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America’s college students’ belief that marijuana is harmful has plummeted since 2006. The result? Their use of the drug on a daily basis is the highest recorded since Monitoring the Future began surveying them in 1980.
 
In 2006, 55 percent of college students believed marijuana was dangerous. Eight years later, only 35 percent do. One in 17 college students now uses marijauna daily or near daily, defined as 20 or more times in the past 30 days.
 
Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students as well as college-age students conducted by the University of Michigan. The survey is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
 
Read University of Michigan news release here.
 
Meet the Marijuana Industry's Joe Camel 

As if on cue, ResponsibleOhio is conducting a Green Rush Bus Tour of more than 150 Ohio college campuses and cities to register voters and persuade them to legalize marijuana this November. The star of the tour is a superhero mascot, Buddie, whose head resembles a marijuana bud. The campaign is using Buddie to push its message.
 
The tobacco settlement of 1998 ended the tobacco industry’s use of Joe Camel, a similar cartoon character recognized by more six-year-olds than Mickey Mouse, to market cigarettes to young people. Now the marijuana industry is using the same tactic.
 
ResponsibleOhio plans to spend more than $20 million to promote its constitutional amendment, Issue 3. The amendment not only would legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use but also would guarantee a monopoly on commercial growth to the ten investors who are sponsoring it.
 
A coalition of medical associations, chambers of commerce, law enforcement groups, and others is supporting the legislature’s Issue 2, which would prohibit monopolies from being written into the state constitution. If both measures pass, the courts will decide which one prevails.
 
Read “Buddie, the Pro-Marijuana Mascot, Visits Miami University” here. Read “ResponsibleOhio Investor Defends Marijuana Legalization Plan” here.
 
Promised Marijuana Taxes of $40 Million a Year for Colorado School Construction Not Happening
 
Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012 and finalized a marijuana tax system a year later. That system included the 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana growers that proponents wrote into Amendment 64 in 2012, promising voters if they legalized pot the first $40 million of the annual excise tax would go to school construction. But it’s not working out that way.

The excise tax isn’t bringing in that much money. In 2013, it collected just $3 million. Last year it brought in $23 million.
 
“Wherever I go, it’s the No. 1 comment I hear, ‘When I voted for pot, I thought I was helping schools.’ They don’t realize how small a drop in the bucket it is . . ,” says one deputy superintendent.
 
Some people think school systems are receiving the tax funds directly. Instead, the money goes to the city, county, and state, not the school district.
 
One assistant superintendent pointed out that while $40 million is a lot of money, it doesn’t buy a lot of construction. He cited just one school that is expanding its campus at a cost of $42.5 million, which citizens raised by approving a bond.
 
“That’s just for one school, and $40 million is the amount available for the entire 178 school districts in the state,” he noted.
 
Read “State Marijuana Taxes Dribble In for a Handful of Colorado Springs Area School Districts” here.

To Our Subscribers
 
July 1 marked the first-year anniversary of The Marijuana Report e-newsletter. A huge thank you to all our readers who share their copy of The Marijuana Report with others in their networks!
 
Note: Until further notice, please ignore any email you might receive from TheMarijuanaReport@gmail.com. The address has been appropriated by a group of legalization proponents in Canada who are using it to impersonate various staff members and volunteers of National Families in Action. Their goal is to intimidate those who oppose legalization but are reaching for other policy solutions based on science and public health. We are working with Google and the Internet Crime Complaint Center to stop this illegal behavior and will let readers know when we gain possession of this G-mail address. If you receive an email from anyone using TheMarijuanaReport@gmail.com, it would be helpful if you would forward it to srusche@nationalfamilies.org. Thank you for helping us reclaim our organizational identity. 
 
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter produced by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

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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