The legalization of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is not associated with increases in the use of marijuana or other illicit substances among adolescents, according to discussion paper commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Germany. Economists from Montana State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Colorado, Denver examined the relationship between state medical cannabis laws and marijuana consumption among high school students. Authors analyzed data from the national and state Youth Risky Behavior Surveys (YRBS) for the years 1993 through 2009 – during which time 13 states enacted law allowing for the production and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The national YRBS is conducted biennially by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is a nationally representative sample of U.S. high school students. Authors reported that the survey data provides no evidence that the enactment of medical cannabis legalization adversely impacted adolescents’ drug consumption. They concluded: “Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana and other substances among high school students. … Our results suggest that the legalization of medical marijuana was not accompanied by increases in the use of marijuana or other substances such as alcohol and cocaine among high school students. Interestingly, several of our estimates suggest that marijuana use actually declined with the passage of medical marijuana laws.” A 2012 study by researchers at McGill University in Montreal and published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology previously reported similar findings, concluding: “[P]assing MMLs (medical marijuana laws) decreased past-month use among adolescents ... and had no discernible effect on the perceived riskiness of monthly use. ... [These] estimates suggest that reported adolescent marijuana use may actually decrease following the passing of medical marijuana laws.” Previous investigations by research teams at Brown University in 2011 and Texas A&M in 2007 made similar determinations, concluding, "[C]onsistent with other studies of the liberalization of cannabis laws, medical cannabis laws do not appear to increase use of the drug." The findings of these studies contradict public statements made by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske and other medical cannabis opponents, who in recent years have repeatedly alleged that the passage of medical cannabis laws is directly responsible for higher levels of self-reported marijuana consumption among US teenagers. Full text of the study, “Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use,” is available online at: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6592.pdf.
Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo has endorsed a legislative effort to equalize marijuana possession penalties, regardless of whether the cannabis is possessed in private or in public view. Governor Cuomo announced his support at a press conference on Monday. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly are also backing the effort. Under state law, the private possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is a non-criminal civil citation, punishable by a $100 fine. By contrast, the possession of any amount of cannabis in public view is a criminal misdemeanor [NY State Penal Law 221.10]. In 2011, New York City law enforcement spent $75 million arresting approximately 50,000 minor marijuana offenders under Penal Law 221.10. Many of these offenders had marijuana on their person, and only revealed the cannabis publicly after being ordered by police to empty their pockets during ‘stop-and-frisk’ searches. According to the governor's office, 94 percent of arrests for small amounts of marijuana in the state are in New York City. Over 85 percent of those charged are either African American or Latino. Governor Cuomo said that the present law is “incongruous” and “disproportionately” effects black and Hispanic youth. Bipartisan legislation pending in the state legislature – Senate Bill 5187 and Assembly Bill 7620 – would equalize minor marijuana possession penalties to a non-criminal, fine-only offense. According to the Associated Press, Cuomo's forthcoming proposal differs slightly from these measures because it would retain criminal misdemeanor penalties for cannabis smoking in public. State lawmakers are expected to be in session for three more weeks. Today, a coalition of advocacy groups, including ColorOfChange.org and the Drug Policy Alliance, launched an online advocacy campaign featuring video testimonials from people who the campaign says have been illegally searched or falsely charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in New York City. The video testimonials are available online here.
Nearly six out of ten American voters now believe that the personal use of marijuana should no longer be a criminal offense, and 56 percent of Americans say that the substance ought to be legalized like alcohol, according to a nationwide Rasmussen telephone poll of 1,000 likely voters. According to the poll, 58 percent of respondents believe that it should not be a crime “for someone to smoke marijuana” in private. Only 32 percent of respondents believed that such activity should remain illegal. Among self-identified Democrats, 63 percent agreed that the personal use of marijuana should not be a crime versus 49 percent of Republicans. A solid majority of respondents, 56 percent, also said that they favored “legalizing marijuana and regulating it like alcohol or cigarettes.” (Thirty-four percent were opposed.) Among males polled, 61 percent favored legalization versus 52 percent of females. A majority of respondents of every age group polled favored legalizing cannabis, including 50 percent of those age 65 and older. However, among those respondents with children, only 49 percent said that they favored legalization. Support for legalizing cannabis rose to 57 percent when pollsters’ asked: Do you favor legalizing marijuana if “no one under 18 could buy it, it was banned in public, and there were strict penalties for driving under the influence.” The slight gain in overall support was largely because of a spike in support among respondents with children (49 percent to 58 percent) and self-identified Republicans (48 percent to 52 percent). The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. In 2011, a nationwide Gallup poll reported that 50 percent of Americans support legalizing the use of cannabis for adults. Forty-six percent of respondents said they opposed the idea. The 2011 Gallup survey results marked the first time that the polling firm, which has tracked Americans' attitudes toward marijuana since the late 1960s, reported that more Americans support legalizing cannabis than oppose it. Most recently, an April 2012 Rasmussen Reports telephone survey reported that 47 percent of adults "believe the country should legalize and tax marijuana in order to help solve the nation's fiscal problems." Forty-two percent of respondents disagreed, while ten percent were undecided.
Three out of four Americans favor the use of fines or probation in lieu of criminal sanctions for marijuana offenders, according to an Angus Reid Public opinion poll of 1,011 US adults. According to the poll, 74 percent of respondents said that they favored the imposition of “alternative penalties” – such as fines, probation, or community service – rather than prison for those found to have violated marijuana possession laws. By contrast, only 41 percent of respondents favored such penalties for credit card fraud, and only one-third of those polled favored alternative sentencing for drunk driving offenders. Among Canadian respondents, 78 percent prefer fines in lieu of prison for minor marijuana offenders. Among British respondents, 70 percent endorsed sentencing alternatives. The margin of error is +/-2.2% for Great Britain, and +/-3.1% for Canada and the United States. The Angus Reid poll comes just weeks after a national telephone poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that a plurality of Americans now support legalizing and taxing the production and sale of cannabis. According to the poll of 1,000 adults, 47 percent of adults “believe the country should legalize and tax marijuana in order to help solve the nation's fiscal problems.” Forty-two percent of respondents disagreed, while ten percent were undecided. In 2011, a nationwide Gallup poll reported that 50 percent of Americans support legalizing the use of cannabis for adults. Forty-six percent of respondents said they opposed the idea. The 2011 Gallup survey results marked the first time that the polling firm, which has tracked Americans' attitudes toward marijuana since the late 1960s, reported that more Americans support legalizing cannabis than oppose it.
President Barack Obama is defending his administration’s recent crackdown upon medicinal cannabis providers in states that allow for its use in a just-published Rolling Stone Magazine interview. In recent months, federal justice officials have executed raids on dozens of medical marijuana providers and related businesses, including Oaksterdam University in Oakland, in various states. In some cases, federal authorities have even targeted establishments that were operating in accordance with a state license. The Justice Department has also ordered lawmakers in various states – including Delaware, Rhode Island, and Washington – to suspend plans to authorize cannabis providers under state law. To date, three states – Colorado, Maine, and New Mexico – have issued licenses to allow for the state-sanctioned production and distribution of cannabis. Similar licensing legislation approved in Arizona, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington, DC has yet to be implemented by local lawmakers. Stated Obama in Rolling Stone: “What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.’” He added: “The only tension that's come up – and this gets hyped up a lot – is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we're telling them, ‘This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way.’ That's not something we're going to do.” Obama’s statements appear to contradict those he made in March 2009, as a Presidential candidate, when he pledged to cease utilizing “Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws” regarding medical cannabis. More recently, in December, US Attorney General Eric Holder told members of Congress that the Justice Department would only target medical cannabis operators that “use marijuana in a way that's not consistent with the state statute.”
Low level marijuana arrests in New York City rose for the seventh straight year in 2011 to 50,680. The arrest total is the highest total on record since former pot smoker Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office and it is the second highest total of pot arrests ever recorded in the history of the city (just 587 arrests behind the record holding year 2000, when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani oversaw some 51,267 people arrested for marijuana violations). Shockingly, the near-record high arrest total comes just months after New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called on officers to cease making marijuana misdemeanor arrests. Apparently, NYPD officers aren't very good at listening to their commanding officer. Of course, what is most troubling about these arrest figures is that under state law they largely shouldn't be occurring at all. Since 1977, New York State law has categorized the possession of 25 grams of marijuana or less as a violation, not a misdemeanor crime. So then how are NYPD making so many misdemeanor pot arrests? By violating the spirit of the law, if not the law itself. Rather than ticketing low level marijuana offenders, City police for over a decade have been taking advantage of a separate statute, NY State Penal Law 221.10, which makes it a criminal misdemeanor to possess pot if it is 'open to public view.' According to an investigation last year by New York City public radio station WNYC, it was determined that City cops routinely conduct warrantless 'stop-and-frisk' searches of civilians, find marijuana hidden on their persons, and then falsely charge them with possessing pot 'open to public view.' And what has been the result of these illegal 'stop and frisks?' A press advisory issued yesterday by the Drug Policy Alliance lists the grim details.
-- The NYPD has made more than 100,000 marijuana possession arrests for the last two years; nearly 150,000 marijuana possession arrests in the last three years; and more than 227,000 marijuana possession arrests in the last five years. -- New York City spent at least $150 million in the last two years and has spent at least $340 million in the last five years making marijuana possession arrests. -- In the last decade since Michael Bloomberg became mayor, the NYPD has made 400,038 lowest level marijuana possession arrests at a cost to taxpayers of $600 million dollars. -- Nearly 350,000 of the marijuana possession arrests made under Bloomberg are of overwhelmingly young Black and Latino men, despite the fact that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young Blacks and Latinos. -- In the last five years, the NYPD under Bloomberg has made more marijuana arrests (2007 to 2011 = 227,093) than in the 24 years from 1978 through 2001 under Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Dinkins, and Mayor Koch combined (1978 to 2001 = 226,861).
Commissioner Kelly's 2011 memorandum explicitly directed officers to stop charging defendants with criminal misdemeanors in instances where the contraband 'was disclosed to public view at an officer's direction.' Nevertheless, the record number of low level pot arrests appears to be continuing unabated. Most likely, it will take an act of law to stop this practice. Fortunately, bipartisan legislation is pending in both the New York State Assembly and Senate to stop this disgusting, ongoing practice. Assembly Bill 7620 and Senate Bill 5187 reduce marijuana penalties involving cases where where marijuana was either consumed or allegedly possessed in public from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-criminal violation. Passage of SB 5187 and AB 7620 will save taxpayer dollars, protect New York City's citizens against illegal searches, and reduce unwarranted racial disparities in arrests by clarifying the law and standardizing penalties for marijuana possession offenses. If you reside in New York and want to end the City's dubious distinction of being the 'marijuana arrest capital of the world,' then please contact your state elected officials today and urge them to support SB 5187 and AB 7620. You can do so via NORML's 'Take Action Center' here.
#1 NORML Sues to Halt Government’s Prosecution of Medical Cannabis Providers In October, the United States Deputy Attorney General, along with the four US Attorneys from California, announced their intentions to escalate federal efforts targeting the state's medical cannabis dispensaries and providers. In response, members of the NORML Legal Committee filed suit in November against the federal government arguing that its actions were in violation of the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution. Plaintiffs further argued, using the theory of judicial estoppel, that the Justice Department had previously affirmed in federal court that it would no longer use federal resources to prosecute cannabis patients or providers who are compliant with state law. NORML’s lawsuit remains pending. Read the full story here. #2 Members of Congress Introduce First Bill Since 1937 to Legalize Cannabis House lawmakers introduced legislation in Congress in June to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana. The bipartisan measure – HR 2306, the 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011' – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess cannabis by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The bill awaits Congressional action. Read the full story here. #3 Gallup: Majority of Americans Support Legalizing Cannabis A record 50 percent of Americans now believe that marijuana ought to be legalized for adult use, according to a nationwide Gallup poll of 1,005 adults published in October. The 2011 survey results mark the first time ever that Gallup has reported that more Americans support legalizing cannabis (50 percent) than oppose it (46 percent). Read the full story here. #4 Over One Million Americans Now Use Cannabis Legally Under State Law Between one million to one-and-a-half million US citizens are legally authorized by the laws of their state to use marijuana, according to data compiled in May by NORML from state medical marijuana registries and patient estimates. Read the full story here. #5 Marijuana Prosecutions For 2010 Near Record High Police made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for marijuana-related offenses according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released in September. The annual arrest total is among the highest ever reported by the agency. Marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (52 percent) of all drug arrests in the United States. Read the full story here. #6 Largest State Doctors Association Calls For Legalizing Cannabis The California Medical Association in October called for the “legalization and regulation” of cannabis for adults. The association, which represents some 35,000 physicians, recommends that cannabis be taxed and regulated “in a manner similar to alcohol.” Read the full story here. #7 Connecticut Decriminalizes Cannabis Possession Offenses Statewide legislation took effect in July reducing the penalties for the adult possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a $150 fine, no arrest or jail time, and no criminal record. Read the full story here. #8 Vaporized Cannabis Augments Analgesic Effect of Opiates in Humans Vaporized cannabis significantly augments the analgesic effects of opiates in patients with chronic pain, according to clinical trial data published online in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in November. Investigators surmised that cannabis-specific interventions “may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer [patient] side effects.” Read the full story here. #9 State Governors Call on Obama Administration to Reclassify Cannabis In December, governors from Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington formally requested the Obama administration to reclassify cannabis under federal law in a manner that would allow states to regulate its therapeutic use without federal interference. The administration in July had previously rejected a nine-year-old petition calling on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance without any ‘accepted medical use in treatment.’ Read the full story here. #10 Delaware Becomes 16th State to Legalize Limited Medical Use of Marijuana State lawmakers in May approved legislation to allow patients with a qualifying illness may legally possess up to six ounces of cannabis, provided the cannabis is obtained from a state-licensed, not-for-profit ‘compassion center.’ The law is anticipated to be implemented in 2012. Read the full story here.
A new study out today estimates that one-third of US young people will be arrested or taken into custody for illegal or delinquent offenses (excluding arrests for minor traffic violations) by the age of 23. CBS News/Web MD reports on the findings here:
Study: Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. youths will be arrested by age 23 Parents and non-parents alike might be shocked to learn a new study estimates that roughly 1 in 3 U.S. youths will be arrested for a non-traffic offense by age 23 - a "substantively higher" proportion than predicted in the 1960s. The study, posted online by the journal Pediatrics, shows that between about 25% to 41% of 23-year-olds have been arrested or taken into police custody at least once for a non-traffic offense. If you factor in missing cases, that percentage could lie between about 30% and 41%. What was learned was that the risk was greatest during late adolescence or emerging adulthood. The study also shows that by age 18, about 16% to 27% have been arrested. ... The researchers base their conclusion on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, ages 8 to 23. Data analyzed in the new study came from national surveys of youth conducted annually from 1997 to 2008. Their finding contrasts with a 1965 study that predicted 22% of U.S. youths would be arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation by age 23. Why the Rise in Arrests? The researchers cite some "compelling reasons" for the increase. "The criminal justice system has clearly become more aggressive in dealing with offenders (particularly those who commit drug offenses and violent crimes) since the 1960s," the authors, all criminologists, write. In addition, "there is some evidence that the transition from adolescence to adulthood has become a longer process." From the 1920s through the 1960s, the proportion of the population that was incarcerated remained remarkably stable at about 100 inmates per 100,000 people, researcher Robert Brame, PhD, of the department of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, tells WebMD. Today, Brame says, that figure has soared to 500 inmates per 100,000 people.
While it is commendable that CBS is highlighting the findings of this troubling data, it's frustrating that the network's editors appear blissfully unaware of what is one of the most painfully obvious drivers of this surge in juvenile arrests: the ever-increasing enforcement of marijuana prohibition. As I stated from the stage at the 2008 NORML national conference, "It's Not Your Parents' Prohibition," the so-called 'war' on pot is largely a criminal crackdown on young people.
Young people, in many cases those under 18-years-of-age, disproportionately bear the brunt of marijuana law enforcement. ... According to a 2005 study commissioned by the NORML Foundation, 74 percent of all Americans busted for pot are under age 30, and 1 out of 4 are age 18 or younger. That’s nearly a quarter of a million teenagers arrested for marijuana violations each year. ... [I]f we ever want the marijuana laws to change, that we as a community have to better represent the interests of young people, and we must do a better job speaking on their — and their parent’s — behalf. (Read my entire remarks here.)
Since 1965, police have made an estimated 21.5 million arrests for marijuana-related offense, according to cumulative data published by the FBI. Some 8 million of these arrests have occurred since 2000. Assuming that nearly three out of four of those arrested in the past decade were under age 30, that equates to the arrest of some 6 million young people -- including 2 million teenagers -- for marijuana-related offenses since the year 2000. In short, marijuana prohibition isn't protecting kids; its endangering them. We now have an entire generation that has been alienated to believe that the police and their civic leaders are instruments of their oppression rather than their protection.
Alcohol consumption causes far greater harms to the individual user and to society than does the use of cannabis, according to a new review published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the journal of the British Association of Psychopharmacology. Investigators at the Imperial College of London assessed “the relative physical, psychological, and social harms of cannabis and alcohol.” Authors reported that cannabis inhalation, particularly long-term, contributes to some potential adverse health effects, including harms to the lungs, circulatory system, as well as the exacerbation of certain mental health risks. By contrast, authors described alcohol as “ a toxic substance” that is responsible for nearly five percent “of the total global disease burden.” Researchers determined, “A direct comparison of alcohol and cannabis showed that alcohol was considered to be more than twice as harmful as cannabis to [individual] users, and five times more harmful as cannabis to others (society). … As there are few areas of harm that each drug can produce where cannabis scores more [dangerous to health] than alcohol, we suggest that even if there were no legal impediment to cannabis use, it would be unlikely to be more harmful than alcohol.” They concluded, “The findings underline the need for a coherent, evidence-based drugs policy that enables individuals to make informed decisions about the consequences of their drug use.” The researchers' findings should hardly come as a revelation. Last week, a just-published study that was completely ignored by the mainstream media reported that alcohol consumption increased lung cancer risk by 30 percent. Surprised? You shouldn't be. After all, a February 2011 World Health Organization report concluded that alcohol consumption causes a staggering four percent of all deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence. A just-published analysis in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that in the United States alone, an estimated 79,000 lives are lost annually due to excessive drinking. The study further estimates that the overall economic cost of excessive drinking by Americans is $223.5 billion annually. Naturally, any health costs related to cannabis use pale in comparison. A 2009 review published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal estimated that health-related costs per user are eight times higher for drinkers of alcoholic beverages than they are for those who use cannabis, and are more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers. "In terms of [health-related] costs per user: tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user," investigators concluded. In an op/ed I wrote last year entitled "Pot Versus Alcohol: Experts Say Booze Is the Bigger Danger," I cited the findings of numerous independent commissions, all of which pronounced that the risks of marijuana were nominal compared to those associated with booze. You can read these findings here and much of this evidence is discussed in even greater detail in my book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? Nevertheless, despite its enormous societal toll, alcohol remains celebrated in this country -- American Craft Beer Week is now endorsed by the U.S. Congress -- while cannabis remains arbitrarily criminalized and demonized. It's a situation illogical enough to drive most anyone to drink.
Last month NORML posted a letter from Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen -- co-sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 -- to Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, which called upon the Obama administration to support changing cannabis' status as a schedule I prohibited drug and to respect the laws of states that have legalized it for its medical utility. “We should not deny the thousands of Americans who rely on the benefits that marijuana provides," Cohen wrote. “There is no evidence that marijuana has the same addictive qualities or damaging consequences as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine and should not be treated as such.” On Monday, October 3, Drug Czar Kerlikowske responded to Rep. Cohen. In his reply, summarized here, Kerlikowske alleged that the Congressman's concerns regarding the federal scheduling of cannabis are unwarranted because, "We ardently support research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine." Kerlikowske added, "In fact, the federal government is the largest source of funding for research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana, and every valid request for the use of marijuana for research has been approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration." Really? So how does the Drug Czar explain this headline -- from Saturday's edition of The Washington Post?
Marijuana study of traumatized veterans stuck in regulatory limbo Getting pot on the street is easy. Just ask the 17 million Americans who smoked the federally illegal drug in 2010. Obtaining weed from the government? That’s a lot harder. In April, the Food and Drug Administration approved a first-of-its kind study to test whether marijuana can ease the nightmares, insomnia, anxiety and flashbacks common in combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. But now another branch of the federal government has stymied the study. The Health and Human Services Department is refusing to sell government-grown marijuana to the nonprofit group proposing the research, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
That's right, the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government 'ardently supports' medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis' therapeutic safety and efficacy. Wait, it gets worse. The ugly truth is that the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the agency that oversees 85 percent of the world's research on controlled substances, is on record stating that its institutional policy is to reject any and all medical marijuana research. "As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use," a NIDA spokesperson told The New York Times in 2010. "We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana." For once a government agency was telling the truth regarding cannabis. NIDA categorically does not support such research -- despite the Obama administration in 2010 publicly issuing its "Scientific Integrity" memorandum stating, "Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration." That is why an online search of ongoing FDA-approved clinical trials using the keyword "cannabinoids" yields only six studies (two of which have already been completed) worldwide involving subjects' use of actual cannabis despite hundreds of favorable preclinical and observational studies clearly demonstrating its benefit. Just how blatant is Kerlikowske's latest lie? Consider this. According to the White House's 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, released in July, only fourteen researchers in the United States are legally permitted to conduct research assessing the effect of inhaled cannabis in human subjects. That's right, only fourteen! And even among this absurdly limited group of investigators, most are involved in research to assess the drug's "abuse potential, physical/psychological effects, [and] adverse effects." So says the White House. Ardent support for medical marijuana research? Please Gil, don't make us laugh.