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Florida, impaired, drugged driving
blog, Nami, SAMHSA

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that cannabis use, especially when initiated at a young age, may be associated with worse verbal memory and altered neural development along the UF. Reductions in cortical thickness in regions implicated in memory processes may underlie weaknesses in verbal memory performance.

youth, memory

1. Legalizing cannabis has been shown to increase the rates of motor vehicle accidents.
2. Cannabis use is a risk factor for mental illness.
3. Inhaled Cannabis use is a risk factor for respiratory infections.
4. Cannabis use increases the rate of vascular disease. Cannabis is the third most often identified drug of abuse
5. Cannabis use during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of adverse birth outcomes
6. Legalization of cannabis has been shown to increase cannabis exposure in the pediatric population.
7. Heavy cannabis use is associated with diminished lifetime achievements.
Doctors must educate the public about the potential harm cannabis causes with heavy, and possibly moderate, widespread use just as they do about the dangers of tobacco use. Tobacco use has declined in the United States in large part because of the knowledge the public now holds about its adverse effects, as opposed to legislative action.

Pregnancy, car crashes, mental health, pediatrics, Long-term, Doctors, Research, second hand smoke, smoking

From 2005 to 2015, 4,202 marijuana-related visits were identified. Behavioral health evaluation was obtained for 2,813 (67%); a psychiatric diagnosis was made for the majority (71%) of these visits. Coingestants were common; the most common was ethanol (12%). Marijuana-related visits increased from 1.8 per 1,000 visits in 2009 to 4.9 in 2015. (p = < .0001) CONCLUSIONS: Despite national survey data suggesting no appreciable difference in adolescent marijuana use, our data demonstrate a significant increase in adolescent marijuana-associated emergency department and urgent cares visits in Colorado.

   

Colorado, youth, emergency room

Marijuana is the pathway to heroin.... He went on to say, “There is no FDA approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that.”

Azar was responding to a question from the Yellow Springs News about what role he sees medical marijuana playing as an alternative to opioids for pain relief.

 

Azar, FakeMedicine

It is a sham that expands the conditions that qualify an individual for “medical marijuana” to any condition and for any person, no matter of age. It is a scheme to establish a system of “fake” medicine to further the game plan of the marijuana industry for full commercialism that will allow anyone for any reason to buy marijuana for the high they desire and the profit the industry demands. It is now up to the Vermont House to recognize what is happening and stop it before it is too late.

Vermont, Orleck, scam

Of course, the Compassionate Care bill is neither compassionate nor caring for the vast majority of South Carolina citizens, but is a poorly veiled attempt to legalize recreational marijuana.
The collateral damage of legalizing marijuana is far-reaching, as exhibited by the states that have passed such law: decreased productivity among workers, huge spikes in traffic deaths, increase in homeless populations, criminal activity, rise in drug cartels, loan sharking, social service burdens, suicides, job-related accidents, contaminated poisoned products, increase in ER and medical needs, decreased school attendance and younger and younger users. Marijuana is the #1 addiction in teens.

South Carolina, Fraud, opinion

Overall, while less dangerous than opioids by far, and possibly helpful for some conditions, including pain, no findings, to my knowledge, clearly demonstrate that marijuana use positively impacts people with opioid use disorder. Moreover, marijuana use carries risks, including cannabis use disorder, psychosis and cognitive impairment, as well as additive effects when used with other substances, including opioids.

Does this sound like medicine?
Still, the Florida trend is an indication that home delivery options are likely to prove a lucrative field in the future for cannabis retailers – as long as their local jurisdictions allow for it.

Business, FakeMedicine

Kara Macek, spokeswoman for the GHSA, said the organization could point to several possible factors in the high level of fatalities: increased exposure to danger as more drivers hit the road and more people move to urbanized areas, an uptick in distracted driving from cellphone use, or even an increase in accidents in states that have legalized recreational marijuana use.
The GHSA report noted that in some states that have legalized recreational marijuana — Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia — pedestrian fatalities went up 16.4 percent in early 2017, while all other states saw a 5.8 percent drop.
“We lack causation data, but can see a correlation,” Macek said. “This is a red flag we need to look at as a country. We don't have a position on marijuana legalization, but we do have a position on getting people home safely.”

car crashes, pedestrians, Governors Highway Safety Association

heroin, addiction, study

Marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of prescription opioid use.  
Marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it.

 

Drug Free America, opioid

The five most frequently occurring drugs found in decedents were ethyl alcohol (5,318), benzodiazepines (5,167, including 1,851 alprazolam occurrences), cocaine (2,882), cannabinoids (2,292), and morphine (2,040).

  

Death, medical examiner, Report

"Every person I've ever asked that has a drug addiction problem, I would ask them intentionally 'what was your drug of choice that set you on this path?' Marijuana. Every time, marijuana," Judd said.
He went on to say that when you look at all the drugs killing people and contributing to drug related deaths, "leaving marijuana out of the recipe would be a horrible mistake."

Sheriff, Judd, gateway

“Pharmacies attract people who live in the neighborhood or maybe work nearby. If you need a prescription, you’re not going to go across town to fill it – you’re going to go to the pharmacy closest to where you live. That’s what we should be seeing with medical marijuana dispensaries.”
Instead, these dispensaries are acting more like bars, which develop niche markets like sports bars or biker bars, she said.
“From a public health standpoint, it is concerning. While there has been speculation that medical dispensaries target recreational users, now we are starting to collect evidence that suggests this is true,” she said.

Public Health, dispensaries

“The violence is there with other drugs, but we don’t see the homicides associated with other narcotics as we do with marijuana,” said Anoka County Sheriff’s Lt. Wayne Heath, commander of the Anoka-Hennepin Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force. “No one knows why in marijuana it leads to that extra step.”

Minnesota, homocides, crime

1. 

2. Marijuana classification... CESAR

mental health, depression, anxiety, impaired, Psychosis, suicide, Drug Free America

An 11-month-old Colorado boy’s death from a heart condition was likely related to ingestion of marijuana, two Denver doctors have concluded, but the precise link remains unclear.

denver, Colorado, Children

Over time, the substance most often found in completed teen suicides is marijuana. Most of these suicides have toxicology results available. It is unclear as to why marijuana is most often present.

Colorado, Teen, suicide, Finn

Cryptococcal meningitis in a daily cannabis smoker without evidence of immunodeficiency.
Cryptococcal meningitis is a life-threatening condition most commonly observed in immunocompromised individuals. We describe a daily cannabis smoker without evidence of immunodeficiency presenting with confirmed Cryptococcus neoformans meningitis. An investigation of cannabis samples from the patient's preferred dispensary demonstrated contamination with several varieties of Cryptococcus, including C. neoformans, and other opportunistic fungi. These findings raise concern regarding the safety of dispensary-grade cannabis, even in immunocompetent users.

Cryptococcal meningitis, chronic, study, PubMed

Young people with cannabis dependence have altered brain function that may be the source of emotional disturbances and increased psychosis risk that are associated with cannabis abuse, according to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 
"Interestingly, the hyperconnectivity was strongest in the individuals who began using cannabis in early adolescence," said Dr. Manza, which lines up with reports of a higher risk of psychiatric problems when cannabis use begins early in life. Adolescence is a critical period of brain development, making early use of cannabis particularly detrimental. According to Dr. Manza, the measurement of resting brain activity is a relatively easy and non-invasive procedure, so the approach could be a useful measure for tracking the development of psychiatric symptoms with cannabis use.

New research reveals that several species, including the northern spotted owl, are succumbing to rat poison from thousands of "unpermitted private marijuana grow sites" in the northwestern California counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte.
It's the contamination of the owls' primary food source — mice and rats, which, like humans, are attracted to the aromatic crop — that has been the animals' undoing: Scientists from the University of California, Davis, and the California Academy of Sciences have detected traces of anticoagulant rodenticide in seven of the 10 northern spotted owl carcasses they collected, according to a study published today (Jan. 11) in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology.

california, Environment, Owls, animals

Hickenlooper, Gardner, and other politicians tell us everything is rosy, but that's not what we hear from educators, cops, social workers, doctors, drug counselors, parents, and others in the trenches of the world's first anything goes marijuana free-for-all. It is not what we see in the streets.
Condit said the black market invading Colorado's national forests has grown so large the entire budget for the Pike and San Isabel forests would not cover the costs of removing and remediating cartel grows in the forests he helps supervise.

Colorado, Environment, crime

“Every statistical study has seen an increase in marijuana use,” he said. “There has been an increase in youths going to rehab for addiction to marijuana. There have been increases in car accidents. There has been an increase in fatalities related to marijuana. There has been an increase in workplace incidences related to marijuana and a decrease in productivity. And there has been an increase in robberies.”
“There has been nothing good for Colorado, except for maybe the increased tax revenue. But even then, it is a mixed bag. Many people have moved to Colorado to exploit legalized marijuana — so housing prices have increased. There is more traffic downtown. You can find marijuana dispensaries all over the place, especially in the poorer parts of town. It is becoming part of the state’s subculture,” said Brugger.
The smell of marijuana is ubiquitous in the state now — so much so that there has been a marked increase in complaints to the police about the smell.
For those who own ski resorts, the emergence of marijuana smokers has been troubling, according to Brugger.

NCR, denver, usage, crime, homeless, car crashes, Colorado

UC San Diego — along with every other University of California System institution, all of the California State University System, community colleges and private colleges — does not allow marijuana on university grounds or in campus buildings.

college, california

A team of law enforcement agents from the U.S. Forest Service, local police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hike deep into the Plumas National Forest to help with cleanup and protect scientists who are studying illegal marijuana grow sites. Even after a site has been raided, growers can return. The nets are for helicopters that will lift tons of garbage out of the site. On this reclamation trip, teams ultimately cleaned up about 7 tons of garbage, 4,000 pounds of fertilize, and 4 miles of irrigation tube, and they found the carcasses of three black bears, one grey fox and several rodents and birds. This accounts for just four sites.
14,000 Pounds of Rodenticide
Hours north of Calaveras, deep in public forests along the California-Oregon border, 12 tons of plastic trash, thousands of pounds of fertilizers and more than 80 pounds of toxic rodenticides and pesticides lay strewn among towering pines and oaks—turning this Eden into a landfill.

california, Black Market, Environment

Tetra Health Care, a California-based chain that hires licensed doctors to write medical marijuana recommendations at six clinics in Florida, is closing all but one to focus on working with state lawmakers to make access easier for patients, a spokeswoman said.

But she didn't have cancer. She had an obscure syndrome called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition only recently acknowledged by the medical community. It affects a small population — namely, a subset of marijuana users who smoke multiple times a day for months, years or even decades.

 

There's no hard data on the prevalence of the illness. But in California and Colorado, which have loosened marijuana laws in recent years, some emergency physicians say they're seeing it more often. One study in Colorado suggests there may be a link.

Hyperemesis Syndrome, Long-term

Please note that the 2015 crash report included "alcohol-suspected" crash data. In the 2016 crash report, only alcohol confirmed data is used. Hillsborough is #2 in alcohol confirmed fatalities and Orange County is #1. Hillsborough is #1 in alcohol confirmed crashes AND drug confirmed crashes. :-(
Florida
Fatal crashes up 8.74% from 2015
Alcohol confirmed fatalities down 9.25%
Hillsborough
Alcohol confirmed crashes 546
alcohol confirmed injuries 271
alcohol confirmed fatalities 42
Drug confirmed crashes- 60

Florida, car crashes

bstract

Although recent Cannabis use is widely reported to be associated with drug-related traffic accidents, the evidence that Cannabis users show an increased risk of being involved in road crashes is still not unequivocally proved. The purpose of the present work is to provide an objective assessment of this hypothesis, by comparing the frequency of occurrence of positive urine analyses in drivers involved in traffic accidents (n = 1406) with that observed in a control population undergoing mandatory urine drug testing (n = 1953). Urine analyses for drugs of abuse were performed by screening immunometric techniques followed by confirmation with UHPLC-QQQ MS, adopting a cut-off concentration for THC-COOH of 15 ng/mL. A case was classified as "positive" when a driver admitted to hospital for road traffic injuries showed urine concentrations of THC-COOH higher than the cut-off. All samples showing positive results for any other controlled drug in urine or blood alcohol concentrations >0.5 mg/mL were excluded from the study. Subjects positive to THC-COOH, and negative to all the other tested substances were 116 in Group 1 (8.2%) and 16 in Group 2 (0.8%). Subjects resulting negative to any tested substances were 1290 in Group 1 and 1937 in Group 2. The frequency of THC-COOH detection in the two groups was compared by using the "chi square" test, which resulted = 119.57, i.e. highly significant (P <<< 0.01). The Odds Ratio of the two groups was =10.88, showing a high degree of association between the presence of THC-COOH in urine and the occurrence of traffic accidents (P < 0.0001). The presented data, proving a high degree of association between Cannabis use and the occurrence of traffic accidents with injuries of the driver, support the use of urine testing for Cannabis in the procedures for the issuing of the driving licence, particularly in the case of subjects formerly or presently using Cannabis. This finding looks even more relevant in the present times, because of the increasing success of the policies of legalization of Cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes.

 

Research, car crashes, drug testing

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police have made at least 12 arrests after a year-long investigation into the Sweet Leaf marijuana dispensaries in the Mile High City.  Investigators accuse Sweet Leaf of selling amounts of marijuana that exceed the Amendment 64 regulations of no more than an ounce of the drug per sale.

denver

Law enforcement officials applauded Sessions' move.

 

"We applaud the Attorney General for this action today that brings clarity on enforcement of the law by rescinding a confusing policy brought on by the previous administration that hindered law enforcement. This will allow sheriffs to carry out their mission of upholding the rule of law and keeping their communities safe," said National Sheriffs' Association President Harold Eavenson and Executive Director Jonathan Thompson in a statement.

Sessions, law enforcement

Marijuana has both short- and long-term effects on the body.
Within a few minutes of smoking marijuana, a person feels the effects of pot, as THC is rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, making its way to the brain and other organs.
What causes the “high” people experience is marijuana’s effect on over-activating parts of the brain containing specific brain cell receptors. This leads to feelings of an altered sense of time, other altered senses, changes in mood, impaired body movement, impaired memory and difficulty in thinking and problem-solving.
Researchers are still studying the long-term effects of marijuana. But what is known is that the younger a person begins using pot, such as in the teen years, the greater the declines in general knowledge, impaired thinking, learning difficulties and lowered IQ.

Samadi, harm, opinion

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.
In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.
"It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Therefore, today's memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country."

Sessions, Attorney General

RESULTS:
Alcohol/cigarettes followed by marijuana was the most common sequence. NMPO or cocaine use after marijuana, and heroin use after NMPO or cocaine, differed by generation. Among successively younger generations, NMPO after marijuana and heroin after NMPO increased. Millennials were more likely to initiate NMPO than cocaine after marijuana; Generation X and Baby Boomers were less likely (odds ratios = 1.4;0.3;0.2). Millennials were more likely than Generation X and Baby Boomers to use heroin after NMPO (hazards ratios = 7.1;3.4;2.5). In each generation, heroin users were far more likely to start heroin after both NMPO and cocaine than either alone. Sequences were similar by gender. Fewer paths were significant among African-Americans.

CONCLUSIONS:
NMPOs play a more prominent role in drug initiation sequences among Millennials than prior generations. Among Millennials, NMPO use is more likely than cocaine to follow marijuana use. In all generations, transition to heroin from NMPO significantly occurs only when both NMPO and cocaine have been used. Delineation of drug sequences suggests optimal points in development for prevention and treatment efforts.

gateway, initiation sequence, ncbi

Conclusions:

 

Cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder.

opioid, psychiatryonline

“Legalization will NOT stop the crimes committed by users who have no jobs to support their habits and prey upon you and I to get that money for their hit/fix.”
And while marijuana may very well have medicinal purposes, it’s not just the drug that makes our controlled substances dangerous and a significant crime and socio-economic issue in our country. The people involved in the illegal operations where drugs (including marijuana) are grown/produced, trafficked and transported, distributed to the TENS of THOUSANDS of dealers and MILLIONS of customers, are NOT good people! THOUSANDS of people are viciously murdered in Mexico every year as organizations vie for control over the markets and territory. 

denver, Colorado, legalization, car crashes, crime

Community-by-community, residents of Massachusetts are deciding if they want to be able to drive to the corner store to buy marijuana.

Massachusetts, map

NIH’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey shows both vaping and marijuana are more popular than traditional cigarettes or pain reliever misuse

At low doses, kratom produces stimulant effects, making people more talkative, alert and energetic, according to a DEA fact sheet. At high doses, kratom users can experience the drug’s sedative effects, the report shows.

kratom

there is incomplete evidence of the efficacy and safety of medical use of cannabis in the clinical contexts considered in this review. Furthermore, for many of the outcomes considered, the confidence in the estimate of the effect was again low or very low. To give conclusive answers to the efficacy and safety of cannabis used for medical purposes in the clinical contexts considered, further studies are needed, with higher quality, larger sample sizes, and possibly using the same diagnostic tools for evaluating outcomes of interest.

study, 'medicine', MS, Chemo

According to research published earlier this month in the American Journal of Public Health, Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014 coincided with a 6.5 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths. The researchers studied the opioid overdose rate in the state from 2000 to 2015, and found that after 14 years of a steady rise in opioid overdose deaths, the rate decreased by an average of 0.7 deaths per month.
 
My response:
The  study failed to account for the following:
•             Increased public education about the dangers of opioid prescribing (In 2014, 10.3% of patients received high-dose opioid prescriptions which was reduced to 8.7% in 2016)
•             Use of PDMP  (The rate of multiple provider episodes per 100,000 residents decreased from 60 in 2014 to 32 in 2016)
•             Wider distribution of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone (2011: 997 to 2015: 3,393)
•             Move from Rx opioids to heroin (Heroin overdose deaths increased 50% from 2014 to 2016 while opioid deaths decreased 12%.) Failure to quantify the impacts of the above make it unlikely any researcher could separate out the impacts of all of                them from another potential factor.
 
In addition, there is legitimate research that shows that marijuana use primes the brain for opioid addiction.
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/can-marijuana-help-addic... #FakeNews

He is no longer employed by Amtrak. No amount of marijuana use by an engineer is acceptable, the railroad has said.

Amtrak, fatal

Major self-mutilation (amputation, castration, self-inflicted eye injuries) is frequently associated with psychiatric disorders and/or substance abuse. A 35-year-old man presented with behavioral disturbances of sudden onset after oral cannabis consumption and major self-mutilation (attempted amputation of the right arm, self-enucleation of both eyes and impalement) which resulted in death. D

fatal, oral cannabis

CONCLUSION:
Cannabis abuse can increase injury severity and prolong workdays lost. Drug testing is recommended for at-risk construction workers with inadequate safety measures.

workplace, Employees

“My job is to represent the people of Jacksonville Beach and as I mentioned during the council meeting, 81 percent of the people may have voted for medical marijuana. But it wasn’t 81 percent of Jacksonville Beach residents looking to put a dispensary in Jacksonville Beach,” Mayor Charlie Latham said.
#NotInMyBackyard

Ban, Florida Ban

This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood.

youth, chronic
Colorado, Washington

Is there a link between marijuana use and mental illness?

The overlapping endocannabinoid and endogenous opioid systems may explain this patient's response to therapy, and this synergistic relationship is discussed.
The endocannabinoid and endogenous opioid systems are syngergistic, which may explain the effect of naloxone in cannabis toxicity. Cannabinoid and opioid receptors belong to the rhodopsin subfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors which, when activated, reduce cellular levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) by inhibiting adenylyl cyclase [8
Robledo P, Berrendero F, Ozaita A, et al. Advances in the field of cannabinoid–opioid cross-talk. Addict Biol. 2008;13:213–224. [Google Scholar]]. Both cannabinoid and opioid receptors are located primarily at presynaptic terminals, and their activation inhibits the release of several neurotransmitters. Opioid and cannabinoid receptor activation also modifies the permeability of sodium, potassium, and calcium channels [8Robledo P, Berrendero F, Ozaita A, et al. Advances in the field of cannabinoid–opioid cross-talk. Addict Biol. 2008;13:213–224. [Google Scholar]]. Receptors of both systems coexist in the central nervous system (CNS) with overlapping distribution in the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord [9Scavone JL, Sterling RC, Van Bockstaele EJ. Cannabinoid and opioid interactions: implications for opiate dependence and withdrawal. Neurosci. 2013;248:637–654. [Google Scholar]]. Cannabinoid and opioid receptors also co-localize in γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons with potential coupling to a second messenger systems and formation of heterodimers between the two receptors [11Pickel VM, Chan J, Kash TL, et al. Compartment-specific localization of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and mu opioid receptors in rat nucleus accumbens. Neurosci. 2004;127:101–112. [Google Scholar]
].

opioid, synergistic

Even after less than six years of smoking the drug, the ill effects were already being seen on their breathing, according the research presented at the British Thoracic Society (BTS) winter meeting.
 
"It is vital that young people understand the dangers of both cigarette and cannabis smoking since these habits can start having a serious impact on their lungs at an early stage."
 
 

smoking, lungs, second hand smoke

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time, federal and state data show. A Denver Post analysis of the data and coroner reports provides the most comprehensive look yet into whether roads in the state have become more dangerous since the drug’s legalization.

Obstetrician–gynecologists should be discouraged from prescribing or suggesting the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes during preconception, pregnancy, and lactation. Pregnant women or women contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy for which there are better pregnancy-specific safety data.

There are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged.

Notably, 34–60% of marijuana users continue use during pregnancy, with many women believing that it is relatively safe to use during pregnancy and less expensive than tobacco 

It is difficult to be certain about the specific effects of marijuana on pregnancy and the developing fetus, in part because those who use it often use other drugs as well, including tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs, and in part because of other potential confounding exposures. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same respiratory disease-causing and carcinogenic toxins as tobacco smoke, often in concentrations several times greater than in tobacco smoke.

Studies of marijuana exposure during pregnancy are potentially subject to reporting and recall bias, often relying on self-reported habits, including frequency, timing, and amount of marijuana use. 

women using marijuana at least weekly during pregnancy were significantly more likely to give birth to a newborn less than 2,500 

 Several studies noted statistically significantly smaller birth lengths and head circumferences as well as lower birth weights among exposed offspring 

Pregnancy, ACOG, 2022 Marijuana

City leaders felt treating dispensaries as they do pharmacies would allow them across large swaths of the city, so they voted to outright ban them until planners could devise an alternative.  City leaders got their first glimpse at that alternative Monday night and unanimously endorsed a plan to craft rules that they call a kind of “middle ground” between the ban and current pharmacy rules.

Florida Ban, sarasota, Ban

Council members cite lack of local control as reason. The city of Venice will ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits, because current state statutes do not allow any form of local regulation above those placed on pharmacies. 
In moving toward prohibiting dispensaries, Venice joins the city of Sarasota and town of Longboat Key, though Sarasota is looking to modify its approach that would treat dispensaries the same as stand-alone pharmacies.

Florida Ban, Ban, Venice, City Council

Drug Free America and National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance 

The best long-term solution is prevention,” Sessions said. “The best action is not to start. Just say no.”

Those three words — embraced by First Lady Nancy Reagan in the 1980s to discourage young people from using recreational drugs — are back.

On Friday, as Summit County released its latest overdose numbers for the past seven days — 58 residents sought help in emergency rooms after overdosing — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions dredged up the slogan during an address to law enforcement in Pennsylvania.

“The struggle to overcome addiction can be a long process – and it can fail. Tragically, it often does fail,” he said, according to a written copy of his remarks released by his office.

 

Sessions

A native of New Mexico, Markowski, 23, started doing drugs while living and working in Germany. First, smoking marijuana, then snorting methamphetamine.

Kentucky's ban on medical marijuana has survived an initial test in court, with a judge ruling Wednesday that the state has a good reason to "curtail citizens' possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug."

Kentucky's ban on medical marijuana has survived an initial test in court, with a judge ruling Wednesday that the state has a good reason to "curtail citizens' possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug."

Ban, workplace, drug free workplace

The Post reported a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers, impaired or otherwise, involved in fatal crashes in Colorado between 2013 and 2016. That’s why the Colorado State Patrol posts fatality numbers on electronic signs over the highways.
“Increasingly potent levels of marijuana were found in positive-testing drivers who died in crashes in Front Range counties, according to coroner data since 2013 compiled by The Denver Post. Nearly a dozen in 2016 had levels five times the amount allowed by law, and one was at 22 times the limit. Levels were not as elevated in earlier years,” The Post explained.
All drivers in marijuana-related crashes who survived last year tested at levels indicating use within a few hours of the tests.
The Post found fatal crashes involving drivers under the influence of alcohol grew 17 percent from 2013 to 2015. Figures for 2016 were not available. Drivers testing positive for pot during that span grew by 145 percent, and “prevalence of testing drivers for marijuana use did not change appreciably, federal fatal-crash data show.”

Colorado, Fatalities, car crashes

We therefore must educate our youngsters, parents and educators before any use of marijuana or alcohol begins. We then must identify those individuals for whom marijuana or alcohol use has become problematic, getting them into an effective program of treatment before they progress to more dangerous alternatives.
 
Schools must revamp curriculums so children understand that any opioid misuse, be it prescription or street drugs, is a "red line" that they cannot cross.

School, opioid, opinion

Kissimmee commissioners voted 4 to 1 to ban the dispensaries from opening in town. They don’t believe there is room to regulate effectively the way the law is currently written.

Ban, Kissimmee, City Council, Florida, Florida Ban

Updated information on Florida counties and city councils banning 'medical' marijuana dispensaries.

Ban, Florida Ban

“There are too many unknowns,” said Commissioner Tambra Varnadore. “I don’t have a problem with the use of it, but there are so many rumors out there that it would be potentially abused, so I would rather wait. I feel if our citizens need one, then we can deal with it down the road.”

Manatee, Pametoo, Ban, Florida Ban

Snelling argued that not everyone using medical marijuana is severely ill, with symptoms like insomnia, mood swings and chronic itching qualifying for the drug. She said she is worried misuse will be widespread.
“Voting for something to be legalized as a medicine by popular vote or through legislative does not make it a prescription drug,” said Miller.

Tampa City Council, miller, video

Two local mothers spoke out against the plan at Thursday night's meeting.
Teresa Miller, of south Tampa, provided maps showing clusters of local pharmacies.
"Within a two-mile radius there's 15 pharmacies," said Miller. "If we get that many pot dispensaries around our country, it's going to be disastrous. We need to protect our children and our communities."

Tampa City Council, miller, zoning

Two local mothers showed up at the pow-wow to voice their concerns about an influx of dispensaries. One of the mothers, Teresa Miller, believes cannabis acts as a gateway drug.
“Years ago, when my son smoked pot and spring boarded to opioids, a severe addiction, I told myself if I could save one family from going through what our family and thousands of families around our state have gone through with a disease of addiction, then I would,” Miller said.
Miller also showed the council a map of 15 local pharmacies. She claimed she was worried that the dispensaries would expand to a similar number.
“If we get that many pot dispensaries around our country, it’s going to be disastrous. We need to protect our children and our communities.” Miller noted.

Tampa City Council, miller, zoning

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time, federal and state data show. A Denver Post analysis of the data and coroner reports provides the most comprehensive look yet into whether roads in the state have become more dangerous since the drug’s legalization.

Colorado, car crashes, Fatalities

Indian River County joined many governments across the state banning dispensaries rather than accepting them as pharmacies, the only other option allowed in a state law adopted this summer.

Indian River, Ban, County commissioner, Florida Ban

The Leon County School District says, for the time being, they wont allow school nurses to administer the medication or hold medical marijuana in schools until the district gets more guidance from the state and DOE.
NOT A PRESCRIPTION

Marijuana’s Negative Effects
Construction workers must have full use of their skills and faculties while performing their jobs. Medical marijuana may have positive medical benefits, but there are also well-documented negative effects. Some negative effects to the central nervous system include changes in sensory perception, altered thought formation and expression, short-term memory problems, and impaired thinking and learning. Negative physical effects include impaired motor performance, loss of balance and coordination, decreased attentiveness and alertness, prolonged response time to stimuli and danger, decreased ability to judge distance and space, and impaired ability to perform complex tasks.

drug free workplace, construction, workplace, Business, Employees, OSHA

The main finding was that when rats were exposed to secondhand smoke from marijuana for one minute, their arteries became less efficient at carrying enough blood for at least 90 minutes, whereas similar exposure to secondhand smoke from tobacco caused impairment that fully recovered within 30 minutes (exposure to clean air in the exposure chamber did not cause impairment). (It is important to understand that arteries of rats and humans are similar in how they respond to tobacco smoke, so the response of rat arteries to marijuana smoke is expected to be a valid indication of how human arteries respond to marijuana smoke.)

study, second hand smoke

The largest increases in opioid-related deaths in Florida from 2014 to 2015 were from the following drugs: Buprenorphine (up 102 percent), heroin (up 74 percent), fentanyl (up 69 percent), codeine (up 57 percent), and Oxymorphone (up 42 percent).

opioid

: A "clear, steady upward trend in illness/disability as reason for not working among prime-age adults. And even more striking, the level and trend are very similar for men and women, even though most of the attention on this issue is going to men."

workplace

“The facts of the accident included Mr. Siegler being the driver of a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “He subsequently crossed the center lane of travel striking another oncoming vehicle.
Siegler was arrested at his home in rural Rochester and booked into the Thurston County Jail.
Siegler referenced the crash and apparent remorse in a June 30 post on his Facebook page, saying he wanted to pay his respects and that “she deserved better than what happened.”
“I swear I'll live my life for you and your family,” he wrote. “I owe it to you. I'm so sorry. I hope to see you one day in heaven, no matter how much I don't deserve it right now, I just hope you can forgive me. I'm sorry in a way I could never describe. I may not have known you. But I love you and all that you've taught me in this short amount of time.”

Oregon, car crashes, Fatalities

Crime is common near pot shops, including assaults, robberies and shootings. On July 19, a security guard was killed and three other men were shot at a pot shop in L.A. during an attempted robbery. Gangs and drug dealers don’t view marijuana dispensaries as pharmacies. Rather, they see them as rival drug dealers.
When pot shops open in a business district, complaints of the business neighbors are numerous. Fights, drug use and street drug dealing increase in the area. This, in turn, affects the type of clientele in the area for neighboring businesses.
It is well known that homelessness has increased in Denver and Seattle after legalization. Also, drug dealing dramatically increases law enforcement costs. The San Diego Association of Governments published a report finding that 52% of males arrested tested positive for marijuana in 2015. Thirty-five percent reported committing crimes to support a drug habit.
The Denver district attorney warned in 2016 that every type of crime there increased after marijuana legalization: “The Denver Police Department is busier enforcing marijuana laws and investigating crimes directly related to marijuana, including murders, robberies and home invasions, than any other time in the history of the city.”
And it can get even worse. Pot industry profits are used to buy political influence.

crime, california, denver

"We found no observational studies that met inclusion criteria, but a growing body of cross-sectional literature suggests negative opioid-related correlates among individuals who use cannabis and opioids concurrently. These include opioid misuse;9,10,99,133 a greater number of opioid refills;99 a longer duration of opioid use; a higher dose of opioid medication prescribed;9 and endorsement of using opioids and other pain medications without a prescription.134"

Veterans, opioid, study

As we keep saying, marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.
59 articles on harms of marijuana

Overdoses, Family Council

Abstract

Contemporary models of substance use disorders emphasize the role of cognitive control, which has been linked to difficulties in resisting the use of substances. In the present study, we measured two aspects of cognitive control, response inhibition (operationalized by a Go/NoGo Task) and performance monitoring (operationalized by an Eriksen Flanker Task), in a group of young cannabis-use disorder (CUD) patients and compared these functions with two control groups (i.e. a group of cigarette smokers and a group of non-smokers). We employed both behavioural and electrophysiological measures. The results indicate that CUD patients displayed reduced NoGo-P3 event-related potentials compared with non-smoking controls, but not compared with smoking controls. In addition, CUD patients were slower on Go trials than both control groups. No other between-group electrophysiological or behavioural differences were observed. These results seem to suggest that CUD patients have problems related to response inhibition, but performance monitoring seems relatively unaffected.

 

CUD, Cannabis-use disorder, study

"Though the results do not show a direct causal link, it's important to note that even though most people think marijuana isn't harmful, it may have severe consequences for some people's functioning, education and mood," Forbes said. "While that may seem unimportant at age 20, the level of education you receive will likely have a huge effect on your quality of life and socioeconomic status later in adulthood."

science daily

Drug users now cause almost as many traffic deaths in Michigan as drunken drivers, a trend police blame on prescription drugs, the opioid epidemic and the easy availability of marijuana, medical and otherwise.
Over the past decade, fatal drunken-driving crashes across the state are down 36%, while those caused by people impaired by drugs have risen 263%.

Michigan, Fatalities, car crashes

The research on more than 4,000 students, published in the Review of Economic Studies, found that those who lost access to legal marijuana showed substantial improvement in their grades. Specifically, those banned from cannabis cafes had a more than 5 percent increase in their odds of passing their courses. Low performing students benefited even more, which the researchers noted is particularly important because these students are at high-risk of dropping out. The researchers attribute their results to the students who were denied legal access to marijuana being less likely to use it and to suffer cognitive impairments (e.g., in concentration and memory) as a result.

academics, Netherlands, access, college graduation, education

They say they took their daughter to counseling, rehab summer camps, anything to help with her marijuana use and mental health struggles. The day before her overdose, she had passed two drug tests.  Her parents thought they had finally turned a corner.

overdose, tampa

A sample of the comments (all left anonymously):

  • “I’ve never sentenced a cocaine or heroin addict that didn’t start with marijuana.”
  • “90 percent of felons I ever sentenced started their journey to addiction with marijuana.”
  • “As a drug court judge, almost every one of my participants, when asked, stated marijuana was their gateway drug.”
  • “I have been assigned to drug cases for 11 years and was a police officer for 32 years. Every conversation I had with people on hard drugs, they always started with marijuana. Why do we want to do this with our citizens?”
judges, National Judicial College, Drug Court

Reports have shown a staggering increase in cannabis-related emergency department (ED) visits in recent years. In 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimated a total of 1.25 million illicit-drug–related ED visits across the US, of which 455,668 were marijuana related.2 A similar report published in 2015 by the Washington Poison Center Toxic Trends Report showed a dramatic increase in cannabis-related ED visits.3 In states with recent legalization of recreational cannabis, similar trends were seen.

cannabis-induced psychosis, Psychosis

"It's tied our hands in my opinion," said Commissioner Penny Taylor, who said she wants to ban dispensaries from Collier County. "It's just the lack of local control. We have certainly the folks that need this for their illness, but we have the whole community at large to think about. That’s the big picture." 

Collier, Ban, Amendment 2, Florida Ban

“Duration of marijuana use seems to be a significant factor associated with metabolic syndrome,” the researchers said.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that increase a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The study found that “every year increase in marijuana use is associated with at least a 5 percent increase in odds of having metabolic syndrome.”

study, Georgia State University, Metabolic Syndrome
Florida, 2017 Legislation

“His consistent use of marijuana affected his brain structure,” Gomez-Mallada said.  But Cox ruled: “The court finds there is little possibility of rehabilitation. The defendant is a danger.” Marshall’s accomplice, Henry, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is scheduled for sentencing in July.

Teen, Fatalities

She did not specify how many cases involved marijuana mixed with a synthetic opiate.
“Essentially, the message we’ve tried to get out there, is if you are using any form of street drugs, count on them having some form of synthetic opioid mixed in,” Samarco said.
Samarco added that it is nearly impossible to tell which drugs are mixed with a synthetic opiate.
“We can’t tell you for sure until we test the blood of someone who has died or any of the drugs seized by law enforcement,” she added.
Samarco gave a dire warning to all street drug users.
“Just don’t use it. That’s all we can tell you, and we can’t say it enough.”

fentanyl

After retail marijuana sales began in Colorado, the increase in collision claim frequency was 14 percent higher than in nearby Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming. Washington's estimated increase in claim frequency was 6.2 percent higher than in Montana and Idaho, and Oregon's estimated increase in claim frequency was 4.5 percent higher than in Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

HLDI, Colorado

Abstract

Objective This study examined how freshman year substance use prospectively predicted time to college graduation, and whether delayed graduation predicted postponed adoption of adult roles and future substance use. Participants Participants were part of a longitudinal study that began in 2004. The first analyses focused on freshman year (N = 2,050). The second analyses corresponded to a subset of participants at age 27 (N = 575). Methods Measures included self-reported substance use, adult role adoption, and university reported graduation dates. Results Results indicated that frequent binge drinking and marijuana use during freshman year predicted delayed college graduation. Those who took longer to graduate were more likely to have lower incomes and were less likely to obtain a graduate degree. Taking 5-6 years to graduate was associated with greater likelihood of alcohol-related problems. Conclusions Findings support the importance of interventions during freshman year of college to decrease substance use and promote timely graduation.

 

college graduation, alcohol

“John is an old friend who shares the same values [of] trying to hold government accountable and make it more efficient,” Corcoran said. “We share that mission.”
Morgan had been the driving force behind the referendum approved by voters last year, and a bill outlining how medical marijuana regulations would work was passed Friday during the Legislature’s special session. 

Morgan

Several other residents spoke in favor of more government regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries. Ellen Snelling said she voted against Amendment 2, which was overwhelming approved by voters in 2016.
"Medical marijuana is a drug. It is harmful and addictive. Limiting the number of dispensaries is a good public health policy," said Snelling.
She told commissioners she is concerned that too much access will lead to marijuana getting into the wrong hands and being used for recreation.
"Remember the pill mills? Strict regulations will help prevent pot mills," said Snelling.
 

County commissioner, Snelling, zoning

“The pill mills were everywhere,” said Teresa Miller. We had our van stolen from our front yard one Saturday night, and it was abandoned in Brooksville with drugs in it. I don’t want this to happen again, and I don’t want that type of clientele walking through our neighborhood again.”

County commissioner, miller, zoning

First, dosing of smoked marijuana remains unpredictable. And although much of the medical marijuana debate centers on the effects of single exposures, insufficient information exists regarding the effects of repeated exposures. Approximately 10% of people routinely using marijuana become addicted, with a higher incidence amongst adolescents. Tolerance and down-regulation of receptors have been documented with repeated marijuana use. A marijuana withdrawal syndrome has also been recognized, as has an association with psychosis.

Doctors, bullying

In the new study, researchers analyzed data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a long-running study in the U.K. that has followed women and their children. The study began when the women were first pregnant, all in 1991 or 1992.
For the new report, the researchers looked at questionnaires that more than 5,300 of the children completed. The kids were surveyed at least three times between ages 13 and 18, and asked about the frequency of their use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco in the previous three monthsThey were also sent a follow-up survey by mail to measure these behaviors at age 21.
Researchers found that teenagers in the study who regularly used marijuana were 26 times more likely to have used other illegal drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines or hallucinogens, by the time they reached early adulthood, compared with teens who hadn't smoked pot, according to the findings published online today (June 7) in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

study, longitudinal, UK, gateway

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