1st Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensary gets OK to sell amid concerns about testing standards
A Salem medical marijuana dispensary is the first to receive permission to sell marijuana - after obtaining a temporary waiver from the state's strict testing guidelines.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has said it will reconsider its medical marijuana testing standards. Advocates and experts knowledgeable about the testing process say Massachusetts' current standards are stricter than those in other states and difficult to meet.
"We carefully considered the initial testing results and we will review the standards going forward," said Dr. Monica Bharel, commissioner of the Department of Public Health.
The reconsideration of testing standards is yet another hurdle for the state's troubled medical marijuana process. Although voters voted for medical marijuana in 2012, the licensing progress has been marred by delays and missteps.
Oregon starts campaign to teach what's legal with marijuana
As Oregonians prepare to enter the new world of legal marijuana, the state wants folks to know a few things.
With the slogan, "Educate Before You Recreate," The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has launched a public education campaign to put across the message that although it will be legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess and use marijuana starting July 1, it is not yet legal for anyone but medical marijuana patients to buy it - including bringing it back from across the border in Washington state, where recreational marijuana is already legal.
The $350,000 campaign includes paid ads, an official website (www.whatslegaloregon.com ) with a PowerPoint presentation, and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Under Measure 91, starting July 1, anyone over 21 in Oregon can possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana, such as dried buds at home and up to one ounce outside the home. You can consume marijuana at home or on private property. You can grow up to four plants per residence at home out of public view. You can make brownies and other edible products at home and receive them as gifts. And you can give away marijuana and receive it as a gift.
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Legalized Medical Marijuana Doesn't Increase Teen Usage, Study Finds
One of the biggest worries about legalized medical marijuana was that teenagers would smoke more pot, but it turns out those fears were wrong. A study just published in The Lancet Psychiatry showed no significant difference in adolescent marijuana use in the 21 states with medical marijuana laws.
This exhaustive study using over 24 years of data from over a million teenagers in 48 states found no evidence that legalized medical marijuana led to teenagers using pot more. Deborah Hasin, Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, reviewed data on teenagers between the ages of 13-18 and during the years 1991-2014. “Our findings provide the strongest evidence to date that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase after a state legalizes medical marijuana. Rather, up to now, in the states that passed medical marijuana laws, adolescent marijuana use was already higher than in other states. Because early adolescent use of marijuana can lead to many long term harmful outcomes, identifying the factors that actually play a role in adolescent use should be a high priority,” said Dr. Hasin.
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