Study: Medical Cannabis Access Associated with Fewer Workers’ Comp Claims

Generic 11 February 2020 | 0 Comments

The enactment of state-specific medical cannabis access laws is associated with a decline in workers’ compensation claims, according to data published in the journal Health Economics.

A team of researchers affiliated with Temple University in Pennsylvania and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and workers’ compensation claims over a 23-year period.

Authors reported that legal cannabis access was associated with a nearly seven percent decline in workers’ compensation claims.

“Post MML, workers’ compensation claiming declines, both the propensity to claim and the level of income from workers’ comp,” authors determined. “These findings suggest that medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for workers’ compensation.”

They concluded: “Our findings add to the small, but growing, literature on the effects of MMLs on labor market outcomes. On net, the available findings suggest that MML passage may increase work capacity among older adults, reduce work absences, improve workplace safety, and reduce WC (workers’ compensation) claiming and the pain and suffering associated with workplace injuries.”

An abstract of the study, “Medical marijuana and workers’ compensation claiming,” is online here. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace,” here.

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Trump Budget Targets Marijuana States Rights

Generic 11 February 2020 | 0 Comments

NORML Governors Scorecard for MarijuanaAs President Trump travels around the nation to his various reelection rallies, a giant banner with the slogan “Promises Made, Promises Kept” is always displayed prominently behind him. A quick review of a 2016 radio interview provides even more evidence that this is not true.

As part of his recently released fiscal year 2021 budget plan, Trump proposed ending an existing policy that protects state medical marijuana programs from Justice Department interference in addition to a provision that would continue to prohibit the District of Columbia from regulating the sale of marijuana for adult use. This is the opposite of what he said during his first campaign. With WWJ Newsradio 950 in Michigan on March 8, 2016, Trump said “I think it certainly has to be a state — I have not smoked it — it’s got to be a state decision …  I do like it, you know, from a medical standpoint … it does do pretty good things. But from the other standpoint, I think that it should be up to the states.”

Although the rider has been continually renewed in appropriations legislation since 2014, there have been hurdles along the way. President Obama asked for the policy to be removed, and Trump doubled down by omitting all language involving medical cannabis protections. 

During last year’s appropriations season, an even more expansive amendment was approved by the House. It would have provided protections for all state and territory marijuana programs, rather than just medical cannabis systems. Unfortunately, the Senate did not follow suit and the provision was excluded in final fiscal year 2020 legislation sent to Trump’s desk.

Attached to Trump’s large-scale spending legislation in December, was a statement that said he is empowered to ignore the congressionally approved medical cannabis rider, stating that the administration “will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

Trump has been notoriously inconsistent with his view on the importance of states rights. By proposing an end to state medical marijuana protections and blocking DC from legalizing, he is potentially putting thousands of Americans at risk.

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Weekly Legislative Roundup 2/8/20

Generic 9 February 2020 | 0 Comments

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

Members of the Las Cruces, New Mexico City Council approved a resolution supporting statewide marijuana legalization, as the legislature considers proposals to regulate the substance in the state.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress.

Your Highness,

Carly

Actions to Take

Connecticut

Governor Lamont outlined funds within his 2021 budget proposal to prepare for the legalization and regulation of adult use marijuana in the state. The proposal includes the automatic expungement of past convictions and other social justice-focused provisions.

Separate legislation is pending in the legislature to implement the Governor’s budget recommendations with regard to marijuana legalization. It would allow adults to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use. The measure also includes provisions allowing individuals to get past records expunged, facilitating social equity in the industry, and protecting consumers from employment discrimination.

CT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization

Hawaii

Senate Bill 2543 would prohibit an employer from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or condition of employment based on the person’s status as a medical cannabis cardholder or a positive drug test for THC.

Update: SB 2543 is scheduled for a public decision making in the Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Artson 2/11/20 at 3:00PM in conference room 224.

HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

Kentucky

Legislation is pending, House Bill 136, to permit physicians to authorize access to medical cannabis for any patient whom they believe would benefit from its therapeutic use.

Update: HB 136 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 2/12/20.

KY resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access

Maryland

Legislation is pending, House Bill 550, to expand the state’s marijuana decriminalization law.

If passed, the bill would amend penalties so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is classified as a civil rather than a criminal offense, rather than the current threshold of ten grams.

Update: HB 550 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 2/11/20.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expanded decriminalization

House Bill 617 / Senate Bill 604 would develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to students

Update: SB 604 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on 2/18/20 at12pm.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access in schools

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 179, to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of medical cannabis patients in Maryland.

The measure prohibits a person from being denied the right to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm solely on the basis that the person is authorized to use medical cannabis.

Update: SB 179 was approved by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of 2nd amendment rights

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

The measure would permit patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to eight ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

Update: SB 420 was approved by the Senate on 2/6/20.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1663, to allow for the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana by adults.

The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or up to five grams of concentrate, and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to 3 can be mature).

Update: HB 1663 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 2/13/20.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization

House Bill 1150 would establish reciprocity, which would allow qualifying patients from out-of-state to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire.

Update: HB 1150 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 2/13/20 at 10am.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity

Vermont

Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

Update: S.54 was appoved by the House Committee on Ways and Means by a 8-3 vote this week.

VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of retail sales

Virginia

For the first time in recent history, there is a clear pathway to advance a decriminalization bill, Senate Bill 2, to the desk of Governor Northam, an issue which is a top priority for him in the 2020 General Assembly.

Update: SB 2 was approved by Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations by a 12-3 vote on 2/6/20. The House Courts of Justice Committee amended and approved legislation HB 972, the House version.

VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

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New Hampshire: Home Cultivation Legislation Advances

Generic 8 February 2020 | 0 Comments

marijuana plantSenate lawmakers have passed legislation, SB 420, permitting state-authorized patients to home cultivate cannabis for their own personal use.

Under the proposed measure, patients registered with the state’s medical cannabis access program would be permitted to grow up to three mature cannabis plants at home. Currently, qualified patients are only permitted to obtain medical cannabis from a limited number of state-licensed dispensaries.

The bill now awaits further action from members of the House.

Representatives last year approved similar legislation by a veto-proof supermajority. However, Senators were unable to gain sufficient support to override the Governor’s veto. At that time, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu opined that allowing patients to grow their own medical cannabis would “make the job of law enforcement significantly more difficult,” and also suggested that it might reduce the number of patients soliciting the state’s dispensaries.

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Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

Did you know that? 7 February 2020 | 0 Comments

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new study. The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.

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