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Marijuana use may raise stroke, heart failure risk

3/10/17--New research warns of the harms of marijuana use after finding that the drug may have negative implications for cardiovascular health. From an analysis of more than 20 million health records across the U.S., researchers have uncovered a link between marijuana use and an increased risk of stroke and heart failure. Read

Depression, alcohol, and marijuana linked to later use of synthetic marijuana

3/13/17--In the first prospective study of synthetic cannabinoids or SCs -- the group of chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana -- researchers have found that symptoms of depression, drinking alcohol, or using marijuana was linked to an increased risk of SC use one year later. Read

‘Synthetic pot’ tied to risky sex, violence, and drug abuse in teens

3/13/17--Teens who use synthetic pot are at a heightened risk for violent behavior, risky sex, and abuse of other drugs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study revealed. Synthetic pot -- sometimes called fake weed -- covers a variety of drugs sold under hundreds of brand names. These drugs are often marketed as natural and safe. But, they have unpredictable, and in some cases, life-threatening effects, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Read

New marijuana industry jobs to eclipse new manufacturing jobs by 2020

3/3/17--A new report from New Frontier Data suggests some big changes are in store when it comes to job growth in the legal marijuana industry. Projections indicate that the legal marijuana market will create more than 250,000 jobs by 2020. Researchers didn’t assume any changes to marijuana laws when calculating these projections — or changes to enforcement of existing federal law. They’re based on estimates for growth in states that have already passed some form of legalized marijuana. Read

Marijuana stocks are doomed if Trump reneges on his pot pledge

3/4/17-- The possibility of more stringent federal enforcement on recreational pot could be irreparably damaging to most marijuana stocks, especially those involved in the retail side of the equation. A potential crackdown on recreational pot by the federal government could take away the fastest growth channel for marijuana and investors. Without this growth, marijuana stocks would almost certainly be worth avoiding. Read

Elizabeth Warren demands Jeff Sessions respect state marijuana law

3/3/17--A bipartisan group of senators, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him not to undo a 2013 policy permitting states to set their own recreational marijuana regulations. The push is a response to recent mixed messages from the Trump administration on whether it will enforce federal law, which still bars recreational marijuana use, or leave the decision to implement the federal policy to the states. 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

Why marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, the highest classification in federal law

2/21/17--Despite Congress initially passing The Controlled Substances Act, the classification of substances are determined only by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. When it comes to the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes, the DEA has ruled that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, the highest classification possible, because the FDA has determined there is no current accepted medical use for marijuana in the U.S. Read

DEA removes marijuana misinformation from website

2/13/17--After months of public pressure, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed factually inaccurate information from its website. The change comes after Americans for Safe Access, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis for therapeutic use and research, filed a legal request with the Department of Justice last year demanding that the DEA immediately update and remove factually inaccurate information about cannabis from their website and materials. Read

Drug catapult, 47 pounds of marijuana found at US-Mexico border

2/15/17--Last week, Mexican authorities dismantled a catapult used to launch drugs from Mexico to the United States after they found the contraption and marijuana during a patrol in Arizona. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, they found the catapult attached to the south side of the border fence and two bundles of marijuana with a combined weight above 47 pounds. Read

Pro-pot lawmakers launch a Congressional Cannabis Caucus

2/16/17--Republican congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (California) and Don Young (Alaska) joined Democrats Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) and Jared Polis (Colorado) to launch the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. They are dedicated to developing policy reforms that can bridge the gap that exists between federal laws banning marijuana and the laws in an ever-growing number of states that have legalized it for medical or recreational purposes. Read

Government has apparently dropped ‘gateway’ theory

2/16/17--Recently the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quietly removed a report from its website, suggesting that it is finally giving up the false theories that cannabis is a “gateway drug,” or that it causes permanent brain damage or psychosis. These myths have been at the heart of positions held by marijuana prohibitionists and often served as their platform when voting against medical cannabis legislation. Read

How can marijuana policy protect the adolescent brain?

2/6/17--According to study authors Staci A. Gruber and Kelly A. Sagar of McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, as more states begin to legalize the use of marijuana, more young people may believe that it's safe to experiment with the drug. Gruber and Sagar believe it is imperative to determine safe guidelines regarding its impact on the brain, particularly during critical periods of neurodevelopment. Read

Cannabis for epilepsy: is there enough evidence of efficacy?

1/10/17--Some parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy are turning to cannabis to try to reduce seizure frequency. With clinical trials of cannabidiol-based drugs under way, evidence for this treatment option may soon be forthcoming. However, even as CBD’s effectiveness may soon be established in rigorous clinical trials, experts see it as one of many new additions to the arsenal of epilepsy medicines, rather than a panacea. Read

Death rates for young, white Americans increased from 1999 to 2014

2/2/17--A report based on data collected from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young, white people due to a surge in suicides and accidents, with the latter being largely a result of drug overdoses. This is consistent with another recent report showing the death rate from heroin overdoses has quadrupled from 2010 to 2015 among Millennials aged 25 to 34. Read

Review of the science and implications for developmental behavioral pediatric practice

1/30/17--This review examines the epidemiology of cannabis use among children and adolescents, including those with developmental and behavioral diagnoses. Throughout, the review outlines gaps in current knowledge and highlights directions for future research. Read

Emerging products liability threats to growing marijuana industry

1/19/2017--As the marijuana industry continues to expand, so too do the legal issues facing the industry. One of these emerging legal issues is the threat of products liability exposure for marijuana manufacturers and distributors. Although the marijuana industry continues to evolve, marijuana manufacturers and distributors face serious products liability risks given the nature of their products they . Read

Cannabis use disorder and suicide attempts in Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans.

1/5/2017--The objective of the present research was to examine the association between lifetime cannabis use disorder (CUD), current suicidal ideation, and lifetime history of suicide attempts in a large and diverse sample of Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans using a battery of well-validated instruments. Read

Just 2 groups of people now oppose legalizing marijuana

1/29/17--Gallup's national poll highlights two groups of people that still oppose the legalization of marijuana: those affiliated with the Republican Party, and seniors aged 55 and up. According to Gallup's 2016 survey, just 42% of adults who identified as Republican want to see marijuana legalized. By a similar token, just 45% of seniors aged 55 and up support the idea of nationwide legalization of cannabis. Read

Are ganjapreneurs going after healthy living as a new marijuana marketing tactic?

1/26/17--In a classic consumer-marketing move, a new breed of ganjapreneurs are using a new marijuana marketing strategy. They’re  replacing stoner slang with supermarket-friendly names that purport to help customers live better. In essence, these marketers want to transform the image of marijuana so that it competes with scores of products already in liquor stores, markets, and pharmacies. Read

‘I know I’m on my last chance’: Martavis Bryant opens up about his suspension

1/13/17--Since being banned from the NFL for at least one season due to multiple violations of the league’s recreational drug policy, 25-year-old Martavis Bryant has sought to reinvent himself, and he has learned to live without marijuana. Bryant sat down with Sports Illustrated to clear the air about his past transgressions and lay a road map for the future. Read

Beer sales don’t take a hit from marijuana legalization, study finds

1/13/16--According to new research, the legalization of marijuana in several US states has not curbed beer sales. Americans managed to find room for both. In states where medical marijuana is legal, beer consumption was down 0.6% on average in the three years leading up to legalization, but rose 0.1% in the three years after. Read

The good, bad, and unknown about marijuana’s health effects

1/12/17--It can almost certainly ease chronic pain and might help some people sleep, but it's also likely to raise the risk of getting schizophrenia and might trigger heart attacks. Those are among the conclusions about marijuana reached by a federal advisory panel. The experts also called for a national effort to learn more about marijuana and its chemical cousins. 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

More older Americans using cannabis, underscoring need for research

1/11/17--Cannabis use among older adults in the US is on the rise, yet there is currently a lack of biomedical, clinical, and public health research to inform policy related to this trend, according to a new article. Read

Legal or not, marijuana can increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorders

1/10/17--Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) develop with time and in stages. Following the initiation of drinking, some people progress to problem drinking, and then develop a “cluster” of specific problems to comprise an AUD. This report examines high-risk families to understand underlying influences across multiple stages of AUD development. Read

Air Force expands medical waivers, no questions on prior marijuana use

1/10/16--The Air Force is looking to expand its ranks in part by boosting the number of medical waivers for potential recruits, the service announced Tuesday. Prospective airmen routinely disqualified from serving because of eczema, asthma, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, will now be given a second chance on a case-by-case basis. Read

NSDUH breaks down last year’s national marijuana usage

1/9/17--The latest data presented by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that states with recreational and medical legalization have higher rates of cannabis use, while states without legislation do not. While some aspects of the data may not be surprising, it does provide insight into what a difference a state line can make. Read

Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana

1/7/17--Though cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use in 28 states, it remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register trademarks for marijuana retailers or for products that contain cannabis. One popular strategy for cannabis companies that can’t trademark their core products is to seek protection for a host of ancillary products and services. Read

Marijuana advocates mobilizing in advance of Sessions confirmation hearing

1/6/17--Marijuana legalization activists are organizing a national “Day of Action” on Monday to protest the potential confirmation of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the nation’s attorney general. Day of Action participants will be “flooding” senators’ phone lines to demand that Sessions not be confirmed if he does not respect state marijuana laws, NORML officials said. Read

Pain relief without the high

1/4/17--Researchers at Leiden University led by Mario van der Stelt (Leiden Institute for Chemistry) have set ‘gold standards’ for developing new painkillers based on the medicinal effects of cannabis, but without some of its side effects. Read

Mysterious marijuana-related illness popping up in emergency rooms

1/2/17--A mysterious marijuana-related illness, now known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, is popping up with increasing frequency in hospital emergency rooms, particularly in states where cannabis is now legal. The symptoms are severe abdominal pain and violent vomiting — and most doctors are initially stumped when they encounter patients with the problem. The illness is linked to heavy, long-term use of marijuana, according to experts. Read

States with medical marijuana laws have fewer traffic fatalities

12/31/16--States that passed medical marijuana laws have seen an 11% reduction in traffic fatalities on average, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The most likely takeaway from this study is that medical marijuana laws are helping to decrease alcohol-related traffic fatalities among the age groups at highest risk, but other parts of this study don’t neatly line up behind any single conclusion. Read

Syndrome linked to smoking weed

12/30/16--According to a 2015 study conducted by Dr. Kennon Heard, following the legalization of medical marijuana in 2009, a poorly understood condition, now known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS, affected some long-term heavy pot smokers who developed patterns of cyclical vomiting and abdominal pain. The study also conveyed that with the doubling of the incidence of CHS, the propensity to self-report also increased significantly, better allowing healthcare providers identify such patients who may have repeated ER visits. Read  

Weed dog treats booming business across America

12/27/16--Several Cannabidiol-for-dogs businesses have popped up in the last two years, a time period during which Cannabidiol pet product sales nationwide doubled, according to data kept by cannabis industry analytics firm MJ Freeway. It’s the newest trend in America’s booming half-billion dollar animal supplements market, which is expected to grow by more than $150 million in the next four years. Read

Marijuana use and schizophrenia: New evidence suggests link

12/25/16--A new study, published in Psychological Medicine, has added to the body of evidence pointing to a link between schizophrenia and the use of cannabis. Recent research suggests that not only are people who are prone to schizophrenia more likely to try cannabis, but that cannabis may also increase the risk of developing symptoms. Read

The ultimate guide to making marijuana tea

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-11-25-02-am12/21/16--Marijuana tea is like a regular herbal blend, but infused with cannabis. However, making marijuana tea isn't just pouring hot water over marijuana leaves or flowers. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in weed, has a minimal presence in the leaves. The flowers, or buds, also won't disperse much THC throughout the tea because THC has a very low solubility in water. You need a solvent to effectively infuse the THC in tea. Read

What the drug war could look like under President Trump

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-10-18-36-am12/22/16--Just how devastating President Trump will be for the drug policy reform community was a subject of some debate in the days immediately following his surprise win. On the rare occasion Trump has expressed support for medical marijuana, he thinks broader legalization should be left up to the states. One glimmer of hope for legalization advocates comes straight from Trump's inner circle. Specifically, some hope Trump's outspoken ally Peter Thiel could influence the incoming president's thinking in a positive way. Read

This is your brain on (legal) cannabis: Researchers seek answers

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-11-07-16-pm12/16/16--For those suffering depression or anxiety, using cannabis for relief may not be the long-term answer, according to new research from a team at Colorado State University seeking scientific clarity on how cannabis -- particularly chronic, heavy use -- affects neurological activity, including the processing of emotions. Read

DEA gives cannabis law significant tweak

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-9-40-20-pm12/15/16--United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Wednesday set new cannabis extract laws by amending the Schedule I Controlled Substances Act to include tighter regulations for marijuana extracts, including cannabidiol (CBD). Read

Establishment of a new drug code for marijuana extract

tmr_image-block12/14/16--The Drug Enforcement Administration is creating a new Administration Controlled Substances Code Number for “Marijuana Extract.” This code number will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marijuana. This, in turn, will aid in complying with relevant treaty provisions. Read

Marijuana pants for kids stoke outrage

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-10-51-45-am12/13/16--Amazon is selling a line of leggings for girls as young as 2 featuring green marijuana leaves. The leafy leggings, sold by AOSHILONG-Baby, have sparked controversy with parents and anti-drug advocates, but the company eschews any cannabis reference and calls the pattern simply “digital printed leaves.” Read

Is marijuana chewing gum the next big thing?

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-8-49-45-pm12/13/16--AXIM Biotech (AXIM), a world leader in hemp cannabinoid research and development, recently received patent approval for the use of all cannabinoids – chemical compounds found in marijuana plants – in its controlled-release chewing gum. AXIM CEO Dr. George Anastassov said the chewing gum is only approved for the pharmaceutical market, and doctor’s orders are needed to obtain it. Read

Marijuana is harder than ever for younger teens to find

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-8-46-14-pm12/13/16--In 2016, 8th-grade and 10th-grade respondents to the large Monitoring the Future survey gave the lowest-ever indication that marijuana was easy to get if they wanted it, a question posed to the groups every year since 1992. Only 34.6 percent of 8th-grade students said it would be easy to get marijuana, down 2.4 percentage points. Of 10th graders, 64 percent said it would be easy to get, also the lowest rate ever. Read

Weed can negatively affect your sleep, says study

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-11-19-41-am12/12/16--A new study found that people who smoke marijuana on a regular basis before bed are going to experience sleep problems compared to those who occasionally smoke or don’t smoke at all. For the study, researchers surveyed 98 people who smoked marijuana on a daily basis, people who smoked once in the past month and up to five days a week, and those who never smoked marijuana. Read

Teen use of any illicit drug other than marijuana at new low

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-11-00-56-am12/13/16--Teenagers' use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco declined significantly in 2016 at rates that are at their lowest since the 1990s, a new national study showed. But University of Michigan researchers cautioned that while these developments are "trending in the right direction," marijuana use still remains high for 12th-graders. Read

Chauncey Billups comments on NBA’s marijuana policy

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-9-44-43-am12/10/16--Following Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr's acknowledgement of trying marijuana to treat chronic back pain, former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups spoke up on the issue. Billups believes the NBA should look into legalizing marijuana as a way for players to avoid addictive painkillers. For medicinal use, he thinks the conversation is necessary to have, and The Players Association needs to talk about it with the NBA because there’s a lot of science behind it. Read

Congressmen launch joint political effort to pass marijuana laws

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-10-14-06-pm12/9/16--Two members of Congress, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are joining forces to create the Cannabis Caucus in hopes of improving the odds to passing federal marijuana reform bills. The caucus will be made up of members of Congress who see marijuana reform as an important issue, and it will focus on a bipartisan effort to pass bills, Rohrabacher said. Read

Marijuana: Could it slow Parkinson’s disease progression?

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-10-10-31-pm12/6/16--Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurological illness in the United States, causing tremors, slowness of movement, postural instability, and impaired balance and coordination. But findings from a new review suggest symptoms of the condition could be improved with marijuana. Read

Babies’ marijuana exposure evident in their urine

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-10-04-50-pm12/9/16--Babies exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke take in THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in pot, a new study shows. Researchers discovered traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in urine samples from babies and toddlers in Colorado whose parents smoked marijuana. Read

Regular marijuana use may affect vision

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-9-52-49-pm12/9/16--Regular marijuana use may affect how quickly a person processes things in front of them, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. Researchers claim regular cannabis use can cause problems with the retina, affecting certain cells so it takes longer for visual information to go from the eye to the brain. Read

Growing marijuana could become as easy as plugging in a machine

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-10-01-19-am12/7/16--The gadget market is responding to the public's interest in growing their own marijuana. The Grobo, for instance, aims at making marijuana gardening easy and accessible. Now another company is launching a similar device called the Leaf that resembles a refrigerator and is meant to completely take care of the growing process once seeds are planted. Generally, Leaf tries to make growing marijuana as easy as possible. Read

7 reasons President Trump is unlikely to fight legal marijuana

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-10-20-28-am12/8/16--With Donald Trump nominating Cabinet members who have spoken out against legal marijuana, some are arguing that the war on drugs may make a comeback. Time magazine presents seven reasons why it would be hard to stop what the states have started. Read

Beware: Children can passively ‘smoke’ marijuana, too

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-10-13-03-am12/7/16--Youngsters inhale harmful secondary smoke if marijuana is smoked in their presence. The psychoactive chemicals in the drug are taken up by their bodies as well. Karen Wilson of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence in the US led the first study showing that it is possible to pick up traces of THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana, in the urine of children exposed to secondary marijuana smoke. Read

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment improved when teens stopped smoking

tmr_image-block11/21/16--A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher has found that addiction treatment results improved when teens in a residential program stopped smoking. The findings hold important implications for success in treating addiction since up to three out of four people with such disorders are smokers, a significantly higher proportion than the overall national smoking rate of one out of every four Americans. Read

How NBA players reacted to coach’s endorsement of marijuana

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-9-27-05-am12/4/16--Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who recently admitted to smoking weed twice over the last 18 months to help him deal with chronic back pain, has become a hot topic in the sports world. As a result, a number of players and coaches in the NBA have since voiced their opinion on the matter. Read

Klay Thompson supports medical marijuana use but ‘not recreation use’

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-9-17-59-am12/5/16--Klay Thompson believes pot can help with people in pain, but should not be used for recreation use. “That should not be of its use ever, but there’s obviously a medicinal side to that people are finding out have benefits, especially people in really high pain,” Thompson states. Read

Americans for Safe Access’ members challenge DEA

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-8-49-28-am12/5/16--Americans for Safe Access, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, filed a petition with the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) immediately update misinformation about cannabis. The petition is being filed under the rules of the Information Quality Act. Read

GW announces New Epidiolex® (CBD) positive Phase 3 data

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-8-42-09-am12/5/16--GW Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, announced additional positive Epidiolex® (cannabidiol or CBD) Phase 3 data in poster presentations at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. Read

Five things for employees to know in states with marijuana laws

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-8-27-10-am12/1/16--Many employers seem to be sticking with their drug testing and personal conduct policies, even in states where recreational marijuana use is now permitted. Others are keeping a close eye on the still evolving legal, regulatory, and political environment. The Cannabist takes a closer look at what it all means for workers and businesses, and addresses the following five questions: (1) Can my employer still test me for pot? (2) What about workplace safety? (3) Can I get fired even if I'm not high? (4) What should companies? (5) What do the courts say? Read