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NCJ Number: 228444 Find in a Library
Title: Turning Over a New Leaf: California Chiefs, Others Aim to Keep the Country From Going to Pot
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:36  Issue:8  Dated:August 2009  Pages:10,12,19
Author(s): Rebecca Kanable
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 9
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on the inaugural Summit on the Impact of California’s Medical Marijuana Laws.
Abstract: The summit, which was sponsored by various California criminal justice associations, was attended by 400 people. The summit focused on the effects of California medical marijuana law, which legalized the prescribing of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996. The summit noted that the marijuana currently being sold contains the highest level of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) since the drug was first analyzed. The average amount of THC in marijuana samples confiscated by law enforcement agencies in 2008 was 10.1 percent, compared to less than 4 percent in 1983. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), heavy marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form memories, recall events, and shift attention. THC also disrupts coordination. Through its effects on the brain and body, marijuana intoxication can cause accidents. Studies have shown that approximately 6 to 11 percent of fatal accident victims have tested positive for THC. Also, Since June 19, marijuana smoke is listed under Proposition 65 as known to cause cancer. The summit further noted that advocates of decriminalizing marijuana have portrayed people in wheelchairs needing marijuana to relieve chronic pain from cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS; however, research by the Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has found that such patients compose only 2 percent of prescriptions filled at local marijuana dispensaries. Most likely, patients filling prescriptions at the dispensaries are seeking help for muscle spasms, insomnia, back pain, post surgical pain, or headaches. The regulation and monitoring of marijuana dispensaries is insufficient. The summit aimed to rally law enforcement agencies and their leaders in promoting relevant data-collection, research on marijuana effects, and the dispensing of accurate public information on such effects.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): California; Drug effects; Drug Policy; Medical uses of marijuana; State laws
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