Month: August 2020

U.S. Workers Use Cannabis More, but Opiates Less

Reefer Madness prohibitionists are clinging to a new report detailing how more workers in the United States are using cannabis than ever before to criticize the passage of medical and legalization laws. In actuality, the report has great news contained in it and it demonstrates that most employers don’t need to prohibit cannabis use off the job, a growing trend among American employers.

As The Wall Street Journal reported:

“The percentage of working Americans testing positive for drugs climbed last year, particularly for marijuana, according to a new report, indicating employee drug use was on the rise just as the coronavirus pandemic created new stresses.

“Overall, the proportion of U.S. workers who tested positive for drugs in urine in 2019 rose to 4.5%, the highest level in 16 years, according to Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest drug-testing laboratories in the U.S., which analyzed approximately nine million tests last year of employers.

“But the greatest jump has been in workers testing positive for marijuana, which climbed 11% in 2019 in the general workforce from the year before and 29% since 2015. In that four-year span, the number of states that legalized marijuana for recreational use grew to 11 from four, plus the District of Columbia.”

It’s positive news that the use of some dangerously fatal drugs has actually decreased the last few years. The use of more addictive and potentially fatal narcotics such as opiates fell 19 percent in 2019 from the year before and 49 percent since 2015. Usage rates for heroin dropped by a third from 2018 and halved since its peak in 2015. As NPR reported, opiate use has decreased in states that have legalized medicinal cannabis.

Also, fewer employers are actually testing for cannabis. Across the nation, 3% fewer employers are checking for cannabis while that number rose to 6% in states that have fully legalized cannabis. With drug tests recognizing inactive metabolites, instead of whether someone is actually impaired, it’s time that more employers stop this discriminatory practice, especially in non-safety-sensitive jobs. It’s great that we have stopped arresting and prosecuting cannabis in legal states, but it is important that employment fairness laws get enacted as well.

Documentary ‘CBD Nation’ Follows a Family’s Journey to Save Their Child

“I would do anything for my child (or children),” is something that parents understandably say and feel. While not a parent myself, I often imagine that the immense pressure of protecting a life that you brought into this world, and that you love more than yourself, has to be overwhelming at times. I think that there must be some superhero parent gene that kicks in because every time that I’ve ever watched a family member’s or friend’s, kids for just a couple of hours, has turned me into a nervous, exhausted wreck.

Unfortunately, too many parents have been forced with the traumatizing decision of attempting to save their children’s lives, but having to break the law to do so. The plight of Charlotte Figi, may she rest in peace, brought this issue to mainstream audiences after Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiled Charlotte as he documented the science and his own journey from prohibitionist to medical cannabis supporter on CNN. Now, as the Daily Beast reports, more stories like Charlotte’s are being told:

As more and more states (and countries) legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes, so too has the conversation over CBD grown exponentially. CBD Nation tackles the potential therapeutic applications of marijuana’s non-high-producing compound from numerous angles, and while its inquiry is far from comprehensive—to its detriment—it nonetheless adds to a growing chorus of voices contending that CBD is a safe, effective and possibly revolutionary treatment for a variety of ailments.

As with last year’s Waldo on Weed, Tommy Avallone’s portrait of a Pennsylvania couple that risked imprisonment by procuring and giving CBD to their eye cancer-stricken infant son, writer/director David Jakubovic’s documentary (on Amazon and VOD) is most compelling when it focuses on real-life examples of the magical benefits provided by the cannabidiol compound, which unlike THC, does not leave one stoned. Best of that bunch is the tale of Rylie Maedler, a young Delaware native whose life was threatened by a fierce bone tumor that—as horrifying facial scans illustrate—was literally eating away at her skull, causing her cheeks to slouch and her teeth to fall out. Faced with a fatal prognosis, Rylie’s mother Janie began giving Rylie CBD, and the effects were nothing short of astounding, eliminating the remainder of her post-surgery tumor, restoring her facial bone structure, and improving her general health and well-being.

If you have Amazon or can purchase it on demand, be sure to check out CBD Nation and spread the word. Hopefully, we can continue to convince legislators and policymakers to implement policies that will provide medical cannabis to all they need it, whether it contains THC or not. With virtually everyone supporting medical cannabis, too many folks feel like the battle has already been won, but too many people are going without a medicine that can benefit their lives, or those of their loved ones. Even in fully legal states, medical cannabis can be too expensive. Step by step, we must continue to share the truth about cannabis, until every patient has the medicine that they need.