Marijuana measure lacks essential safeguards | News, Sports, Jobs

Connor Kubeisy, Simi Valley, CA.

It was reported Friday that Healthy and Productive North Dakota, which I help lead, filed a motion to object to Measure 2, the campaign measure to legalize marijuana. I would like to react to a few points that were mentioned in the article.

The article acknowledged that “the measure does not explicitly address” our campaign’s concerns about how Measure 2 lacks essential safeguards and would harm public health. Measure 2 includes no potency caps on consumable products, no bans on industry targeting children, and no requirements for products to have warning labels and child-resistant packaging. Are these common-sense guarantees really too much to ask?

As noted, New Approach North Dakota’s response for omitting these safeguards from Measure 2 was as follows: “If we spelled out every detail in the current legislation, the bill would be extremely long and cumbersome for voters.” Since when does the length of legislation seriously justify omitting critical points? Legislation should be as long as necessary. Notably, the 2016 metric for medical marijuana was over 25% longer than metric 2, but I doubt anyone complained about its word count at the time. Even taken at face value, the campaign’s explanation does not hold up because measure 2 had already addressed the subject of power and concentrations.

Measure 2 requires topical products, like marijuana-infused lotions, to be capped at 6% THC and edibles, like brownies, to be limited to 10mg THC per serving and 100mg per package. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana. After addressing the potency of topical products, they chose not to place a similar cap on the potency of consumable marijuana products. For example, Measure 2 does not prohibit the sale of 99% THC vapes, 65% THC concentrates, or 40% THC flower (Montana has capped flower potency at 35%; the Vermont capped flower potency at 30% and concentrates at 60%). %). This is because Measure 2 proponents favor the use of near-pure THC products and want no limitation on the strength of the consumable products themselves.

High-potency marijuana users are four times more likely to develop an addiction than low-potency users, and daily users of marijuana over 10% THC are nearly five times more likely to develop psychosis than non-users. In addition, nearly one in three users are unaware of the potency of their products. Measure 2’s intentional lack of a power limit puts all users at risk.

Additionally, the campaign attempted to respond to the allegation about youth use rates in part by citing a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (the American Medical Association also opposes the legalization of marijuana and recommended “limit the potency of cannabis extracts and concentrates”). However, the article did not mention that the study had been retracted and was co-authored by a researcher who disclosed a conflict of interest as a recipient of funding from the pro-legalization Charles Koch Foundation. , which we told the reporter twice before publication.

While youth use rates are trending down nationwide, it’s not because of the legalization of marijuana at the state level. These trends predated legalization: in 2002, 15.8% of 12-17 year olds used marijuana in the past year, up from 13.5% in 2012 (when Colorado became the first state to legalize ) and 10.1% in 2020. However, states that have legalized marijuana have higher rates of use among young people, and a 2022 study in Addiction found that minors were more likely to become marijuana users in states that had legalized marijuana than in states that had not.

North Dakota has the second-lowest past-year drinking rate in the nation among 12-17 year olds, at 8.72%. By comparison, Oregon, Vermont, and Colorado — all of which have notoriously legalized marijuana — have rates of 19.80%, 19.57%, and 16.01%, respectively. There is no need to wonder why.

At 19 pages and nearly 10,000 words, some may think measure 2 is already “Long and tedious.” Even so, we are confident that voters would not have been bothered by a few additional penalties had they been used to address critical public health and public safety issues. Given its lack of critical safeguards, we urge you to vote NO on Measure 2.

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