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Young Americans Are More Likely To Smoke Marijuana Than Cigarettes, Poll Finds

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American adults are nearly as likely to smoke marijuana as cigarettes, a new Gallup poll finds, with consumption of the latter at a 75-year low.

In fact, adults between 18 and 29 are more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes—a trend that could have a significant impact on the tobacco and cannabis industries going forward.

Fifteen percent of Americans now say they smoke cigarettes, compared to a high of 45 percent in the 1950s.

Via Gallup.

Meanwhile, about 12 percent reported smoking cannabis—which is about the same level that it’s been for the past four years.

Via Gallup.

Public health campaigns have helped spread awareness about the dangers of cigarettes, which are responsible for the deaths of nearly 500,000 Americans each year. Conversely, the marijuana legalization movement has effectively put an emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

A separate Gallup poll from last year showed that Americans view marijuana as significantly less harmful than cigarettes.

This latest survey doesn’t directly suggest that people are swapping cigarettes for joints, but it identifies demographic trends that could further explain how the cannabis market could soon overtake the tobacco industry despite the fact that cigarettes are federally legal and widely available at gas stations and convenience stores while marijuana is not.

“The once commonplace habit of cigarette smoking has dwindled to the point that fewer than one in seven Americans smoke,” Gallup wrote. “And although smoking has long been associated with lower socio-economic groups, smokers are now an exceedingly rare breed among upper-income and highly educated Americans.”

“But perhaps more significant for the future of the tobacco industry is that—even with recreational use of marijuana legal in only 11 states—higher percentages of young people report smoking marijuana and vaping than say they smoke traditional cigarettes,” it continues. “This contrasts with adults over 30, who remain more likely to be cigarette smokers than vapers or marijuana users.”

In other words, young adults are largely driving the trend, signaling where things could be heading for the country overall in the coming years. Twenty-two percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 said that they smoked cannabis in the past week while 14 percent said they smoked cigarettes in that time. The numbers are roughly flipped for those aged 30 to 49, 11 percent of whom said they smoked marijuana and 19 percent who said they smoked cigarettes.

Via Gallup.

The survey, which involved phone interviews with 1,525 adults from July 1-12, includes some other interesting demographic information about cannabis consumers.

—College graduates are more likely to use marijuana (13 percent) than smoke cigarettes (9 percent).

—College graduates and those who didn’t attend college consume cannabis at the same rate (13 percent).

—Men are just as likely to smoke cigarettes (15 percent) as they are for marijuana (15 percent), while women are significantly less likely to smoke marijuana (9) percent than cigarettes (15 percent).

—Twice as many people with incomes of $100,000 or more smoke cannabis (10 percent) compared to cigarettes (five percent).

“How these patterns evolve may depend on the regulatory environment around e-cigarettes, as well as ongoing trends in the production and sale of marijuana-based products,” Gallup said, noting that the Food and Drug Administration recently gained regulatory authority over e-cigarettes.

“Meanwhile, legalization of marijuana is on a roll at the state level, and could eventually earn federal support,” the survey states. “At the same time, the explosion in the sale and use of hemp-based CBD oil could strip marijuana of some of its medical appeal, while the mass legalization and production of marijuana could hamper its social appeal.”

Marijuana Legalization More Popular Than Free College And $15 Minimum Wage, Poll Finds

Photo courtesy of Martin Alonso.

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California Lawmakers Use Cryptocurrency To Buy Marijuana From Dispensary

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Two city councilmembers in California became the first elected officials to use cryptocurrency to purchase marijuana from a dispensary—at least publicly—on Tuesday.

Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett and Emeryville City Councilmember Dianne Martinez visited the Ohana Cannabis shop in Emeryville to demonstrate how the technology can reduce transaction fees and improve financial transparency.

The technology they used, called stablecoin, is a form of digital currency that has “price stable characteristics” linked to the U.S. dollar, meaning the sale and tax proceeds were settled in a way that’s consistent with cash.

Blockchain Advocacy Coalition, which is backing the technology, is advocating for legislation that would enable local jurisdictions in California to “determine and implement a method by which a licensee under [the state’s legal cannabis program] may remit any city or county cannabis license tax amounts due by payment using stablecoins.”

“By providing a cash-free method of cannabis tax collections, AB 953 can reduce costs and safety risks for cities and businesses,” Bartlett said in a press release. He added that the marijuana industry is “a 21st-century industry” that “deserves 21st-century legislation.”

“Tax collections leveraging stablecoin technology will help bring this new industry into the light.”

In a photo taken at the dispensary, Bartlett is holding up a pamphlet for VetCBD, a low-THC, high-CBD tincture that’s used to treat conditions such as anxiety and pain in pets. It’s not clear what Martinez purchased from the shop.

The bill to provide for alternative payment options at marijuana businesses is timely given that federal prohibition has made banks skittish of servicing such companies and results in many firms operating on a largely cash-only basis—an issue that has captured the attention of federal regulators and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

In California, legislation that would allow credit unions to accept cannabis business clients was pulled by its sponsor on Tuesday. Sen. Bob Herzberg (D) said he plans to reintroduce the bill next year.

“We are thrilled to build technology that solves real problems for customers, merchants, and politicians which will help usher in the next 100 million users of crypto,” said Dan Schatt, co-founder of Cred and the Universal Protocol Alliance, which developed the stablecoin technology, said.

“Not only does crypto result in significant cost reduction for consumers and merchants, but it also enables highly productive tax collection, transparency, and predictability for city and state governments,” he said.

Marijuana Industry Groups Urge Congressional Action Amid Vaping-Related Injuries

Photo courtesy of Twitter/Rigel Robinson.

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Seth Rogen Hosting Marijuana-Fueled Charity Carnival For Alzheimer’s Research

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Actor Seth Rogen will be the ringmaster at an adults-only charity carnival next month featuring comedians running game booths and marijuana aplenty.

Proceeds from the Hilarity for Charity County Fair will go toward research into combating Alzheimer’s disease, an issue close to Rogen.

“We here at Hilarity for Charity love to fight Alzheimer’s disease, but we also love rides, alcohol and weed!” Rogen, who launched his own cannabis company in March, said in a promotional video for the Los Angeles event. “We also love trying to be good people so that in the event there is an afterlife, we don’t go to hell.”

Comedians Adam Devine, Andrew Rannells, Ben Feldman, Casey Wilson, Ilana Glazer, Ike Barinholtz, Jeff Ross, Josh Gad, Kate Micucci, Nick Kroll, Regina Hall and Riki Lindhome are participating in the event. Skateboarder Tony Hawk is set to do a halfpipe performance. And rapper Anderson Paak will also put on a show.

Details of where cannabis fits into the program aren’t available on the event site. But Gad, one of the comedians participating, noted in a tweet that this is “the only fair I will attend this year other than my children’s book fair which has a lot less readily available weed.”

Rogen’s passion for fighting Alzheimer’s isn’t new. He’s become an outspoken activist for research into the disease after he witnessed his mother-in-law develop early onset Alzheimer’s.

In 2014, the actor opened his testimony before a Senate committee hearing on Alzheimer’s research by joking that he wasn’t there to discuss the topic some might expect: marijuana.

“First I should answer the question I assume many of you are asking, yes I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana,” he said. “In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important.”

Though he didn’t bring it up at the hearing, research has demonstrated that cannabis can help eliminate a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, the federal government asked the public to submit additional scientific research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana in the treatment of the condition.

Disneyland Busted Robert Downey Jr. For Smoking Marijuana, He Reveals While Accepting Disney Award

Photo courtesy of Twitter/Seth Rogen.

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Disneyland Busted Robert Downey Jr. For Smoking Marijuana, He Reveals While Accepting Disney Award

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Robert Downey Jr. said he was once detained at Disneyland after getting caught smoking marijuana on a gondola ride.

The Iron Man and Avengers actor shared the anecdote while being honored at the Disney Legends award show on Friday, describing his first trip to the California park.

“Here’s a bit of trivia for you. The very first time I went to Disneyland, I was transported to another place—within moments of being arrested,” Downey said, drawing laughs. “I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center, given a stern warning, and returned to, if memory serves, one very disappointed group chaperone.”

“I’ve been sitting on that shame for a while and I‘m just going to release it here tonight,” he said. “I would like to make amends to whomever had to detain me for smoking pot in a gondola without a license.”

“And I don’t wanna further confuse the issue by insinuating that pot smoking licenses for the gondola are in any way obtainable or for any of the other park attractions,” Downey added.

“Maybe for the Imagineers, but that’s their own business,” he joked, referencing Disney’s research and development team.

It’s not clear when Downey was detained in the so-called “Happiest Place On Earth,” but he’s previously talked about starting to use cannabis at an early age.

The actor isn’t the only high profile figure to get booted from Disneyland over smoking on the gondola ride.

Former President Barack Obama said last year that the same thing happened to him and some friends during college. He said during a speech at a political rally that they were smoking cigarettes on the gondolas, but also seemed to wink, raising questions about exactly what sort of plant material he and his friends were inhaling at the time.

In any case, Downey is right that there are no gondola marijuana smoking licenses available, even in California where cannabis is legal. In fact, Disney specifies on its park rules site that “[s]moking marijuana or any other illegal substances is not permitted at any time.”

There are designated cigarette smoking areas, however, which the former president presumably could have taken advantage of, if he really was simply imbibing tobacco.

Dave Chappelle Ate Magic Mushrooms Gifted By A Stranger, Joe Rogan Says

Photo courtesy of YouTube/Spokesmayne.

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