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High School Drug Use Rates Lowest Ever Recorded
The Monitoring the Future Survey has been administered to 12th graders in the United States since 1975. In 1991, 10th graders and 8th graders were added to the survey for most questions.
Only 4.8 percent of 12th graders surveyed had used a drug other than marijuana in the previous 30 days, the lowest figure ever recorded. The 3.7 percent of 10th graders using a drug other than marijuana monthly was also the lowest figure ever recorded.
When it comes to marijuana, monthly use rates among all grade levels remained fairly steady. The figures for 2020 are roughly at or below decade averages.
This is despite young people’s declining fear of and disapproval of marijuana use. Over the past five years, the survey has recorded the fewest teenagers who believe there is a “great risk” to regular marijuana use or who “strongly disapprove” of that regular use.
Also recorded over the past five years are the lowest rates of teenagers who believe it would be “easy” or “fairly easy” to acquire marijuana.
Polling in New Marijuana States Says Fed Legalization “Inevitable”
A new poll from FM3 Research that asks respondents from the four states that legalized marijuana on their 2020 ballot shows bipartisan support for the issue.
Over four-in-five respondents from Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota—states that legalized and span the red/blue political spectrum—believe the federal government should not interfere with their state’s new marijuana policy. That figure includes three-quarters of Republicans.
Close to two-thirds of the respondents believe marijuana legalization is an issue “both liberal and conservative voters can get behind.” Three-quarters believe federal marijuana legalization is “inevitable.”
Senator Files Bill to Boost Hemp THC Concentrations
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill in Congress to increase the allowable THC concentration in industrial hemp from 0.3 percent to 1 percent, reports Marijuana Moment.
Paul’s bill would also modify testing for THC by shifting the test to finished hemp products, rather than testing the dried hemp flower, a process producers say is laborious and produces inconsistent results.
The bill also creates a federal seed certificate for interstate transport that verifies the less-than-1 percent concentration, a move designed to prevent improper seizure by state authorities mistaking it for marijuana, as happened to a 6,700-lb load of hemp in Idaho last year.
Mexican President Says Legalization Delayed Over Mistakes
A vote to pass a bill to legalize marijuana nationwide in Mexico was delayed due to minor “mistakes” in the legislation, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Tuesday.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “Porque no hubo tiempo de hacer una revisión, no se pusieron de acuerdo las cámaras y se terminó prácticamente el periodo. Pero son asuntos de forma, diría yo, no de fondo.”
The Supreme Court granted the delay, López Obrador explained, due to small mistakes like “lack of precision about quantities,” saying that “there was no time to do a review” and the mistakes are “matters of form… not of substance.”
Prohibitionist Group Co-Founder Seeks Drug Czar Role
Marijuana Moment reports that former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the co-founder with Kevin Sabet of the anti-marijuana legalization group Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), is lobbying the Biden/Harris Administration for the job of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position Biden helped create as Senator in 1988.
Kennedy tells STAT News that “I believe I could do better than anyone else” as drug czar and that “I share President elect Biden’s position in support of marijuana decriminalization.”
Kennedy’s Project SAM advocates for keeping marijuana criminally prohibited as a means of coercing apprehended marijuana users into drug rehab facilities. Numerous such facilities and their operators are on the board or financially supportive of Project SAM.
Kennedy also runs a non-profit, The Kennedy Forum, which is partly funded by pharmaceutical companies and addiction treatment centers that have a stake in decisions he would make as ONDCP director, according to Politico.