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And yes, my friends, there are many problems associated with use of marijuana, such as the risk of addiction, risk for vehicle crashes, emergency department visits, psychiatric symptoms, poor quality of life, cognitive decline, and the use of other drugs.
Marijuana’s immediate effects include distorted perception, difficulty with thinking and problems solving, and loss of motor coordination. Marijuana use can also cause space and time distortion, delusional thinking, and even hallucinations.
Long–term use of the drug can contribute to respiratory infection, impaired memory, and exposure to cancer-causing compounds. Of major importance among youth who are heavy users of the drug is that its use is linked to increased risk for developing mental illness and poorer cognitive functioning.

risks, Long-term
guns


By the end of 2014, the number of total crimes was 24 percent higher than in 2012. Property crimes increased 14 percent from 2012 to 2013, and the 2014 data was 26 percent higher than the pre-pot legalization period.

 

crime, Washington, blog

Children whose mothers use marijuana during pregnancy have a higher risk of stunted growth and of developing ADHD, anxiety, and depression later in life.
When THC enters the body, it interferes with endocannabinoid’s actions, competing with it for binding sites on target cells and generally getting its way.

Pregnancy

Children whose mothers use marijuana during pregnancy have a higher risk of stunted growth and of developing ADHD, anxiety, and depression later in life.
When THC enters the body, it interferes with endocannabinoid’s actions, competing with it for binding sites on target cells and generally getting its way.

Inside the home, police found drug paraphernalia, and plastic baggies containing what appeared to be pot-laced push pops, chocolate bars, and other various marijuana infused candies.

edibles, Florida

 “It is important to know that legalizing marijuana would not mean greater access to potentially effective treatment for children and adults with a medical illness such as epilepsy. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is not at all marijuana.”

CBD is not medical marijuana. CBD does not get anyone high nor does it increase appetite. It may be beneficial in treating children with rare forms of epilepsy, often difficult to control with medication or other available treatments, but it does not work for everyone with seizures.

“The stories of kids having fewer seizures described in the media are heartwarming and can possibly be of some benefit – just like many other medications available to treat seizures,” Dr. Patel adds.

What are the possible side effects?
CBD can cause nausea, diarrhea, or worse, affect the liver.

Dr. Patel states, “There is nothing natural about marijuana and its components. It is broken down in a person’s liver, similar to many other medications. It has interactions with other medications and is still not fully understood. If further studies show that CBD is safe and effective, it will be sent to the FDA for official approval. If the FDA approves this medication, it will be available in the form of a prescription and no laws will need to be changed.”

“Legalization would make our jobs as medical providers more difficult as we will not know what changing, non-tested preparations a child may be getting. I understand that parents are desperate and want to help their children, however, it is dangerous to give a child or patient a product unless it has been studied properly and is the same consistent product each time.” If the ongoing trials show that Epidiolex is safe and effective, then all people can have access to it through a prescription and know that it has been properly tested and is consistent each month. Medical providers will know how to dose it and it will be regulated by the FDA.

Charlotte's Web, epilepsy, legalization, Children, chronic

"What most people don't realize is that growing marijuana is a very intense power use," Roger Blank, the utility's director of safety, said in a statement. Using older, less-efficient standard lights to grow four plants is akin to running 29 refrigerators, he said.

Environment

The project is intended to treat 50 children from ages 2 to 16 living with epilepsy that have exhausted most of their treatment options, Carney said.
Every step of the three-year study will be meticulously tracked. Patients will check-in at regular intervals and the researchers will examine how the children are responding, Carney said.
All subjects will be clinically evaluated and seizure frequency will be recorded in a diary given to patients, according to the ClinicalTrials.gov website.
“Through this research, we want to learn about what type of children respond, if they can tolerate the medication and if there are any side effects we need to worry about,” Carney said.
The study will begin later this summer and participants are still being accepted, Carney said.The project is intended to treat 50 children from ages 2 to 16 living with epilepsy that have exhausted most of their treatment options, Carney said.
Every step of the three-year study will be meticulously tracked. Patients will check-in at regular intervals and the researchers will examine how the children are responding, Carney said.
All subjects will be clinically evaluated and seizure frequency will be recorded in a diary given to patients, according to the ClinicalTrials.gov website.
“Through this research, we want to learn about what type of children respond, if they can tolerate the medication and if there are any side effects we need to worry about,” Carney said.
The study will begin later this summer and participants are still being accepted, Carney said.

Epidiolex, Orphan Study, Florida

1. The first major change involves the rising concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).As the potency of this drug increased over time, a number of thresholds of toxicity have been exceeded.
2. The anxiety and depression problems resulting from THC consumption are nothing new, but they are much more common now. (I have seen more cases in the last year than in the 4 years prior combined.)
3. Schizophrenia:  All who have suffered this complication have experienced a major decline in functional capacity, often becoming permanently disabled. The prognosis for this condition is very poor. Similar presentations can result from contaminated marijuana.
 
 

Most of the deaths occurred in the spring, when fishers come out to mate and raise their kits, and all of the poisoned animals were found in remote areas but within the vicinity of illegal marijuana farms.

animals, pesticide
Colorado, heroin

More Positive Results With Cannabidiol in Epilepsy (You will need to google this title in order to get the article to avoid creating an account)
They found a reduction of the total number of seizures by a median of 38% at 3 months and 31% at 6 months.
These patients started on a cannabidiol (CBD) dose of 2 mg/kg per day, which was increased to a maximum tolerated dose or to 25 mg/kg per day.
Of the 25 patients enrolled in the study, two discontinued treatment before 6 months. One boy stopped medication after a few months because of intolerable diarrhea, and another patient discontinued the drug because of persistent nausea/vomiting. One patient didn't report 6-month data at the time of the analysis.
More than three quarters (77%) of the 22 remaining patients experienced fewer seizures after 6 months.
However, he stressed that the study was uncontrolled, symptoms were self-reported by families, and there has been a lot of news coverage of medical marijuana for the treatment of epilepsy. "Many parents had been avidly desirous of their child going on this cannabidiol because of what they had read in the lay press, so they were primed to believe this cannabidiol might be beneficial." On the other hand, he said, it's important to keep in mind that these children have "horrible epilepsy" and most have been on more than 10 medications for seizure without success. "Any improvement to that degree in this population that is sustained is a pretty dramatic response."

Epidiolex, Studies, Orphan Study, gw pharm

alcohol, youth usage

Adolescent cannabis use increased the odds of non-progression with formal education.

  • Associations for adolescent alcohol use were inconsistent and weaker.
  • Cannabis use accounted for a greater proportion of the overall rate of educational underachievement than alcohol use.
  • Findings inform the debate about the relative harms of cannabis and alcohol use.
alcohol, adolescent

With considerable discussion about Arizona’s education funding, along with high school and college graduation rates, shouldn’t we do all we can to improve our state of education instead of making it much worse by legalizing marijuana?
The Journal Clinical Pediatrics has also found an over 600 percent increase in the amount of marijuana exposure to children six and under in states with marijuana-friendly legislation.

Arizona, education, exposure

§Puff for puff, smoking marijuana is more dangerous than smoking cigarettes.  http://162.99.3.213/products/manuals/matrix/ppt/marijuana.ppt

 

  • 22.2 million (8.4%) people were current (past month) users of marijuana in 2014, making it the most used illicit drug.
  • Marijuana use was most prevalent among people age 18 to 25 (with 19.6% using it in the past month).
  • 7.4% of people aged 12 to 17 reported using marijuana.
  • A higher percentage of males (10.9%) used marijuana in the past month than females (6%).

 

SAMSHA, cigarettes

 But at a bare minimum, these findings suggest we should be avoiding recreational cannabis use during pregnancy. 

Utero, Pregnancy

The overstuffed vehicles parked outside Pueblo’s Posada, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless families, have license plates from as far away as South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida and Texas.
Those families have come in what social service agencies here see as a perfect storm: legal marijuana, Colorado’s Medicaid expansion (which extends coverage to all qualified adults under the 2010 Affordable Care Act), and Pueblo’s ranking as one of the least expensive cities to live in the US.
Is this what we want in Florida?

Colorado, Pueblo, homeless, medicaid

Known as hash oil, wax, dabs, and shatter, concentrates deliver a high so fast and intense many users refer to them as “green crack.” One ounce of the highest potency THC concentrate can yield 560 average tokes on an electronic cigarette. In edibles, Colorado law defines an average serving of THC as 10 milligrams.

The 10-milligram serving size established by Colorado lawmakers means one 1 ounce of high-potency THC oil — the amount one adult is allowed to buy or possess at any given time — also can equal 2,800 average servings. That’s a well-stocked bakery.

Edibles make up about 45 percent of Colorado’s marijuana sales, based on state figures, and are projected to quickly surpass the sale of THC products that are smoked.

edibles, clearing the haze
edibles, Arizona

No "anatomic or toxicological" causes of death were found, autopsy documents show. Drug tests revealed only the presence of THC, a chemical found in both prescription drugs and marijuana. The body showed no signs of external injury. The Kentucky medical examiner's office concluded excited delirium killed Gibson.
Excited delirium typically affects those who suffer from mental illness or use illicit drugs. It can manifest as extreme hostility, agitation, super strength and erratic behavior.

pets, vet

The Justice Department estimated that 3.6 percent of state inmates in 2013 had drug possession as their most serious offense. That includes possession charges for all drugs, not just marijuana. To gauge the marijuana-only percentage, we have to go back to data that’s about a decade old.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/sisfcf04_q.pdf

political, prisons

Is legal 'medical' marijuana linked to high youth substance abuse rates?

Let's look at Colorado's substance abuse rates in 2011- 2012 when medical marijuana was legal but recreational pot was not, Colorado youth ages 12- 17 and 18- 25 ranked in the top percentiles for most substance abuse rates: illicit drugs, marijuana, cocaine, non-medical use of painkillers and ranked the lowest for perception of great risk of smoking marijuana.

youth, Medical

Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Colorado saw a 29 percent increase in emergency room visits, and a 38 percent increase in hospitalizations during retail marijuana’s first year.

Colorado, parents

Kembel's is the highest-profile death associated with cannabis since it became legal for adults to purchase recreational marijuana in Oregon last week. Police said Tuesday it was unclear to what extent marijuana impairment had been a factor in the crash.

Oregon, Gresham, Death

The American Medical Association (AMA) has opposed legalizing marijuana for medical use for many years due to the lack of evidence to support such action. In addition to AMA, the following medical associations also oppose legalizing marijuana or any of its components for medical use before FDA-quality evidence is available.

response, medical association, Research

At the moment, there simply isn’t enough evidence to prove that cannabinoids – whether natural or synthetic – works to treat cancer in patients, although research is ongoing. And there’s certainly no evidence that ‘street’ cannabis can treat cancer.

cancer, hash oil, Research

But “having medical value” isn’t the same thing as “being a medicine.” A medicine is a material of known chemical composition and dosage that has been shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective in the management of some condition in some patient population. By that standard, natural cannabis can’t be a medicine, simply because natural cannabis varies so widely in its chemical content: not only from one strain to another, but from one plant to another and even from one bud to another from the same plant.

Fraud, Medical, UCLA

Levy says. “We are simply not prepared for the fallout of marijuana legalization.”
Each hit of THC rewires the function of this critical cognitive system: Early evidence in mice has shown that repeated exposure to THC causes these receptors to disappear altogether, blunting the natural response to positive behaviors and requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect. Marijuana exploits essential pathways we’ve evolved to retrieve a memory, to delicately regulate our metabolism, and to derive happiness from everyday life.

Myth, news article, THC, youth, Harmless

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic investigations are also required. Finally, the health consequences of passive vaping should be also considered.  
In conclusion, the new social phenomenon of vaping may slide from nicotine towards other psychoactive drugs (e.g., THC); it therefore deserves the urgent scientific investigation and strict risk assessments which are especially important when young people are concerned. In particular, the presence of toxic substances in the cannabis aerosols generated by e-cigs—from multiple models, brands, BHO and e-liquid manufacturers—need to be investigated.
A synthesis of the practical recipes and experiments reported on the Internet (in addition to our own experiments) shows that the simple, direct use of purified cannabis extracts in e-cigs is not easy because cannabinoids are poorly soluble in e-liquids. Indeed, used pure or in mixture with glycerol, the propylene glycol (PG, or propane-1,2-diol) that is commonly used in e-liquids has both hygroscopic and hydrophilic properties. Consequently, it is not miscible with mineral and vegetable oils and fats. In contrast, cannabinoid concentrates are very lipid soluble, but water insoluble. Furthermore, PG, glycerol, terpenoids, plant fats and waxes, cannabinoid concentrates and THC are very viscous substances. Accordingly, the manufacture of a homogeneous solution using these viscous liquids is a tedious task. Cannabinoid concentrates resemble more a thick, sticky, gummy resin than a liquid. We can infer from these facts that they do not mix readily with glycols, and even less so with glycerol. The addition of terpenoids (e.g., limonene) or lecithin has been advocated to help make cannabis oils miscible...

cannabis, Vaping, electronic cigarette, adolescence, youth, e-cig

“I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of similar lawsuits in other states,” Malsbury said, pointing out that the nation’s largest marijuana producer, California, has no pot regulations at all. Medical marijuana is grown and sold in California but recreational sales remain against state law.

pesticide, lawsuit

My main finding is that it's primarily women who were younger when they become mothers who do continue to use marijuana overtime. Also women who are depressed over longer periods of time, women who smoke, women who use more than the recommended amount of alcohol are more likely to continue to use marijuana while pregnant as well as when they're raising their children. So the take-home messages is to ask women about marijuana use. We know that marijuana use is considered more and more acceptable by women and that they may continue to use while they are pregnant and while they are having children.

NIDA, Pregnancy, vidoe, Dr. Genna, Dr. Natacha, interview

“Every state must take steps to reduce drug-impaired driving, regardless of the legal status of marijuana,” said Jonathan Adkins, Executive Director of GHSA. “This is the first report to provide states and other stakeholders with the information they need. And we encourage NHTSA to issue guidance on best practices to prevent marijuana-impaired driving. We look to the federal government to take a leadership role in this issue similar to that of drunk driving and seat belt use.”

car crashes, Report, GHSA

There has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report,1,2 yet the amount of prescription painkillers dispensed in the U.S. quadrupled since 1999.3 Changes in how providers prescribe painkillers has helped fuel this epidemic. There is wide variation in painkiller prescribing between states which can't be explained by differences in health issues from state to state.

Deaths from prescription painkillers have also quadrupled since 1999, killing more than 16,000 people in the U.S. in 2013.4Nearly two million Americans, aged 12 or older, either abused or were dependent on opioids in 2013.5

Statistical Reports

quadrupling in the use of prescription drugs since 1999, and legalization of marijuana use in some states are cited among the reasons drug use has become an increasing threat to roadway safety, according to a report released today by the Governors Highway Safety Association, an organization of state highway safety officers.

car crashes, Fatalities

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is the primary source of information on the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and abuse and mental disorders in the U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized population, age 12 and older. The survey generates estimates at the National, state, and substate levels.

Statistical Reports, SAMHSA

Background Paper on Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Use  Prepared for the Members of the Georgia Medical Cannabis Commission by National Families in Action
1. Reviewing the conditions, needs, issues, and problems of medical cannabis 
1a. No Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials 
1b. Most Medical Marijuana States Do Not Test for Potency or Contaminants 
1c. FDA Cracking Down on CBD Producers Making Unsubstantiated Medical Claims 
1d. Five percent THC Makes People High 
1e. Marijuana Edibles Are Hurting Children 
1f.  Pharmaceutical CBD Products in FDA Clinical Trials vs Artisanal CBD 
1g. What is a medical marijuana doctor? 
1h. Is marijuana about medicine or money?

 2. Evaluating the Best Practices, Experiences, and Results of Medical Cannabis in Other States
2a. Advocacy vs Reality
2b. A Commercial Medical Marijuana Industry Increases Marijuana Use
2c. Availability Drives Use among Children
2d. Doctors, Scientists Dismayed at States’ Legalizing Marijuana for Medical Use
2e. Questions Commission Members Might Want to Consider
 3. Recommending Any Proposed Action or Legislation You Deem Necessary
Determining Which State Department or Departments Should Have Oversight of Such a System
3a. Recommendations     4. Addendum    5. References

Report, Resource Paper, Charlotte's Web

The impact of those changes can be seen not just in marijuana sales, but also in lives lost and harmed. In 2014, the report notes, there was a 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths in Colorado compared with 2013. Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 92 percent from 2010 to 2014.
In contrast, the increase in all traffic deaths during that time period was just 8 percent. Had it not been for marijuana-related traffic deaths, the state would have experienced adecline in traffic fatalities.
There's reason to think this problem won't go away soon. According to the report, an estimated 485,000 Colorado adults regularly use marijuana. Adults who consume marijuana almost daily make up the top 21.8 percent of that population — but they account for 66.9 percent of the demand for marijuana.

Colorado, Fatalities, car crashes, usage

Olympia, WA – Newly released data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) shows that marijuana is increasing as a factor in deadly crashes. The number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 48 percent from 2013 to 2014. 
“This study is a step towards answering the myriad of questions we have about the impact of legalized marijuana on driving.

Washington, car crashes, driving

Survey highlights:

  • Parents still have a big influence over their children when it comes to using marijuana.
  • More than 60 percent of marijuana users don't think it's addictive or damaging to the brain.
  • One in 10 surveyed report being high at school and while driving, on a daily basis.
parenting, youth
  • Prenatal exposure to marijuana has been shown to be predictive of psychotic symptoms in young adulthood.
  • Monitoring the Future survey reported a five-year decline in the perceived harm of regularly smoking marijuana, from 52.4% of high school seniors to 36.1%
  • Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States and it is estimated that it is used by 61% of all persons suffering from a substance use disorder related to drugs other than alcohol.
  • The risk of developing addiction associated with cannabis use has been reported to increase to about 17% among those who start using marijuana in adolescence, and to 25-50% among those who smoke marijuana daily.
  • Smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain a number of carcinogens and cocarcinogens, as well as many of the toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. 
  • Marijuana-infused edibles account for 45% of the legal marijuana marketplace.
  • AMA Marijuana has a high potential for abuse. It has no scientifically proven, currently accepted medical use for preventing or treating any disease process in the United States.

 

Number Using Opioids and Marijuana on the Rise

Chart: Colorado among states with growing heroin, prescription drug abuse problem 

Consistent with the past, in 2014 still only 47 percent of operators involved in traffic deaths were tested for drug impairment.

 

Pregnancy, addiction, cigarettes, edibles, Research, Studies

Given these statistics.... is legalization worth the consequences....
Cannabis has been found to be the most frequently used drug in the U.S. after alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. 
The risk of developing addiction associated with cannabis use has been reported to increase to about 17% among those who start using marijuana in adolescence, and to 25-50% among those who smoke marijuana daily.
The long-term effects of marijuana use include altered brain development and cognitive impairment, including impaired neural connectivity in specific brain regions, decreased activity in prefrontal regions, and reduced volumes in the hippocampus.
Cannabis is most commonly consumed through smoking, a route of drug delivery that predictably has a variety of negative effects on pulmonary function. Smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain a number of carcinogens and cocarcinogens, as well as many of the toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.  Additionally, marijuana smokers tend to inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, which leads to a greater exposure per breath to “tar” (the carcinogenic solids in smoke). Regular smoking of marijuana, in the absence of tobacco, produces visible and microscopic injury to the large airways
http://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/publicy-policy-statements/mariju...

Research, legalization, asam, Long-term, Pregnancy, adolescent, youth, cigarettes

The commonly heard expression that “no one ever died from a marijuana overdose” minimizes the cost of unmet potential and inability to fully engage in the challenges of daily life. Scientific research cites multiple impacts of the recreational misuse of marijuana.

youth, opinion, college

Tom Gorman discusses Colorado Legalization Impact Report for September 2015

Gorman, Leibsohn, Report, rmhidta, radio, Colorado

"We found support for the synergistic effect on an individual level; people who tend to use more marijuana also tend to use more opioids," said Scott Novak, PhD, senior research scientist at RTI International, a leading research institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
What's worrisome is that the positive association between cannabis and opioid use is growing stronger. The study found that over time, people were using these drugs more often; there were more opioids days and more cannabis days.

medscape, opioid, Studies, NSDUH
SAMHSA, trends

Positive top-line results have been reported from an exploratory phase 2a placebo-controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol (CBD, GW Pharmaceuticals) in patients with schizophrenia who had failed to respond adequately to first-line antipsychotic medications.  DOES NOT CONTAIN THC.

Schizophrenia, gw pharm, CBD

State medical marijuana legislation.

state, Laws, NCSL
usage, perception, Infographics

In 2014, Gilman published research on 18-to-25-year-olds that showed differences in the brain’s reward system between users and nonusers. Teens who smoked marijuana had significant abnormalities in the areas of the brain linked to emotion, motivation, and decision-making (see diagram above). “I got a lot of hate mail after that,” she says.

Jangi, MD, reader's digest, Brain

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services found that marijuana use among all Americans 12 and over – especially those over 26 – significantly increased in 2014 compared to 2013. The number of 16 and 17 year-olds using marijuana in the past month also increased, (14.2% versus 15.0%).

youth, perception, usage

Rates of vaporizing cannabis using e-cigarettes were high. These findings raise concerns about the lack of e-cigarette regulations and the potential use of e-cigarettes for purposes other than vaping nicotine.

Vaping, youth

About 27% of high school students who have used both marijuana and e-cigarettes reported using the devices to vaporize cannabis. Those most likely to vaporize pot with e-cigarettes included males and younger students.

Vaping, youth

We do know that smoking is unhealthy.  And that, like tobacco, cannabis contains cancer causing substances. Therefore it would seem likely to increase cancer risk. But we need more research to know this for sure.

cancer

There are difficulties in researching the effects of cannabis.

  1. Many people who smoke cannabis also smoke tobacco. And users of cannabis often mix it with tobacco. This can make it difficult to know whether it is the tobacco, the cannabis, or both that has caused a cancer.
  2. The amount of THC in cannabis also varies. Some of the cannabis available today is much stronger than it was 20 years ago. These versions contain more THC.
  3. Another difficulty researchers have is in recruiting people who smoke cannabis into studies. Because cannabis is an illegal drug in many countries, people may be reluctant to take part in research. And if they do agree to take part, they may not say how much cannabis they actually smoke.
Research, cancer

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has seen a similar increase. In 2014, the ASPCA's poison control centers received calls on about 539 cases of animals accidentally consuming cannabis, up from 320 in 2013.
"What's worrying to us is the severity of cases now," says Dr. Heidi Houchen, a veterinarian at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, Ore. "We still see the classic case: red eyes, wobbly, urinating on themselves, a little twitchy ... but they can progress through the sedate, leaning, urine-dribbling stage to becoming completely comatose or absolutely rigid. They've come in and had seizures. They can come in a panic, really sensitive to noise and touch. They can pass away."

pets

college, monitoring the future
vomit, CHS, hospital

An employer should have a written drug testing policy that includes:  

  • Descriptions of the types of tests that employees can expect to be asked to take.
  • Descriptions of the testing procedures. 
  • The disciplinary consequences for violating the drug testing policy.

 

Employer, drug testing, drug free workplace
According to the Colorado Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2014:
 
• 13.6 percent of adults (18+ years old) are current users of marijuana
• Approximately 1 out of 3 current users report using marijuana daily
• A little less than 1 in 5 (18.8 percent) report driving after using marijuana
• Highest current use demographics: 
o Younger adults (18 to 24 years old)
o Less than high school education
o Lower household income
o Black
o Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual adults
o Men 
Colorado, Behavior, Survey, youth

In summary, marijuana use is harmful to children and adolescents.  For this reason, the American College of Pediatricians opposes its legalization for recreational use and urges extreme caution in legalizing it for medicinal use.  Likewise, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) recently offered their own policy statement opposing efforts to legalize marijuana. They similarly pointed out that “marijuana’s deleterious effects on adolescent brain development, cognition, and social functioning may have immediate and long-term implications, including increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, sexual victimization, academic failure, lasting decline in intelligence measures, psychopathology, addiction, and psychosocial and occupational impairment.” 

youth, pedestrians, legalization, ACP, Resource Paper

The percentage of college students using any illicit drug also rose to 41 percent in 2014, compared to 34 percent in 2006, an increase driven mostly by the uptick in marijuana use, the study said.
In 2014, 35 percent of 19-to-22-year-old high school graduates said they thought regular marijuana use was dangerous compared to 55 percent in 2006, the study said.

college, monitoring the future

"There is some more welcome news for parents as they send their children off to college this fall. Perhaps the most important is that 5 out of every 10 college students have not used any illicit drug in the past year, and more than three-quarters have not used any in the prior month."
Alongside regular users, the number of occasional marijuana users has also increased. Between 2006 and 2014, the percentage of students who reported using marijuana once or more in the prior 30 days increased from 17% to 21%. During the same period, the percentage reporting use in the past year increased from 30% to 34%.

college, tobacco, monitoring the future

See report for details, graphs, data.

Colorado, Potency, youth usage, vehicle, social costs, Business

Does this sound like someone concerned about sick people?  What is he really compassionate about?  

news video clip, video, Morgan

"According to Ohio Revised Code, the per se limit for marijuana in Ohio is 50 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Young’s test came back at 112.90 nanograms per milliliter, the patrol said."  

car crashes, Fatalities, Ohio

Moreover, in the men in the study who smoked marijuana and used other recreational drugs, the sperm counts were reduced by 55 percent, and the sperm concentrations were reduced by 52 percent, compared with men who hadn't used the drugs.

sperm count, men

“As marijuana is approved for medical or recreational use, we need to carefully consider where we allow dispensaries to be placed,” said lead author Christina Mair, Ph.D., assistant professor in Pitt Public Health’s Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. “Our study indicates that there are real problems associated with a higher density of marijuana dispensaries in neighborhoods. More study and monitoring, coupled with thoughtful legislation and community discussion, will be prudent to ensure that marijuana laws have the fewest negative consequences for vulnerable populations.”

pot shops, dispensaries, hospital
prisons, Arrest, DEA

Marijuana use by kids between the ages of 12 and 17 is 58 percent higher in Colorado than the national average, according to the RHMIDTA. The rate of use among college-age adults is 54 percent above the national average. Drug-related suspensions from Colorado schools jumped 34 percent from the 2005-2009 period to the 2010-2014 period, while alcohol-related suspensions stayed flat.
 "Everything they said would happen has not," says Gorman. "They said alcohol use would go down. Alcohol use went up. They said it would eliminate the (marijuana) black market. We are the black market. The trends show that legalization is not working."
 

youth, Colorado, college, Potency, legalization, alcohol

Data released Tuesday indicate that the number of Washington drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for active marijuana doubled from 2013 to 2014 - the first year of legal marijuana sales in the state.

car crashes, Fatalities, Washington

“We have seen marijuana involvement in fatal crashes remain steady over the years, and then it just spiked in 2014,” said Dr. Staci Hoff, WTSC Data and Research Director.
From 2010-2014, nearly 60 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were tested for drugs. Among these tested drivers, approximately 20 percent (349 drivers) were positive for marijuana.
From 2008 through 2014, more than 1,100 people died in impaired collisions in Washington. Impaired driving is involved in nearly half of all traffic deaths and more than 20 percent of serious injury collisions. The highest percentage of these deaths occurs during the summer months.

car crashes, DUI, Fatalities, Washington

Overall, these studies seem to indicate that cannabinoids have a significant role to play in the management of chronic pain. However, there are important issues that limit the validity of this conclusion. First and most important is how the improvement in pain was evaluated. In many of the studies, only instruments to measure the level of pain, most notably the Visual Analogue Scale, were used. This is fine when one is measuring acute pain. But when it comes to chronic pain—which is what the studies were looking at—the most important measures of the impact of any treatment are improvement in functioning and other objective measures, such as reduction in use of analgesic medications.
he review found minimal evidence that cannabinoids are beneficial for the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy or for stimulation of appetite in patients with HIV/AIDS. It also found no evidence of effectiveness for the treatment of glaucoma or mental disorders; instead, it found that cannabinoids were more likely to worsen the latter. There was some evidence that cannabinoids might be beneficial for the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, but even here the results did not reach statistical significance. 
Current research has fallen far short of criteria required by the FDA to approve any drug, much less for conditions not considered acutely life-threatening and for which there are already many other effective and safe treatments. The variation from state to state as to which medical conditions are approved for cannabinoid use is not because lawmakers have ignored scientific evidence. Rather, it reflects the absence of such evidence and an approval process based on politics, not science.

pain, review, Studies

Twenty-eight studies were undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of cannabinoids for chronic pain. Of these, only 2 were found to be at low risk of bias. 

Overall, these studies seem to indicate that cannabinoids have a significant role to play in the management of chronic pain. However, there are important issues that limit the validity of this conclusion. First and most important is how the improvement in pain was evaluated. In many of the studies, only instruments to measure the level of pain, most notably the Visual Analogue Scale, were used. This is fine when one is measuring acute pain. But when it comes to chronic pain—which is what the studies were looking at—the most important measures of the impact of any treatment are improvement in functioning and other objective measures, such as reduction in use of analgesic medications. 

meta-analysis, Studies, Placebo, pain

Pharmacokinetics encompasses the absorption of cannabinoids following diverse routes of administration and from different drug formulations, the distribution of analytes throughout the body, the metabolism of cannabinoids by different tissues and organs, the elimination of cannabinoids from the body in the feces, urine, sweaty oral fluid, and hair, and how these processes change over time. Cannabinoid pharmacokinetic research has been especially challenging because of low analyte concentrations, rapid and extensive metabolism, and physio-chemicaI characteristics that hinder the separation of drugs of interest from biological matrices and from each other, and that lower drug recovery because of adsorption of compounds of interest to multiple surfaces. Mass spectrometric developments now permit highly sensitive and specific measurement of cannabinoids in a wide variety of biological matrices.

Cannabinoid, Pharmacokinetics
Vaping, e-cig, nicotine

Male teens who experiment with cannabis before age 16, and have a high genetic risk for schizophrenia, show a different brain development trajectory than low risk peers who use cannabis.

Schizophrenia, males

"Our study indicates that there are real problems associated with a higher density of marijuana dispensaries in neighborhoods," Mair said. Community discussions are needed to ensure that marijuana laws have the fewest negative consequences for vulnerable people.

pot shops, hospitalization, neighborhood

THC is a large, fat-soluble molecule whose concentration in the blood rapidly drops as it is sequestered into the body’s fat stores, including the brain.  Immediately after smoking a joint, the THC level will be very high in the blood and very low in the brain.  The THC level in the brain climbs rapidly at the same time that as it is declining in the blood.  At some point, the concentrations cross, and the concentration continues to rise in the brain while it is still declining in the blood, since the brain acts like a sponge, soaking up the partially insoluble THC from the blood.  

alcohol, driving, impaired

It gets called synthetic marijuana, but it’s not marijuana. It is a cannabinoid. And it is confounding health officials and law enforcement. This hour On Point:  the unpredictability and danger of the little packets known as “spice.”

synthetics, Spice

People who drive within three hours of smoking marijuana are at nearly twice the risk of being in an accident that leads to serious injury or death, compared with sober drivers, according to a new review of the research.
While driving stoned is clearly risky — and combining marijuana with alcohol is even more dangerous — drunk driving remains a bigger hazard on the road. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 — the legal limit — nearly triples the risk of crashing; a blood alcohol concentration of .10 almost quintuples it. Although drunk driving deaths have dropped by more than half since 1982, they still represent about one-third of all auto fatalities and kill about 11,000 people annually.

car crashes, Fatalities

Police said Johnson initially claimed he wasn't the driver of the vehicle, but eventually admitted both to driving and to using marijuana and alcohol prior to the crash.

car crashes, Fatalities

Here is why there is confusion: the only time someone is sentenced to jail for smoking pot is if there is a more serious crime they are clearly guilty of, and the prosecutor or judge wants to give them a lighter sentence. Theft or burglary were the most common crimes I came across. Instead of being required to sentence a defendant to a year imprisonment for stealing, a defendant could plead guilty to marijuana possession instead and get a much lesser sentence. So on paper, it looks like they are serving time for drug possession, but in reality, they were let off the hook for a serious crime.

crime, jail
Arizona, Drug Policy
Parent, Arizona

Brain abnormalities and memory problems were observed in these individuals in their early twenties, two years after they had stopped using marijuana. The cannabis users were noted to have striatal, globus pallidus, and thalamus changes showing these brain regions appearing to shrink and collapse inward. These individuals also had poorer working memory. The earlier the age of cannabis use, the more dramatic the brain changes and memory deficits were noted to be.
Not only does it appear that cannabis use itself is a potential precursor to future drug use, but the age of first use of cannabis and the frequency of cannabis use seem to also be predictors of future substance abuse issues. Studies have shown that over two-thirds of those under the age of 18 who have been admitted to a drug treatment program identify cannabis as their substance of choice.
” One important characteristic that defines a substance use disorder is “an underlying change in brain circuits that may persist beyond detoxification, particularly in individuals with severe disorder"

Teens, Research, Studies, Brain, addiction, anxiety, depression, Resource Paper
Florida, Report, driving

Prosecutors said McKay, 17, was going 75 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone at 3 a.m. on Sunday when he lost control of his car killing Luther Wiggins-Stoudemire, 18, Kassidy Clark, 16,  and Jenna Farley, 14.
Prosecutors also said McKay admitted smoking marijuana a little more than an hour before the crash.

Teen, car crashes, Fatalities

Mr. Wright was confident that a new anticancer drug called Krebiozen would cure him. Mr. Wright’s tumors had shrunk by half, and after 10 more days of treatment he was discharged from the hospital. And yet the other patients in the hospital who had received Krebiozen showed no improvement.

Placebo

Party goers saw the driver, who had a learner’s permit, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at the house late into the night before, said a search warrant issued to gather evidence as part of an investigation into possible charges of DUI manslaughter, possession of marijuana, possession of alcohol under 21 years old and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Teen, car crashes, Fatalities

Current marijuana use was positively related to frequency of child physical abuse and negatively related to physical neglect.Density of medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services was positively related to frequency of physical abuse. As marijuana use becomes more prevalent, those who work with families, including child welfare workers must screen for how marijuana use may affect a parent's ability to provide for care for their children, particularly related to physical abuse.

child abuse, dispensaries, physical abuse, Studies, parenting

Marijuana should not be legalized in America or the UK.

legalization, Osbourne

Trends in cannabis use suggest that twice as many males as females use the drug. This gender ratio is mirrored in rates of psychosis with males outnumbering females by 2:1. However, researchers at the University of York found there is a significant widening of this ratio for cannabis psychosis, where males outnumber females by four to one.

 

males, Psychosis

Over the next few hours, the man showed erratic speech and hostile behaviors, the report said. About 2.5 hours after he ate the whole cookie, he jumped off a balcony on the fourth floor of his building, and died from trauma from the fall, the report said.

youth, edibles, Death
Death, edibles, Colorado, CDC

"She said she didn't know where her son was, and then saw him standing in the living room and made the decision to walk to the manager's office for help instead of going in and getting him out," Nelson said.  By the time she returned, Sosa-Martinez could see her son through the flames, it wasn't too late.

Death, fire, impaired
denver, Colorado, crime
Infographics, Pregnancy

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