Report: Youth pot use flat in legalized states

A tobacco and alcohol industry-supported marijuana policy group released a report that found that legalizing cannabis has not led to increases in youth pot use at the state level.

Last week the Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation Coalition (CPEAR) released “Addressing Youth and Cannabis,” a 29-page report that examines data from states where cannabis has been legalized and makes policy recommendations to prevent increased youth use of the drug. According to Marijuana Moment, the group includes members from Altria Client Services, Molson Coors Beverage Company and Constellation Brands.

CPEAR reports that youth cannabis use either dropped or was unaffected by state-level cannabis legalization. Cannabis-related harms are reportedly on the rise, but the coalition says it’s unclear if there’s a correlation with legalization. According to the data, youth cannabis use “decreased significantly” in 2021 across the U.S.

The report’s ultimate takeaway is that increasing awareness about cannabis and making research easier to do and more available curbs youth cannabis use. “Under government guidance, access to research, and increased exposure to community-driven, science-based after-school programming, cannabis use among young people decreases and prevents intake at an early age,” wrote the authors.

State Treasurers Support SAFE Banking

Last week a number of state treasurers spoke in favor of passing the SAFE Banking bill during a National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) conference.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would protect financial institutions that wish to do business with cannabis companies from federal prosecution if passed. The bill has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives six times but has repeatedly failed to advance in the Senate.

During a three-day NAST conference last week, Colorado Treasurer Dave Young moderated a panel discussing the “history, challenges, and prospects for SAFE banking laws that would allow legal cannabis businesses into the mainstream banking system.” The panel highlighted the benefits of the bill and a number of speakers spoke in support of its passage.

The NAST has taken no position on whether cannabis should be legalized at the federal level.

Report: Drug Testing Slightly Decreased

A recent federal labor report highlighted which industries drug tested its employees the most and the least. The report discovered a slight decrease in overall drug testing practices since the start of the pandemic.

The survey was conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and asked employers if they were conducting pre-employment drug screens and if they had reduced or delayed drug testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey found only a slight decrease in drug testing since the start of the pandemic. Only two percent of participating companies said they’d halted drug testing. Only 7.9 percent of respondents said they had reduced or delayed testing, but all of them said they still tested new applicants.