What we’re reading: Week 9

By Katie Campbell

CannabixA Canadian company called Cannabix is working on a cannabis-detecting breathalyzer machine (Sasha Zients, Quartz, July 16) In states where marijuana is legal, laws limit driving under the influence of the drug. One company is developing a prototype of a THC-detecting breathalyzer police can use in roadside stops.

How ‘medical’ is marijuana? (Aaron Carroll, The New York Times’ The Upshot, July 20) Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics, looks at a recent study of medical marijuana published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Because so little evidence about marijuana’s potential benefits exists, Carroll argues the Food and Drug Administration is unlikely to approve the drug for medical purposes.

Seniors are seeking out states where marijuana is legal (Chris Taylor, Reuters, July 22) Retirees with various health conditions are heading to states, like Oregon and Colorado, that have legalized marijuana. The number of people seeking retirement where marijuana is legal is unknown because retirees are not checking boxes with their reasons for choosing their location. But there has been anecdotal evidence.

More than four in 10 Americans say they have tried marijuana (Justin McCarthy, Gallup, July 22) In 1969, only 4 percent said they had tried pot. Gallup explains the change could be because of an increase in the percentage of people who have tried marijuana, or because more people are willing to admit it.

Arizona court: Marijuana odor is not sufficient probable cause (Mike Adams, High Times, July 22) Because medical marijuana is legal under Arizona law, state judges recently ruled that police smelling marijuana is not enough to justify a search warrant. Judge Peter Eckerstrom wrote, “its scent alone does not disclose whether a crime has occurred.”

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