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Is smoking marijuana safe? Why we can’t let Big Weed bury the risks the way Big Tobacco did

2/13/19--Millions of Americans died from smoking-related illnesses before legal and political pressure forced the industry to admit the truth. Now, the risk of history repeating itself, with a different drug and a new generation of conflicts of interest — but, sadly, some of the same companies. According to Alex Berenson, author of  "Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence," marijuana is another addictive smoked product, and even as its use rises, we are still trying to figure out exactly how dangerous it might be and how to discourage its use. Read

Amid opioid crisis, researchers aim to put medical marijuana to test

9/3/18--Dr. Jeffrey Chen, director of the Cannabis Research Initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles, is spearheading a cannabis initiative team at UCLA to conduct a high-quality clinical study of the painkilling properties of pot — and perhaps stem the opioid epidemic. Dr. Chen says this initiative will be one of the first, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis and pain. Before the study can begin, however, the researchers need approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with funding. Read

Vermont senate passes bill to legalize marijuana use

1/10/18--Vermont's senate passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use, which would make the state the first in the nation to do so through the legislative process rather than a ballot initiative. Republican Gov. Phil Scott is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Democratic-controlled Senate by a voice vote. Read

Pot doesn’t cure cancer and stop saying it does, FDA says

11/2/17--Marijuana doesn’t cure cancer, and it doesn’t somehow explode tumor cells and it doesn’t promote the growth of new brain cells, the Food and Drug Administration stated. The FDA warned four companies to stop making these unproven claims and to stop selling cannabis-based hemp and marijuana products that claim to treat cancer or any other medical condition. Read

Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana industry takes a hit from hurricane

10/14/17--Puerto Rico’s fledgling legal marijuana industry is struggling to recover as the devastation delivered by Hurricane Maria may have crippled what could have been a potential economic savior for an island $74 billion in debt. Yet, despite millions of dollars in damage, the island’s medical marijuana companies are starting to make a comeback; 20 of 29 medical marijuana dispensaries have reopened. In the first two weeks after the storm, only four dispensaries could fill prescriptions. Read

Will Las Vegas Be ‘Amsterdam on Steroids’? Door Opens for Pot Lounges

9/16/17--Nevada's Legislative Counsel Bureau gave the green light for marijuana to be permitted in public places, as long as patrons are of legal age. Citing a lack of state law, the bureau said cities and counties could create their own ordinances governing marijuana consumption in businesses. Pro-marijuana advocates hailed it as a logical next step for the state, which was the most recent to legalize recreational weed. Read

New poll finds majority of Americans have smoked marijuana

4/17/17--According to a new poll, 52 percent of Americans over 18 have tried marijuana at some point in their lives. The survey conducted by Yahoo News and Marist Poll found that not only have most adults in the U.S. smoked pot, 44 percent of those who tried it once still use it today. The poll, titled Weed and the American Family, looks at everything from family views on marijuana use to regulation, entertainment, social acceptability, and more. Read

Legalized marijuana could help curb the opioid epidemic, study finds

3/27/17--According to a new study, hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped on average 23 percent in states after marijuana was permitted for medicinal purposes. Hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average. Yet, at the same time, fears that legalization of medical marijuana would lead to an uptick in cannabis-related hospitalizations proved unfounded, according to the report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Read

Pediatricians warn against pot use: not your dad’s marijuana

2/27/17--An influential doctors group is beefing up warnings about marijuana's potential harms for teens amid increasingly lax laws and attitudes on pot use. The group opposes medical and recreational marijuana use for kids. It says emphasizing that message is important because most states have legalized medical use for adults, and many have decriminalized or legalized adults' recreational use. Read

Israel plans to decriminalize small-scale marijuana use

1/26/17--Israel plans to decriminalize personal marijuana use by adopting an approach similar to some U.S. states and European countries. Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that if the government approves his new policy, those caught smoking marijuana would be fined rather than arrested and prosecuted. Criminal procedures would be launched only against those caught repeatedly. Read

Marijuana users risk schizophrenia, but the drug helps pain

1/12/17--Although marijuana can help ease chronic pain, it can also raise the risk of severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, a comprehensive new report found. A team of top experts looked at all the studies that have been done on the use of cannabis — marijuana and products made from marijuana — and its impact on health. Ultimately, the committee came to 100 conclusions about cannabis. Read

Denver voters approve marijuana use in bars. But there’s a catch

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-7-49-18-am11/14/16--Denver voters have approved a first-in-the-nation law allowing willing bars and restaurants to give patrons the option to use marijuana alongside a cocktail or meal. The catch: Smoking pot won't be allowed inside, and the locations would have to first get the approval of neighbors. Read

Nine states will vote on legalizing recreational and medical marijuana

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-17-31-pm10/14/16--Nine states have marijuana measures on the ballot this November. In five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — voters will decide on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. In four others — Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota — voters will weigh in on medical marijuana, which is already legal in nearly half the country. Read

Pot use rises on college campuses, while other drug use declines

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-8-01-32-am9/8/16--More college students are getting high on pot, and those who do smoke are getting stoned more frequently, according to the national Monitoring the Future study. Read

When growing marijuana isn’t green

4/22/16--Marijuana, which consumes up to about 23 liters of water per plant per day, is a particularly thirsty plant. Law enforcement and researchers say that growers, licit or otherwise, routinely flout water laws, diverting and damming streams and rivers and sapping formerly replete local watersheds. According to Kathryn Phillips, the director of the Sierra Club’s California chapter, the negative effects of marijuana cultivation was once "a dirty little secret of that industry,” but lawmakers, regulators, and some parts of the industry are now finally starting to address them. Read