According a report published by MDPI based in Basel Switzerland in the journal Healthcare, new analysis conducted in Spain found that younger individuals (18 to 30 years old) who consume cannabis and alcohol perform better in their sexual function, arousal, and orgasm over their counterparts who do not use either.
The report noted that “alcohol, a depressant of the nervous system, is related to the facilitation of sexual behavior and arousal, but different studies have found dose-dependent negative effects on potency and sexual capacity. Cannabis, on the other hand, appears to have sex-dependent effects, as cannabis consumption before sexual interaction enhances desire, improves orgasm, and reduces discomfort in women, whereas frequent cannabis use in men renders it difficult to reach orgasm.”
Researchers ran this study on 274 individuals. The participants were young adults aged 18 to 30, with a mean age of 21.89 years (SD = 2.23). Overall, 46% of the participants were not at risk for alcohol problems, while 41.6% were likely to have a moderate level of alcohol problems. Although slightly more than half of the sample (63.9%) reported no problems with cannabis use, the probability of developing a severe addiction was 23.7%. In terms of sexual function, only 4% of the participants indicated sexual dysfunction, while the remaining 96% reported none.
The individuals were given three Questionnaires to complete –
- the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), which consists of 10 items through which problems associated with alcohol consumption are detected, by means of a Likert-type scale from 0 to 4,
- the Cannabis Abuse Screening Test (CAST), which consists of 6 items through which the most common problems associated with cannabis use are detected, by means of a Likert-type scale from 0 to 4 (0 = never; 4 = very often), and
- the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire Short-Form (CSFQ-14) which consists of 14 items, for both men and women, in which sexual function was assessed by means of desire, arousal and orgasm, through a Likert-type scale from 1 and to 5, where a higher score reflects better sexual function.
In the AUDIT questionnaire, a score of 0 means that there is no alcohol consumption, scores between 1 and 7 show a pattern of risk consumption, scores between 8 and 19 indicate harmful consumption, and scores of 20 to 40 are recognized as a pattern of harmful consumption and possible alcohol dependence. Scores on the CAST questionnaire can range from 0 points to 24 points, so a low risk of problems with cannabis is at scores less than or equal to 3, moderate risk encompasses scores between 4 and 6, and high risk or severe addiction are scores greater than or equal to 7
In the CSFQ-14 questionnaire, it was considered that the total score of CSFQ-14 ranges from 14 to 70, where a higher score indicates better sexual function. The desire scale scores range from 5 to 25, and the arousal and orgasm scale scores range from 3 to 15. If the total CSFQ-14 questionnaire scores for men are less than or equal to 47 and less than or equal to 41 for women, they suggest global sexual dysfunction
After reviewing the questionnaires, researchers concluded that sexual function is improved in young people who are high-risk cannabis consumers with a moderate risk of alcohol use, resulting in increased desire, arousal, and orgasm.
Developments like this contradict the basis of classification of cannabis under Federal law which makes cannabis illegal.
The Anti-Federal U.S. Climate
The Federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) 21 U.S.C. § 812 classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance with a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment, and lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Although you can still face federal criminal charges for using, growing, or selling weed in a manner that is completely lawful under California law, the federal authorities in the past have pulled back from targeting individuals and businesses engaged in medical marijuana activities. This pull back came from Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Safe Harbor Guidelines issued in 2013 under what is known as the “Cole Memo”.
The Cole Memo included eight factors for prosecutors to look at in deciding whether to charge a medical marijuana business with violating the Federal law:
- Does the business allow minors to gain access to marijuana?
- Is revenue from the business funding criminal activities or gangs?
- Is the marijuana being diverted to other states?
- Is the legitimate medical marijuana business being used as a cover or pretext for the traffic of other drugs or other criminal enterprises?
- Are violence or firearms being used in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana?
- Does the business contribute to drugged driving or other adverse public health issues?
- Is marijuana being grown on public lands or in a way that jeopardizes the environment or public safety?
- Is marijuana being used on federal property?
Since 2013, these guidelines provided a level of certainty to the marijuana industry as to what point could you be crossing the line with the Federal government. But on January 4, 2018, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Cole Memo. Now U.S. Attorneys in the local offices throughout the country retain broad prosecutorial discretion as to whether to prosecute cannabis businesses under federal law even though the state that these businesses operate in have legalized some form of marijuana.
Joyce-Blumenauer Amendment (previously referred to as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment)
Five states (Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota) on November 3, 2020 passed new medical or recreational cannabis laws. South Dakota voters adopted legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis. Arizona, Montana and New Jersey voters adopted expansion of cannabis legalization to recreational use. Mississippi voters adopted legalization of medical cannabis use. This adds to an existing group of 11 states and Washington, D.C. that have legalized recreational cannabis, and adds to an existing group of 33 states that have legalized it for medical purposes.
Building on the DOJ’s issuance of the Cole Memo, in 2014 the House passed an amendment to the yearly federal appropriations bill that effectively shields medical marijuana businesses from federal prosecution. Proposed by Representatives Rohrabacher and Farr, the amendment forbids federal agencies to spend money on investigating and prosecuting medical marijuana-related activities in states where such activities are legal.
The amendment states that:
NONE OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE UNDER THIS ACT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MAY BE USED, WITH RESPECT TO ANY OF THE STATES OF ALABAMA, ALASKA, ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, HAWAII, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW MEXICO, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, UTAH, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WASHINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, AND WYOMING, OR WITH RESPECT TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, GUAM, OR PUERTO RICO, TO PREVENT ANY OF THEM FROM IMPLEMENTING THEIR OWN LAWS THAT AUTHORIZE THE USE, DISTRIBUTION, POSSESSION, OR CULTIVATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA.
This action by the House is not impacted by the change of position by the DOJ. However, unless this amendment gets included in each succeeding federal appropriations bill, the protection from Federal prosecution of medical marijuana businesses will no longer be in place. Fortunately, Congress has included this amendment but yet has changed any of the tax or banking laws that pose challenges to the cannabis industry.
Clearly, to avail yourself of the protections of the amendment, you must be on the medical cannabis side and you must be in complete compliance with your State’s medical cannabis laws and regulations. You may not be covered under the amendment if you are involved in the recreational cannabis side even if legal in the State you are operating.
What Should You Do?
Given the illegal status of cannabis under Federal law you need to protect yourself and your marijuana business from all challenges created by the U.S. government. Although cannabis is legal in California, that is not enough to protect you. Be proactive and engage an experienced Cannabis Tax Attorney in your area. Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Orange County, Inland Empire (Ontario and Palm Springs) and other California locations protect you and maximize your net profits. And if you are involved in crypto currency, check out what a bitcoin tax attorney can do for you.