richland (63,000) which are considering bans. Nearby Walla Walla County has already banned I-502 businesses, and tiny Prosser, a forty minute drive from the Tri-Cities, has the only open pot shop in the county and has banned any more from opening. We shall see if allowing only one pot shop in a county of over 200,000 passes judicial muster.
In October, Colorado will drop the requirement that a recreational marijuana shop must first be a medical marijuana dispensary. Now the state is grappling with how to regulate the newcomers to the marijuana market. Initially, Amendment 64 required that only medical dispensaries could apply to be recreational shops, a situation that has created buildings where patients enter one door and civilians enter another, shopping for the identical product that must be kept in two separate supply chains. Requirements that a shop grow 70% of what it sells led to product shortages that kept the price of overtaxed marijuana even higher, as much as $500 per ounce. One change will be the state allowing pot to be grown under the sun. Currently, all pot production is done in indoor warehouses, using electric light that contributes to energy waste and global climate change. However, growers complain the state will only allow half the number of plants in a greenhouse as they allow in a warehouse, incentivizing the less-environmentally-friendly growing option.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver will embark on the first scientific study on the use of Charlotte’s Web CBD-oil for Dravet Syndrome. The disease, a form of epilepsy, gained notoriety in the Dr. Sanjay Gupta special where Charlotte Figi, a little girl with Dravet Syndrome, seems miraculously cured of most of her seizures. However, other Dravet sufferers have found little to no help from the oil rich in cannabidiol and nearly free of THC. The study will examine the genes of patients who have had success with Charlotte’s Web vs. those who have not to determine if certain genetic markers predict the efficacy of the CBD oil for certain patients. Recruiting for the new study will begin within a month and data will be collected until February 2016.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations received a half-million dollars in federal grant money to combat illegal marijuana grows. They used that money to fund deputies and fly a helicopter to search for plants. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that the state seized 12,300 marijuana plants so far this year. A few of those plants belonged to Timothy Sturgis, a 42-year-old man alleged to have been growing them. When the helicopter spotted his plants, three deputies on the ground confronted Sturgis, who was armed with an AK-47 rifle and a semi-automatic pistol. Sturgis held the rifle to his mouth and told the deputies he’d kill himself, and after a two-hour standoff, he did, while negotiators were on the phone with his parents in Cleveland.