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It is the latest in a long line of evidence that marijuana is not an innocent relaxation drug. “Smoking high-potency cannabis, used daily, has been linked to diagnosis of conditions like schizophrenia, paranoia and other psychosis disorders, new findings say. About 50 percent of new cases of psychosis disorders diagnosed in Amsterdam were linked to use of high-potency cannabis, according to a study published Tuesday in The Lancet.

mental health
  • cannabis is safe and helpful for PTSD are limited by either anecdotal or poor quality evidence, are offset by studies reporting opposite conclusions, and the well-demonstrated potential harms of cannabis addiction and risk for psychosis are not adequately weighed in the decision to recommend medical cannabis treatment of chronic PTSD
  • There is a consensus that multiple social harms associated with cannabis legalization are not being adequately addressed. These include concerns about youth exposure under age 25 (a time of highly active brain development) and youth-marketing of edible cannabis products (eg, gummy bears and other confections) and cannabis concentrates that are easily obtained and “vaped”; unintentional in utero exposure prior to a woman’s knowledge of pregnancy; increased rates of intentional cannabis use during pregnancy; driving impairment and the absence of appropriate technological and legal systems to detect and deter this (equivalent to the breathalyzer for alcohol impairment); and cannabis use in sensitive occupations such as public transportation, public protection, and health services. While the voting public and industry is moving cannabis expansion forward, state proceedings have not yet involved public health, neurodevelopmental experts, and experts in addiction psychiatry and medicine equally with industry and economy experts. This is anything but reassuring for all who keep in mind that the United States is by far the greatest demand population for psychoactive substances, worldwide.4
voting, Legislation

Significant effects of prenatal cannabis exposure have been found on children's sleep, cognitive functions (memory and scholastic skills), as well as on executive (frontal lobe) functions (reasoning, attention, impulsivity, and motivation), and affective (depression) and anxiety symptoms throughout the stages of development. Following the presentation of two case vignettes, we integrate the published information on outcomes of maternal use of cannabis during pregnancy on the developing fetus and the "soft" neurological deficits and neuro-behavioral disturbances manifested by them from early childhood and evolving to peaks in adolescence. Taken together, these data serve to define what we call a heretofore unspecified "fetal cannabis spectrum disorder".

Pregnancy, PubMed
  • The reality is that the medical marijuana argument is meant mostly to protect recreational users from legal problems.
  • One in every 15 alcohol drinkers  drink every day while one in every five marijuana users do so daily.
  • America is the Western country that uses the most marijuana and has the worst problem with opioids.
Berenson

Researchers say psychoactive compounds in marijuana easily cross the placenta, exposing the fetus to perhaps 10 percent of the THC — tetrahydrocannabinol — that the mother receives, and higher concentrations if the mom uses pot repeatedly.

NPR, Pregnancy
smoking, Environment

CONCLUSIONS:
Early cannabis use is associated with psychosis-related outcomes in young adults. The use of sibling pairs reduces the likelihood that unmeasured confounding explains these findings. This study provides further support for the hypothesis that early cannabis use is a risk-modifying factor for psychosis-related outcomes in young adults.

Truth, hallucinations, cannabis-induced psychosis, Psychosis

Is the solution to the opioid epidemic as simple as the legalization of medical cannabis? Commenting on the Bachhuber et al. analysis (1), Finney et al. (4) cautioned that an ecological fallacy may be present—individuals using medical marijuana could have elevated overdose mortality rates even though there is a state-level reduction. They contended that a prospective study of individual pain patients was necessary to assess relationships between cannabis use, use of opioid medications, and other substance use (4).
 

olfson, opioid

Two cases of sudden death are reported in patients whose self-determined seizure management primarily relied on artisanal cannabis therapies. Risks of morbidity, mortality and SUDEP in SDTC users need to be further studied. Providers should be aware of the absence of morbidity and mortality data for SDTC in patients with epilepsy may only be due to a failure of reporting.

epilepsy, science direct, Death

The authors discovered several interesting things. First, all elements of both alcohol and cannabis use increase annually across the various levels of frequency of use, with the exception of daily alcohol use. Second, the effects of cannabis are considerably greater than those of alcohol. Third, there appear to be both concurrent and lagged effects of cannabis use on several cognitive domains. Thus, use of cannabis has persistent effects that are also exacerbated by continued use.

psychiatry, cognition

Experts define addiction as continued marijuana use despite negative consequences in a person's life, such as issues relating to their family, job, or relationships.
People who use marijuana regularly and then stop abruptly can experience some withdrawal symptoms.

withdrawal, addiction, medicine news today

I was surprised, to say the least. I tended to be a libertarian on drugs. Years before, I’d covered the pharmaceutical industry for The New York Times. I was aware of the claims about marijuana as medicine, and I’d watched the slow spread of legalized cannabis without much interest.
Jackie would have been within her rights to say, I know what I’m talking about, unlike you. Instead she offered something neutral like, I think that’s what the big studies say. You should read them.....

book, Berenson

Given today's concerns about maintaining a healthy body eating organic foods, low carb diets, ... reading all the labels to verify safety and good health, it is ironic the same standards are not demanded by those that consume marijuana.  Dog food is safer than marijuana!

For example, smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. But, the panel pointed out, “there are no good-quality randomized trials investigating this option.” We have evidence for marijuana as a treatment for pain, but “very little is known about the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” The caveats continue. Is it good for epilepsy? “Insufficient evidence.” Tourette’s syndrome? Limited evidence. A.L.S., Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s? Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Insufficient evidence. Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. Anxiety? Maybe. Depression? Probably not.

“dose-response relationship”... non-existent!

New Yorker

In 2017 Colorado had a record number of opioid overdose deaths from any opioid, including heroin and Colorado has had a medical marijuana program since 2001.
There are several reasons as to why any reported benefit will be outstripped by lack of benefit and increased risk of harm, and why cannabis is contributing to ongoing opioid use, and subsequently, the opioid epidemic.

  1. There is evidence in animal models showing adolescent rats exposed to THC will develop enhanced heroin self administration as adults which may be due to activation of mesolimbic transmission of dopamine by a common mu opioid receptor mechanism.,
  2. More than 90% of heroin users report a prior history of marijuana use compared to a prior history of painkiller use (47%).13
  3. Prospective twin studies demonstrated that early cannabis use was associated with an increased risk of other drug abuse. This particular study was conducted when the THC content was much lower than todays products which can reach 95% THC.
  4. Currently there is no widely available or accepted medical literature showing any benefit for pain with dispensary cannabis in common pain conditions. 

There is currently a large and growing body of evidence showing that cannabis use increases, rather than decreases non-medical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder, based on followup of more than 33,000 people. Concurrent use of cannabis and opioids by patients with chronic pain appears to indicate a higher risk of opioid misuse. Closer monitoring for opioid-related aberrant behaviors is indicated in this group of patients and it suggests that cannabis use is a predictor of aberrant drug behaviors in patients receiving chronic opioid therapy.
There is sufficient and expanding evidence demonstrating that medical marijuana use will not curb the opioid epidemic. There is further evidence that marijuana is a companion drug rather than substitution drug and that marijuana use may be contributing to the opioid epidemic rather than improving it.

opioid, Finn, ncbi
abuse

Not good news!
Only 5 Republican Governors got passing grades from NORML and the 2nd highest grade (C) of this group was Ron DeSantis. :-( The only Republican Governor who got a higher grade (B+) was the Gov. of Vermont who signed a bill that legalized recreational pot! Most Republican governors got Ds and Fs.

norml, governor

Large-scale, longitudinal studies of humans whose mothers smoked marijuana once or more per week and experimental work on rodents exposed to cannabinoids in utero have yielded remarkably consistent intellectual and behavioral correlates of fetal exposure to this drug. Some exposed individuals exhibit deficits in memory, cognition, and measures of sociability. These aberrations appear during infancy and persist through adulthood and are tied to changes in the expression of multiple gene families, as well as more global measures of brain responsiveness and plasticity. Researchers currently consider these perturbations to be mediated by changes to the endocannabinoid system caused by the active compounds in cannabis. 

Pregnancy

The seven most frequently occurring drugs found in decedents were ethyl alcohol (5,258), benzodiazepines (5,064, including 1,889 alprazolam occurrences), cocaine (3,129), cannabinoids (2,367), fentanyl (2,088), morphine (1,992), and fentanyl analogs (1,685). Since heroin is rapidly metabolized to morphine, this may lead to a substantial over-reporting of morphine-related deaths as well as significant under-reporting of heroin-related deaths.
Cannabinoids 7 (cause of death)   2,360 (present)  2,367 (total)
 
 

fatal, Florida, Death

In summary, when approaching how to define the threshold to report a family to a child welfare system, we must first take into account our state laws. Our medical opinion, however, must be directed by many other factors, including an understanding of the circumstances and the motivation of the parent. Child welfare systems rely on medical providers to make clear statements regarding our medical opinion about whether a child has been abused or neglected. This is a powerful role. We might also use this case to advocate for a change in state laws or policies regarding the well-intentioned use of marijuana in dire circumstances such as the ones that this mother faced.

child abuse, Medical

As state lawmakers continue hashing out a marijuana legalization bill, the list of towns in New Jersey saying no to legal weed just keeps growing.
There are now nearly 40 municipalities across the state that have either banned marijuana businesses or officially voiced opposition to legal weed.

New Jersey, Ban

The advisory mentions the following risks:
1. Marijuana is addictive. Approximately one in eleven individuals who use marijuana will become addicted. The risk is greater in youth. One in six teenagers who use marijuana will become addicted, and the risk for developing a marijuana substance use disorder further increases for those who use marijuana frequently.....

TN, Public Health, Advisory
  • Marijuana is addictive. Approximately one in 11 adults who use marijuana will become addicted, and the risk of addiction is greater among youth.  
  • Marijuana now available is more potent with greater levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive substance in Cannabis than marijuana available in previous decades. The long-term health or developmental consequences of exposure to these high concentrations of marijuana are unknown.
  • Marijuana use is associated with adverse health outcomes including development of psychoses like schizophrenia and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.....
TN, Dept. of Health

RESULTS:
In acute settings, marijuana's effects peaked at approximately 1 hour post initiation, lasting 2-4 hours. Marijuana increased cardiac workload, myocardial infarctions and strokes in young, chronic users. Cannabis caused similar pulmonary complications to those of a tobacco smoker. Marijuana caused airway obstruction and increased anesthetic dosages needed to place laryngeal airways. Use within 72 hours of general anesthesia was advised against. In vitro and in vivo studies were contradictory regarding prothrombic or antithrombotic effects.

CONCLUSIONS:
Marijuana use is problematic to surgeons, left without evidence-based approaches. In emergency settings, marijuana use may be unavoidable. However, further research would provide much needed information to guide elective procedures.

When mothers use marijuana during the first 12 years of their child's life, their cannabis-using children are more likely to start at an earlier age than children of non-using mothers, according to a new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This study is the first to establish a relationship between maternal cannabis use during a child's lifetime and earlier initiation in a nationally-representative, longitudinal cohort and examine the role of race, gender, and other social environmental factors.

Children, parents, study

“Painful cramping, vomiting occurring. It can happen every few weeks, every few months, last a few days and be incredibly uncomfortable,” said Dr. Michael Lynch of the Pittsburgh Poison Control Center at UPMC.

emergency room, Hyperemesis Syndrome, Pennsylvania

There was more alarming news. Use of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, and opioids by pregnant women increased significantly between 2015 and 2017. About 7 percent of pregnant women reported using marijuana. Three percent said they used it daily. 

McCance-Katz says marijuana use is linked to fetal growth problems, preterm births, stillbirths, hyperactivity and impaired cognition in newborns. 

Pregnancy, heroin, McCance-Katz

Marijuana concentrates such as shatter, butter or glass have THC concentrations as high as 90 percent. The same high levels are found in edible cannabis products sold in Colorado, packaged to look like popular candy bars and particularly appealing to children.

And despite the perception that marijuana is not addictive the way opiates or nicotine are, Potee said that 17 percent of those who start using it as adolescents develop addiction. For teens who use marijuana every day, the addiction rate is 30 to 50 percent.

Potee, youth, cigarettes

In conclusion, cannabis use is common in people with chronic non-cancer pain who have been prescribed opioids, and interest in medicinal use of cannabis is increasing. We found no evidence that cannabis use improved patient outcomes; those who used cannabis had greater pain and lower self-efficacy in managing pain. Furthermore, we found no evidence that cannabis use reduced pain interference or exerted an opioidsparing effect.

Lancet, study, pain

New research suggests that marijuana users may be more likely than nonusers to misuse prescription opioids and develop prescription opioid use disorder. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Columbia University.

opioid

Over the past several years, FDA has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD). As part of these actions, FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.

FDA, warning

Executive Summary

RMHIDTA has published annual reports every year since 2013 tracking the impact of
legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. The purpose is to provide data and
information so that policy makers and citizens can make informed decisions on the
issue of marijuana legalization. This year (2018) RMHIDTA elected to provide an
update to the 2017 Volume 5 report rather than another detailed report.
 
Section I: Traffic Fatalities & Impaired Driving
x Since recreational marijuana was legalized, marijuana related traffic deaths
increased 151 percent while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 35 percent
x Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic deaths involving drivers who
tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 138 people
killed in 2017.
o This equates to one person killed every 2 1⁄2 days compared to one person
killed every 6 1⁄2 days.
x The percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana related
increased from 11.43 percent in 2013 to 21.3 percent in 2017.
 
Section II: Marijuana Use
x Colorado past month marijuana use shows a 45 percent increase in comparing
the three-year average prior to recreational marijuana being legalized to the three
years after legalization.
x Colorado past month marijuana use for ages 12 and older is ranked 3rd in the
nation and is 85 percent higher than the national average.
 
Section III: Public Health
x The yearly rate of emergency department visits related to marijuana increased 52
percent after the legalization of recreational marijuana. (2012 compared to 2016)
x The yearly rate of marijuana-related hospitalizations increased 148 percent after
the legalization of recreational marijuana. (2012 compared to 2016)
x Marijuana only exposures more than tripled in the five-year average (2013-2017)
since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana compared to the five-year
average (2008-2012) prior to legalization.
 
Section IV: Black Market
x RMHIDTA Colorado Task Forces (10) conducted 144 investigations of black
market marijuana in Colorado resulting in:
o 239 felony arrests
o 7.3 tons of marijuana seized
o 43,949 marijuana plants seized
o 24 different states the marijuana was destined
x The number of highway seizures of Colorado marijuana increased 39 percent
from an average of 242 seizures (2009-2012) to an average of 336 seizures (2013-
2017) during the time recreational marijuana has been legal.
x Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail system has increased 1,042
percent from an average of 52 parcels (2009-2012) to an average of 594 parcels
(2013-2017) during the time recreational marijuana has been legal.
 
Section V: Societal Impact
x Marijuana tax revenue represent approximately nine tenths of one percent of
Colorado’s FY 2017 budget.
x Violent crime increased 18.6 percent and property crime increased 8.3 percent in
Colorado since 2013.
x 65 percent of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned medical and
recreational marijuana businesses.
 
Section IV: Marijuana Industry
x According to the Marijuana Policy Group, Market Size and Demand for
Marijuana in Colorado 2017 Market Update:
o “From 2014 through 2017, average annual adult use flower prices fell 62.0
percent, from $14.05 to $5.34 per gram weighted average.”
o “Adult use concentrate prices fell 47.9 percent, from $41.43 to $21.57 per
gram.”
o “The average THC content of all tested flower in 2017 was 19.6 percent
statewide compared to 17.4 percent in 2016, 16.6 percent in 2015 and 16.4
percent in 2014.”
o “The average potency of concentrated extract products increased steadily
from 56.6 percent THC content by weight in 2014 to 68.6 percent at the
end of 2017.”
 
x As of June 2017, there were 491 retail marijuana stores in the state of Colorado
compared to 392 Starbucks and 208 McDonald’s.
Colorado, Black Market, social costs, Fatalities

The importance of the published findings and the emerging research regarding the potential negative effects of marijuana on brain development are a cause for concern despite the limited research and are the basis for the following recommendations:

  1. Women who are considering becoming pregnant or who are of reproductive age need to be informed about the lack of definitive research and counseled about the current concerns regarding potential adverse effects of THC use on the woman and on fetal, infant, and child development. Marijuana can be included as part of a discussion about the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs and medications during pregnancy.
  2. As part of routine anticipatory guidance and in addition to contraception counseling, it is important to advise all adolescents and young women that if they become pregnant, marijuana should not be used during pregnancy.
  3. Pregnant women who are using marijuana or other cannabinoid-containing products to treat a medical condition or to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy should be counseled about the lack of safety data and the possible adverse effects of THC in these products on the developing fetus and referred to their health care provider for alternative treatments that have better pregnancy-specific safety data.
  4. Women of reproductive age who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and are identified through universal screening as using marijuana should be counseled and, as clinically indicated, receive brief intervention and be referred to treatment.
  5. Although marijuana is legal in some states, pregnant women who use marijuana can be subject to child welfare investigations if they have a positive marijuana screen result. Health care providers should emphasize that the purpose of screening is to allow treatment of the woman’s substance use, not to punish or prosecute her.
  6. Present data are insufficient to assess the effects of exposure of infants to maternal marijuana use during breastfeeding. As a result, maternal marijuana use while breastfeeding is discouraged. Because the potential risks of infant exposure to marijuana metabolites are unknown, women should be informed of the potential risk of exposure during lactation and encouraged to abstain from using any marijuana products while breastfeeding.
  7. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should be cautioned about infant exposure to smoke from marijuana in the environment, given emerging data on the effects of passive marijuana smoke.
  8. Women who have become abstinent from previous marijuana use should be encouraged to remain abstinent while pregnant and breastfeeding.
  9. Further research regarding the use of and effects of marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding is needed.
  10. Pediatricians are urged to work with their state and/or local health departments if legalization of marijuana is being considered or has occurred in their state to help with constructive, nonpunitive policy and education for families.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding

CBD oil may potentially interact in a negative way with anti-epilepsy drugs. As of now, only in vitro (test tube) observations exist with no living organism testing proving safety. Drugs that may interact include: 

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton, Tedral)
  • primidone (anti-seizure)
hash oil, cbd oil, Pregnancy

pathway, heroin, opioid, video
DFAF, Pregnancy, Infographics

A Canadian love-fest for Florida pot companies continues to blossom with a $93 million deal that includes a Ruskin-based grower yet to begin selling marijuana products.
 
In your recent article, Canadian firm strikes a deal to enter Florida marijuana market with Ruskin grower, you have a picture of medical marijuana in a pill bottle and with a prescription pad.  MEDICAL MARIJUANA in this form IS NOT A PRESCRIPTION AND IS NOT FDA APPROVED.. NOR DO ANY MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS SUPPORT THIS FORM OF MEDICATION.  Please show it for what it is a bag of pot with a label 'medicine'.  #FasleHope #FakeMedicine

follow the money, #FakeMedicine
opioid, Pregnancy, DFAF

First and foremost, marijuana is already associated with more abuse and dependency (now called substance abuse disorder) than all other illegal drugs combined. Roughly four out of seven problem usersof illegal drugs are using marijuana. This is a dangerous blind spot exploited by many legalization advocates (although some of them are now warning about the growing risk of heavy marijuana use under legalization)....

Bennett
SAMSHA

The preliminary figures show that 959 people died in Colorado last year from drug poisoning, a figure that includes both intentional and unintentional overdoses. In 2016, 912 people died. In 2000, for comparison, drug poisonings claimed fewer than 400 lives.

opioid
Brain, Drug Free America

We found that among young recreational cannabis users, a regular dose of cannabis had no effect on simple and learned tasks, but its use led to significant impairments on complex and novel driving-related tasks, as well as perceived driving ability and safety, for up to 5 hours after use. The present finding that the first 5 hours after cannabis use affected driving-related performance substantiates the recommendations of Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, which recommend waiting 6 hours after cannabis use before driving.30
 

Canada, Research, study, driving, youth
CONTENT HIGHLIGHTS
  • Medical marijuana (also called medical cannabis) is whole plant marijuana or chemicals in the plant used for medical purposes.
  • Cannabinoids are substances in medical cannabis that act on cells in the body, including the brain. The two main cannabinoids used in medicine are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
  • The FDA recently approved the use of Epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) to treat seizures for people 2 years of age and older with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
  • Medical cannabis, CBD, and THC all have possible side effects. The most common side effects of CBD included sleepiness, diarrhea, fatigue, and decreased appetite. CBD also interacts with some other seizure medicines.
  • Careful monitoring of CBD is needed.
Charlotte's Web, Epidiolex, epilepsy

During the same time period that cigarette smoking around children came down more than 7%, marijuana smoking around children went up nearly 5%. With more and more states legalizing marijuana for recreational use, that number is likely to continue going up.
This is not good. Besides the fact that we don’t want children getting high, or exposed to the dangers of inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke, there is the additional concern about long-term effects on the brain. While research is still ongoing, there is evidence to suggest that when youth and young adults (whose brains are still developing) are exposed to marijuana, it may have permanent effects on executive function, memory, and even IQ.

second hand smoke

Click on link for updated list of drug paraphernalia

paraphernalia

When we talk about legalizing marijuana, we must acknowledge that we are talking about legalizing a mind-altering substance that affects the brain by impairing cognition, judgment, and reflexes. We need to discuss the science and data behind the consequences of marijuana consumption on our youth and their developing brains, as this is an issue that is far-too-often overlooked.

OpEd, legalization, Consequences

The treatment, which GW Pharma hopes to market under the name Epidiolex, is produced in the U.K. from a plant that has been bred to have a high cannabidiol, or CBD, content, Chief Executive Officer Justin Gover said in an interview earlier this month. The chemical is purified and made into a strawberry-flavored oral solution, he said.

gw pharm, Epidiolex, seizure, FDA

Teens have taken a technology that was supposed to help grownups stop smoking and invented a new kind of bad habit, molded in their own image.

“Juul is already a massive public-health disaster—and without dramatic action it’s going to get much, much, much worse.”

Winickoff believes that the vape industry is co-opting the national wellness trend—“when, in fact, vaping can cause something called bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung,” he said. Popcorn lung has been linked to diacetyl, an organic compound that some companies use in their e-liquid, and that has been detected as a by-product of e-cigarette vapor. But diacetyl has also been detected in cigarette smoke, at a level hundreds of times greater, and no feasible amount of smoking has been found to cause popcorn lung. (Juul does not use diacetyl in its liquid, and, in tests, the company has found no measurable amounts of diacetyl in the vapor emitted by its devices.)

 

Vaping, Juul, trends, paraphernalia

"Marijuana doctors were 2.8 times as likely as other doctors to have been disciplined by the Board of Medicine, and 2.4 times as likely to have been charged with a crime. Altogether, 108 of them were responsible for $69.4 million in malpractice judgments and settlements, some for maiming or killing patients. Some of the doctors have been fined, suspended or stripped of their licenses in other states. They’ve misdiagnosed conditions, falsified records and written prescriptions for people they never saw. They’ve been jailed for domestic violence. A few have sexually abused patients, including those as young as 14 and 16."

PotDocs, Florida, Malpractice

The Netherland’s attempt to divide markets into soft vs. hard drugs by allowing coffee shops to sell cannabis did not result in lower consumption of hard drugs. Overall it has been a social disaster.
The cannabis grown and sold today is not same drug as was available in the 1970s. The average THC has increased to more than 15%. Cannabis issue can clearly lead to addiction. The damage to the brain from chronic use is worse compared with chronic use of heroin. Among the negative effects of long-term cannabis use in adolescence include neuropsychological dysfunction, decline in IQ, short memory, among others.
Professor Madras focused on how cannabis smoking can affect the behavior and brains of children. Preclinical tests studies show that the use of cannabis before pregnancy may have adverse effects on future children.

Netherlands, madras, World Federation Against Drugs
DOH, powerpoint

This report finds that legalization in Illinois, however, would cost at least $670 million, outweighing the projected tax revenue.

Illnois

Note:  If you look at the blue bar you will see that opioid deaths have more than quadrupled since medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado (in 2000). And deaths rose from 377 in 2012 (year mj legalized) to 504 in 2016. No evidence that legal marijuana is helping in Colorado- if anything it could be contributing to making the opioid epidemic worse!

But the conclusion is not supported by data. This study and others that conclude marijuana helps fight the opioid crisis do not consider the many other strategies that have been implemented to fight opioid abuse, including the PDMP, treatment and Narcan. Nor is there any proof people are substituting marijuana for opioids. And this particular CO research (below) flies in the face of the actual data/ facts!

Opioid deaths in Colorado have increased based on the data from Colorado Public Health and Environment Dept.

Study's conclusion does not seem to match data.

 

 

opioid, Colorado

Researchers had two women conduct "mystery caller" phone conversations with employees at 400 dispensaries across the state, telling them that they were eight weeks pregnant and suffering from morning sickness. During the majority of those calls, the employees recommended the women use cannabis products.

Pregnancy, Colorado

Florida has lowered the original cost of the fee for doctors to be licensed to prescribe medical marijuana to $250 from $1,000 and reduced the training time to two hours from eight. It has increased the number of physicians able to recommend medical marijuana by 48 percent since the beginning of the year.
“We are looking at Florida as the biggest medical marijuana market in the United States,” he said. “As more dispensaries open and more doctors get qualified, you reach a critical mass at some point where more and more people are hearing about it and it’s easier to go to a dispensary.”

Florida, money, profit

I'm here to tell you this is not a safe drug," McCance-Katz said during a town hall event at "NatCon18," the National Council for Behavioral Health's annual conference.
"Americans have a right to know that and we should be telling them that," she continued.
And while tobacco and alcohol rates have declined among pregnant women in recent years, illicit drugs -- mainly marijuana but also opioids -- have increased from 78,000 women in 2015 to 111,000 in 2016, she said.
On the contrary, "marijuana use was associated with substantially increased risk of addiction and overdose for opioids," she said, citing research from Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, and colleagues in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
 
 

McCance-Katz, SAMSHA, opioid

They also discovered that prenatal marijuana use was associated with a 50 percent increased chance of low birth weight regardless of tobacco use during pregnancy. “Growing evidence suggests prenatal cannabis exposure has a detrimental impact on offspring brain function starting in the toddler years, specifically issues related to attention deficit disorder,” Crume said. “But much of the research on the effects of prenatal cannabis on neonatal outcomes was based on marijuana exposures in the 1980s and 1990s which may not reflect the potency of today’s cannabis or the many ways it is used.”

 

Pregnancy, study

(TIME)  April 20, also known as “420,” is a day popular with many marijuanasmokers who see it as a “national holiday” of sorts and celebrate by getting high. The term “420” originated in the 1970s with a group of California high schoolers who would regularly meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke weed.
 

4/20, Fatalities, paraphernalia, getsmart

"Trust me, if the data was coming back and we saw spikes in violent crime, we saw spikes in overall crime, there would be a lot of people looking for that bottle and figuring out how we get the genie back in," he said. "It doesn't seem likely to me, but I'm not ruling it out."

Colorado, governor

Conclusions: Our findings disconfirm the hypothesis that a population-level negative correlation between medical marijuana use and prescription drug harms occurs because medical marijuana users are less likely to use prescription drugs, either medically or nonmedically. Medical marijuana users should be a target population in efforts to combat nonmedical prescription drug use.

opioid, study, Research

Many novel psychoactive substances (NPS) have entered the recreational drug scene in recent years, yet the problems they cause are similar to those found with established drugs. This article will debate the psychobiological effects of these newer and more traditional substances. It will show how they disrupt the same core psychobiological functions, so damaging well-being in similar ways.

Research, Psychoactive

Florida, impaired, drugged driving
blog, Nami, SAMHSA

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

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

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

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.

“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

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

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