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60% of Americans Support Legalization?
Not Even Close

By Bridget Klotz

On Tuesday, February 7, the Providence Journal ran this headline: “3 out of 5 [60%] in R.I. Support Legalized Recreational Marijuana, Poll Says.” This story continued the pro-legalization narrative a Gallup poll began last October that concluded 60% of American adults over 18 want recreational marijuana legalized. 

However, the results of the elections in November 2016 directly contradict those poll numbers. In fact, the defeat of legalized recreational marijuana in Arizona refutes the idea that so many Americans are eager to see this happen.

Not only do the election numbers NOT support legalization proponents' narrative, but they tell a shockingly different story: a very small percentage of people in any given state are legalizing for the vast majority who will live with the consequences.

California, with just over 39 million people, saw just under 8 million of its 19.2 million registered voters say yes to legalization, which totals a mere 41% approval. Factoring in adults over 18, the sample Gallup used in its poll, sees the number of adults approving legal pot in California plummet to 27%--less than half of the alleged 60% asserted by proponents.

Even more startling, this means that just under 8 million voters decided that 31 million other Californians will deal with the consequences of legalized marijuana. Twenty percent of the population made the choice for the other 80%. 

Some 38% of Maine’s registered voters approved legal pot, a full 22% below the mythical 60% number. When the over 18 population of Maine is considered, that approval drops to 35%. Maine saw 28% making the decision for the whole state. 

Massachusetts also saw 38% of its registered voters approve, but, when the entire population over 18 is totaled, the approval number drops to 32%. Neither number approaches 60%. But the 26% of Massachusetts citizens that said yes made the choice for 74% who will live with it.

Nevada had 36% of registered voters say yes; adjusted for adults over 18, the support for legal pot drops to 27%, another state with less than half of the publicized 60%. Twenty-one percent of Nevada voters made the choice that 79% who didn’t approve will endure.

Why the discrepancy? Legalization proponents know numbers breed numbers. If the public believes legalization is inevitable, people are more likely to throw their support behind it. However, the November election results show legalization is far from inevitable, and the tide could be turning.
 
Fungus in Medical Marijuana Eyed as
Possible Cause In California Man’s Death

A few patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy and stem-cell therapy to treat their cancer fell ill with a rare but lethal fungal infection in a northern California hospital. The patients were young and in “winnable cancer battles,” but one died, not of cancer but of the fungal infection.

Doctors set out to find out why, but suspected the fungus might have come from the marijuana the patients used to allay their chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The doctors say they sometimes see 20% to 30% of marijuana samples coming through their labs contaminated with molds.

They gathered 20 samples of medical marijuana from across California and tested them thoroughly. They were shocked when 90% of the samples came back contaminated, and some of the contaminants were similar to the infections seen in their patients.

“Klebsiella, E.coli, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, these are all very serious infections for anybody in the hospital,” particularly those with compromised immune systems, said the doctors.

“There’s this misconception that these dispensaries produce products that have been tested to be safe for patients, and that’s not necessarily the case.” 

Read story here.
 
Bay Area Medicinal Marijuana
Tests Positive for Toxic Fungicide

Steep Hill Labs, which helped doctors identify contaminants in California pot in the story above, has been analyzing marijuana samples for contaminants since the 1990s. “We see contaminated samples coming through our lab that would have to be destroyed in other states,” says one of the lab’s researchers. 

One problem is a pesticide called Myclobutanil, often sold under the name Eagle 20. It is safe to use on grapes, but when heated it produces hydrogen cyanide, which is very toxic to humans. The company that makes the pesticide says it should never be used on marijuana.

Read story here.
 
Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Issues Recall

An Arizona medical marijuana dispensary voluntarily recalled several of its marijuana-infused foods. The recalled products include Marynara Pasta Sauce, Hot Sauce, Honey Dijon Mustard and Sriracha Ketchup. The dispensary owner says the reason for the recall is a packaging issue. 

But county health authorities say none of these products has been tested for pathogens, some of which could make people sick. A spokeswoman for the health authority says they will be working closely with the dispensary to ensure all safety measures are being followed.

Read story here.


The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.
 
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About National Families in Action (NFIA)
NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy 
About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of "incarceration versus legalization" when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:
  • To inform public policy with the science of today's marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of "Big Marijuana" - and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana's medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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