29 November 2022 |

Kansas Senator recommends “proceeding with caution” over medical cannabis legalization

By Kaitlin Domangue

Sen. Virgil Peck, Republican Senator of Kansas, said he had a revelation in the shower over cannabis legalization.

The concern for workforce development
“I didn’t think of it until taking a shower this morning, about 7:30. It came to me that that plays into workforce development,” he said.

Sen. Peck explained that employers aren’t willing to hire employees who can’t pass a drug test, including for medical cannabis. 

He expressed his concerns about workers operating heavy machinery and consuming medical cannabis. 

“Anyone who is using marijuana, medically or recreationally, is going to inhibit their ability – their reflexes,” he said. 

Research shows that cannabis use is not associated with an increased risk of workplace injuries. 

And how many people are affected if there is a positive correlation? Is it worth it to withhold cannabis from those who need it because there’s potential for workplace incidents?

Many experts believe there is more risk in keeping cannabis illegal, especially as the opioid crisis continues to rage. 

Pennsylvania seniors to receive assistance paying for medical cannabis

Buying cannabis from a licensed source is expensive. That’s something patients know all too well.

Thanks to cannabis’ federally-illegal status, insurance companies can’t cover the costs associated with obtaining it: so patients are on the hook for out-of-pocket payments. 

(And you can’t even put it on a credit card 😩 The struggle is real.)

$50 stipends

But Pennsylvania is trying to take steps to help make cannabis more affordable and will begin distributing a $50/month medical cannabis stipend to eligible senior citizens. 

Nearly 1,400 Pennsylvania patients qualify for this program. 

These payments are part of a more significant financial-assistance program for low-income medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania. 

Regulators have already eliminated background checks and renewal fees for eligible low-income patients, and they’ll issue the $50 stipend through at least June of next year. 

Young people are more likely to smoke cannabis than cigarettes

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve never smoked a cigarette. 

But I’ve certainly taken monster bong rips like nobody’s business 🙂 And I’m not the only one. 

A new survey from Gallup found that young people are twice as likely to report smoking cannabis compared to cigarettes. 

12% of U.S. adults (18-29 years old) reported smoking a cigarette in the past week, compared to 15% in 2016-2018. 

But 26% of adults in that same age group smoke cannabis, compared to 21% in the earlier survey – indicating that today’s young adults choose cannabis over tobacco. 

Unsurprisingly, tobacco use among young people was far more common several decades ago. 30% of high school seniors said they smoked in the past 30 days in a 1976 survey.

But as the health ramifications of smoking tobacco become common knowledge, fewer young adults are participating

“Public health officials would be encouraged by the steep decline in cigarette smoking over the past two decades, a trend driven largely by plummeting smoking rates among young adults,” said Gallup. 

“But young adults are increasingly smoking marijuana, perhaps because it is now legal to use in a growing number of states, and vaping. Both vaping and marijuana are more common activities for young adults than traditional cigarette smoking.”