#1 Public Support For Legalizing Marijuana Hits Historic Highs
An unprecedented 58 percent of Americans believe that marijuana ought to be “made legal” for adult consumption, according to survey data reported in October by Gallup. The percentage is the highest level of support ever recorded by Gallup, which has been inquiring on the issue since 1969, and marks a ten percent increase in voter approval since 2012. Regional polls conducted this year in several states, including California, Louisiana, and Texas, also reported majority support for legalization.
#2 Nation Of Uruguay Passes Legislation Regulating Cannabis Use
Lawmakers in the South American nation of Uruguay enacted legislation authorizing the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to all citizens age 18 and older. Residents will be able to legally purchase up to 40 grams of cannabis per month from state-licensed stores at a price of $1 per gram. Uruguay is the first country in modern history to officially legalize and regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis.
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Three out of four doctors would prescribe marijuana to a patient who was experiencing pain from cancer, according to the results of a poll published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The poll included 1,446 votes from 56 states and 72 countries, though most responses came from North America. For the poll, doctors were presented with the case of a 68-year-old woman named Marilyn, who was experiencing symptoms from metastatic breast cancer. They were asked to vote on whether medical marijuana should be prescribed to her for these symptoms, and were also presented with two opinion pieces written for doctors both for and against medical marijuana.
Researchers found from the results that “physicians in favor of medicinal marijuana often focused on [their] responsibility as caregivers to alleviate suffering,” they wrote. “Many pointed out the known dangers of prescription narcotics, supported patient choice, or described personal experience with patients who benefited from the use of marijuana.”
Meanwhile, researchers noted that those who were against the use of medical marijuana said that there is not enough evidence to support its use, and they also raised concerns about dosages and side effects.
“I think there’s some context that needs to be considered,” Dr. Bradley Flansbaum, one of the doctors who said he would prescribe marijuana to the theoretical patient, told HealthDay. “This was a woman with stage 4 cancer who wasn’t responding to [anti-nausea medications]. I’m not saying let’s legalize marijuana, but this is a woman at the end of her life, so what’s the downside, given that there might be a benefit. In a different situation, medical marijuana might not be so well embraced.”
Marijuana use is illegal in the United States, but it is legal for medical purposes — and with a prescription — in 19 states, UPI reported. CBS News pointed out that it’s been shown to help with pain, appetite and mood for medical use, but it is still not approved by the FDA.
A ballot measure that would reduce the number of pot shops in Los Angeles, but keep some open, took off during early voting returns Tuesday night.
With 14% of precincts reporting at 11 p.m., about 64% of voters supported Proposition D, which would keep about 130 dispensaries open.
It is one of three measures on Tuesday’s ballot that would change regulations on medical marijuana in Los Angeles. The measure with the most votes will win, but only if it receives more than 50% of the vote. If none of the three receives majority approval, they all fail.
Proposition D would shrink the number of pot shops to about 130, allowing only those operating before a failed 2007 city moratorium on dispensaries to stay open. The measure was backed by a coalition of older shops as well as a labor union that has organized workers at many of them.
Measure F, which had 43% support in early returns, would place no limit on the number of pot shops but would require them to submit to city audits, test cannabis for toxins, submit to city audits and remain a certain distance from schools, parks and other dispensaries. It was pushed by a coalition of shops that opened after the 2007 moratorium.
A third measure, Initiative Ordinance E, had 38% support. That measure would permit only the older shops without raising taxes.