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2013 University of Maryland summary of Hookah legislation by state.

Public Health, Hookah, policy, 2017 Legislation

This is an important public health issue because, in general, adults who do not graduate from high school tend to have lower paying jobs than those who do and thus are at greater risk for living in poverty, lacking health insurance, and suffering from poor health.

dropout, national, SAMHSA

Conclusions/Significance: Sustained cannabis abstinence moderately improved critical tracking and divided attention performance in chronic, daily cannabis smokers, but impairment was still observable compared to controls after 3 weeks of 

abstinence. Between group differences, however, need to be interpreted with caution as chronic smokers and controls were not matched for education, social economic status, life style and race.

Studies, Research, chronic

Alcohol is legal and regulated. Its use is our nation’s No. 3 cause of preventable death, behind diet related illness. Alcohol use costs our country at least $185 billion annually — which is also roughly 10 times the amount of money our state and federal governments collect from today’s taxes on the substance (HHS)
Marijuana: According to the 2010 National Study on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) • Marijuana accounted for 4.5 million of the estimated 7.1 million Americans dependent on or abusing illicit drugs • In 2009, approximately 18 percent of people aged 12 and older entering drug abuse treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse • 61 percent of persons under 15 reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse

impact, social costs, Colorado

Acute cannabis consumption is associated with an increased risk of a motor vehicle crash, especially for fatal collisions. This information could be used as the basis for campaigns against drug impaired driving, developing regional or national policies to control acute drug use while driving, and raising public awareness.

Studies, Research, car crashes, meta-analysis, Fatalities

Several Capital High School students agreed with Graham’s assessment, " that teens are taking advantage of it being easier to shoplift liquor" than beer or wine.

“You’re not an automatic suspect when you walk in a grocery store,” said one student interviewed Tuesday in the school parking lot.

“We’re only catching a small percent of what’s happening,” Graham said. “We are not getting all of the alcohol-related incidents referred for criminal charges.”

School officials and police have said they are concerned that the store’s liquor is sold in the same aisle as soft drinks and energy drinks where students congregate.

alcohol
SAMHSA, Methodology

Cannabis has enormous affinity for milk and produces a milk/plasma ratio of 8, although the levels in milk are generally considered subclinical. THC crosses the placenta readily, and there is increasing evidence that it may increase rates of growth retardation and adverse neurodevelopment following prenatal exposure.
 
One study indicated an increased incidence of reduced head circumference in young adolescents (9-12 years of age) who were exposed in utero to heavy marijuana use.  Prenatal exposure resulted in a higher rate of low birth weight infants and childhood leukemia. Recent studies have suggested a reduction in long and short-term memory retrieval and retention in children exposed to prenatal cannabis. These children were also weak in planning, integration, and judgment skills.
 
While the effect of cannabis on infants from breastfeeding mothers is limited, cannabis use in breastfeeding mothers should be strongly discouraged. Thus, in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, this drug should no longer be viewed as safe.

Pregnancy
Pregnancy, Research

This article estimates the energy consumption for this practice in the United States at 1% of national electricity use, or $6 billion each year

Environment, Electricity
Harvard, Placebo

As expected, prescription cannabinoids are effective antiemetics and appetite stimulants, and some studies report their effectiveness as adjunct therapy in chronic pain syndromes, spasticity, and glaucoma. Similar results are reported by the few studies of smoked cannabis plant for these same indications. As noted earlier, safe and effective alternative treatments for all these syndromes are available.  Studies assessing psychological aspects of smoked cannabis and prescription cannabinoids uniformly report undesired effects: acute psychosis, poorer prognosis of chronic psychosis, or cognitive dulling in medical patients. 

health, addiction, pills, youth, Research, social costs
Research, Studies, Psychosis, Glaucoma, mental health, organs, risks

Records for 24,874 women: The results of this study show that the use of cannabis in pregnancy is associated with increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. Prevention programs that address cannabis use during pregnancy are needed.
 Multivariate analysis, controlling for potential confounders, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and use of other illicit drugs, showed that cannabis use in pregnancy was associated with low birth weight, preterm labor, small for gestational age, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Pregnancy

In radioactive tracing studies, scientists found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, binds to specific receptors called cannabinoid receptors, many of which coordinate movement. This may explain why people who drive after they smoke marijuana are impaired. The hippocampus, a structure involved with memory storage and learning, also contains many receptors for THC. This finding provides some insight into why heavy users or those intoxicated on marijuana have poor short-term memory and problems processing complex information.

Brain, society of neuroscience

Even after controlling for the confounding effect of mental illness symptoms preceding marijuana use, these studies showed an increased risk of developing schizophrenia or mood disorders (depression, anxiety) in adulthood if individuals regularly smoked marijuana during adolescence. The risk was particularly heightened if there was any family history of mental illness (i.e., “genetics provided the loaded gun and marijuana pulled the trigger”). Also, mental illness, among those at risk, tended to show up earlier with marijuana use.
 
 

Brain, mental health, Teen, CEASAR
youth, Teens

In addition to 9% of respondents who reported stealing alcohol from commercial outlets themselves, a total of 26% respondents reported occasions when their close friends stole alcohol. Our findings unveiled that teens had a body of knowledge that some drew upon for stealing alcohol. Youths revealed detailed knowledge about store layout, theft protection devices and store policies. In particular, respondents disclosed knowledge about which aisles have blind spots, how to remove security tops on bottles, and no-chase policies.
 
As one 17 year old female described: “in a liquor store the cashier’s gonna be watching you and in a big supermarket it’s more open. [...] it’s just some open place and there’s no one around, you can just steal it more easily than in a small business.”
 
Youths also reported knowing the layout of large commercial stores, in particular the locations of security cameras and blind sports. Youths used blind spots to slip a bottle of alcohol into a pocket or backpack unnoticed. A 17 year old boy discussed how he and his friend strategized: “We had a whole system. As it turns out, the only aisle in every store that doesn’t have security cameras is the pet food aisle. So my friend looks really old, and I’d have the backpack. He’d go and he’d grab the handle [1.75 liter liquor bottle], walk into the pet food aisle, put it into my backpack and we’d walk out.”

alcohol, ncbi

An Army official says Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner, who wanted to sign up for military service two years ago, was a “habitual drug abuser.”

 

The revelation brings up the question of whether marijuana played a role in an apparently troubled man's life. While cannabis is legal in California and is sometimes seen as a medicinal panacea in L.A., the pot shop capital of the nation, some say it has a dark side, especially for daily users.

violence, mass killings

The resulting price tag is about $5 billion in annual electricity costs, said Mills, who conducted and published the research independently from the Berkeley lab. The resulting contribution to greenhouse gas emissions equals about 3 million cars on the road, he said.

Water, Electricity, Growers
Police, legalization
Teens, Psychosis

Evidence is mounting that regular marijuana use increases the chance that a teenager will develop psychosis, a pattern of unusual thoughts or perceptions, such as believing the television is transmitting secret messages. It also increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, a disabling brain disorder that not only causes psychosis, but also problems concentrating and loss of emotional expression.

Teens, Schizophrenia

The truth is that both tobacco and marijuana have damaging effects. Those who smoke both cigarettes and marijuana suffer the compound consequences of two different drugs destroying their health simultaneously.

cigarettes

The argument that drug decriminalization, or legalization, will solve the budget crisis, reduce prison overcrowding and cripple drug cartels is simply not supported by evidence. In fact, the benefits of keeping marijuana and other illicit drugs illegal clearly outweigh the negative and predictable consequences of legitimizing these substances.

decriminalization, legalization, illegal

In fact, the benefits of keeping marijuana and other illicit drugs illegal clearly outweigh the negative and predictable consequences of legitimizing these substances.
Our position is simple and evidence-based: both decriminalization and legalization of illicit drugs would increase their use, along with their associated health and social costs. Unless advocates of decriminalization or of outright legalization can establish that more drug use is a net good for society, both arguments are self-refuting.
Higher prices help hold down rates of usage.

legalization, usage, social costs, alcohol
Psychosis, Schizophrenia

Long-term marijuana abuse has several negative impacts on the user, including:10

  • Limiting the brain's capacity to store and retrieve information
  • Damage to the brain's memory functions, as well as math and verbal skills
  • Sexual dysfunction and reproductive problems, including irregular sperm and lowered sperm count in men and menstrual and ovulatory disruption in women
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Increased risk of cancer and lung damage
  • Increased blood pressure and risk of heart attack
  • Loss of motivation and interest in everyday activities and future plans
History, illegal, CEASAR, Long-term

Cannabis and alcohol acutely impair several driving-related skills in a dose-related fashion, but the effects of cannabis vary more between individuals than they do with alcohol because of tolerance, differences in smoking technique, and different absorptions of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. 

alcohol, driving
Potency
Teen, Brain

Marijuana's impact on the sleep cycle can produce both acute and chronic effects on a person's functioning.Researchers have demonstrated that THC ingestion decreases SWS and REM sleep, and has sometimes been found to eliminate REM sleep altogether in rats, rabbits, and cats. In later research, the same effect was observed in humans in controlled studies, with the added finding that sleep cycles did not return to normal until after about one week of abstinence.
 

Sleep, Immune System
Danger, Psychosis, Studies

 The overwhelming majority of people incarcerated for marijuana offenses are not occasional, casual, or first­time users. Rather, they are criminals who have been found guilty of trafficking, growing, manufacturing, selling, or distributing the drug, or who were convicted of multiple offenses that happened to include a marijuana charge. Seldom does anyone in this country go to prison for nothing more than smoking pot.

possession, ONDCP, prisons
youth, risks

Decreased car handling performance, increased reaction times, impaired time and distance estimation, inability to maintain headway, lateral travel, subjective sleepiness, motor incoordination, and impaired sustained vigilance have all been reported. Some drivers may actually be able to improve performance for brief periods by overcompensating for self-perceived impairment. The greater the demands placed on the driver, however, the more critical the likely impairment. Marijuana may particularly impair monotonous and prolonged driving. Decision times to evaluate situations and determine appropriate responses increase. Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own.

NHTSA, THC, Pharmacokinetics, driving

Marijuana, even in low to moderate doses, negatively affects driving performance in real situations. While previous research on alcohol effects alone show that alcohol at BACs around .10 is far more impairing than low or moderate THC doses alone, marijuana does impair driving performance. Drivers would be less than normally able to avoid collisions if confronted with the sudden need for evasive action. The effect of combining moderate doses of alcohol and moderate doses of marijuana resulted in a dramatic performance decrement and levels of impairment, as great as observed when at 0.14 BAC alone.

alcohol

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