Posts tagged california cannabis law
Cannabis Legalization Linked to Substantial Drop in California Suicide Rates: Study
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Calvin Hughes 
May 31, 2019

Civilized.life

California's legalization of medical marijuana in 1996 was followed by a drastic reduction in the state's suicide rate, according to researchers at the University of California Irvine.

"In particular, for all suicides, our results demonstrate that California's 1996 intervention led to an average reduction of 398.9 suicides per year and a cumulative reduction of approximately 3,191 suicides during 1997–2004," reads the recently published study. "Similarly, legalization led to a reduction in gun suicides of 208 per year on average and a cumulative reduction of approximately 1,668 fewer gun suicides during 1997–2004."

Their data was sourced from state suicide records spanning the years between 1970 and 2004. While reduced suicide rates were seen across the board, the decrease in gun-related suicides appears to be the most related to medical marijuana legalization. Researchers said it was not certain why medical marijuana seems to have such an impact on gun-related suicides, but suggested it may have to do with marijuana as a means of fighting depression and anxiety.

"If marijuana alleviates the acute stress associated with these disorders, we expect suicide risk to decrease following legalization of medical marijuana," the authors wrote. "The evidence for this is mixed, however."

Some researchers argue that the study's key finding has less to do with cannabis itself and more to do with America's gun laws. According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, people who use cannabis or any other federally prohibited substance are banned from owning guns. That means California's drop in gun-related suicides could actually stem from the fact that medical marijuana patients have less access to firearms, say the study authors.

Protecting gun rights for medical marijuana patients has been fiercely debated as medical marijuana legalization has continued to spreads across the country. And while many have argued that patients should be able to access both medical marijuana and keep their Second Amendment right to own a firearm, the reduction of gun-related suicides may be one unintended benefit of the ban.

Summary of Major Changes of the Recently Amended Article 4 of Chapter X City of Los Angeles Ordinance

The most significant updates to Article 4 include a revised definition of “Undue Concentration” to increase the number of the number of cannabis businesses and define ownership concentration.  In addition, a tiered system of “Social Equity Applicants” was permitted to allow for economically disadvantaged persons to apply for cannabis licenses.

  • The definition of undue concentration was updated to allow for additional business licenses according to population density and applicable zoning laws.  This includes:

    • One Store Front Retail (Type 10 license) for every 10,000 residents.

    • One Microbusiness (Type 12 license) for every 7,500 residents.  A Microbusiness is an entity that engages in cultivation on less than 10,000 square feet.

    • One square foot (1 sq. ft.) of cultivation space for every 350 square feet of zoned land.

    • One license to manufacturer (Type7) for every 7,500 residents.

    • Existing dispensaries (EMMD) and processors (as defined under Section 104.08) are not subject to this new rule.

    • Additional rules, including calendar days, for how applications are submitted, accepted, processed, approved and denied was also clarified. Some limits pertaining to zoning (i.e. M1-M3, MR1, MR2), as well as limits on the number of licenses (i.e. 1 cultivation license per every 2,500 square feet of cultivation space) were also delineated.

    • The Undue Concentration provisions may be waived if the City Council believes doing so would serve “public convenience or necessity.”

  • Ownership & Percentages was also updated to clarify and limit the number of individuals that may own cannabis businesses

    • A person may own or have a maximum 20% profit share in up to three Storefront retail (Type 10) or Delivery (Type 9) businesses. 

  • Three types of Social Equity Applications (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3, each which must be approved by DCR), were introduced:

    • Tier 1 applicants are reserved for those with low income AND a prior California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction; OR Low income and a minimum of 5 years California residency. 

      • Restrictions, including a minimum ownership requirement (51%), as well as benefits including expedited renewal processing, fee deferrals are also detailed.

    • A “Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to include anyone with a Low Income & 5 years' residency or 10 years residency and no less than a 33.3% ownership.

    • A “Tier 3 Social Equity Applicant” was also defined to essentially include those entities that support Tier 1 & Tier 2 applicants and regulates the price per square foot of property, in certain instances.

  • Finally, this ordinance also requires a completed financial statement for the “most recently completed fiscal year” for any cannabis businesses applying for a renewal license.


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