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Minimum legal age for cannabis use should be 19, study suggests

5/13/20--A team of researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, investigated how Canadians who started using cannabis at several young ages differed across important outcomes (educational attainment, cigarette smoking, self-reported general and mental health) in later-life. According to this new study, the optimal minimum legal age for non-medical cannabis use is 19 years of age. Read

Intensity of cannabis use: Findings from three online surveys

5/1/20--Respondents who reported using cannabis daily (i.e., 30 days in the past month) consumed almost twice as much per day of use on average as did those reporting less than daily. The study finds only modest increases in intensity among those using less than daily, but then a substantial increase (p< 0.001) for those who use daily. Read

Trends in marijuana vaping and edible consumption from 2015 to 2018 among adolescents in the United States

4/6/20--There is growing evidence associating adolescent marijuana use with developmental and societal consequences. Prevalence and trends from 2015 to 2018 in noncombustible marijuana use and differences by use frequency and sociodemographic characteristics have been documented. Vaping has increased rapidly among adolescents, and Regional data suggest boys vape more than girls, but there are conflicting reports of sex differences in edible use, and differences across modes of use for race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). Read

Michigan is smoking more marijuana than any other state during coronavirus pandemic, survey says

3/23/20--According to a Twitter survey, Michigan residents are smoking marijuana more than any other state during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Analysts used trends software with direct access to geotagged twitter data to arrive at the conclusion. Overall, the southern half of the U.S. has the most activity when it comes to smoking marijuana, with the exception of Michigan, which was the number one state overall. Read

Texas among top states using marijuana during Coronavirus outbreak according to Twitter data

3/25/20--According to geotagged Twitter data gathered this month, it appears more Texans are using marijuana than people in most states during the coronavirus pandemic. The map featured in this article is based on data since March 1, tracking tweets and hashtags about using marijuana, including phrases such as “smoke weed,” “get high,” and all related slang terms. Read

Cannabis sales, deliveries explode as Californians stock up on pot amid coronavirus

3/24/20--Cannabis sales and marijuana deliveries are exploding as Californians stock up on pot amid the coronavirus pandemic. Marijuana dispensaries are allowed to stay open during the coronvirus pandemic because they are considered an "essential" service. Read

‘Dabbing’ concentrated THC is troubling new trend among teens

2/14/20--NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez joins TODAY to inform parents about a much more potent way to use marijuana called “dabbing” that is getting more popular among teens.  Read

Sierra Middle School parent wants teens caught with marijuana to face consequences

2/3/20--Four Las Cruces teens caught with marijuana at Sierra Middle School on Friday, Jan. 31, are now facing the consequences. John Rivera, a parent of a Sierra Middle School student, said they need to face the consequences to set an example for all the other kids so they know it’s not OK, and hopefully they learn a lesson and don’t do it again. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens

11/13/19--Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read

Association between recreational marijuana legalization in the United States and changes in marijuana use and cannabis use disorder from 2008 to 2016

11/13/19--Findings in a multilevel, difference-in-difference survey study with 505 796 respondents comparing marijuana use before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States, revealed that the proportion of respondents aged 12 to 17 years reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%, while the proportion of respondents 26 years or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those with cannabis use disorder, from 0.90% to 1.23%. Read

Marijuana use among pregnant women continues to rise

11/5/19--Marijuana use by pregnant women appears to be on the rise. According to new data, more women are using cannabis while pregnant. A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association says that marijuana is now the most commonly used illicit drug among pregnant women in the U.S. Data collected from 276,000 pregnant women in a Northern California study found that cannabis use nearly doubled from 2009 to 2017. Read

A national survey of marijuana use among US adults with medical conditions, 2016-2017

9/20/19--This survey study using data from 169,036 participants in the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys found that, compared with adults without medical conditions, adults with medical conditions had a significantly higher prevalence of current and daily marijuana use, were more likely to report using marijuana for medical reasons, and were less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes. Read

High-schoolers’ pot use fell in the decade before legalization. Will that continue?

9/16/19--Fewer Massachusetts high school students used marijuana in the years before the state’s first marijuana stores opened last year, according to a new report. However, it’s too early to know whether these trends have changed since legalization. But officials said the report, by the state Cannabis Control Commission, establishes a baseline for future study. Read

Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually

8/20/19--Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine by Americans reached nearly $150 billion in 2016, with a large proportion of spending coming from the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a new RAND Corporation report. Read

The impact of recreational marijuana legalization on rates of use and behavior: A 10-year comparison of two cohorts from high school to young adulthood.

8/19/19--A study was conducted focusing on understanding the risk and protective factors related to substance use from adolescence to young adulthood. Overall, results suggest that young adults after recreational marijuana legalization are more likely to use marijuana than young adults were before recreational marijuana legalization 10 years earlier. Read

Maternal marijuana exposure and birth weight: An observational study surrounding recreational marijuana legalization

8/23/19--A study to examine the relationship between prenatal marijuana and infant birth weight using natural cohorts established before, during and after the 20-month lapse between legalization and legal recreational sales in Washington State revealed marijuana exposure verified by UDS was associated with LBW and SGA. However, recreational marijuana legalization and availability did not have direct impact on newborns' risk of LBW or SGA. Read

A whiff of the music festival future? Outside Lands sells cannabis for the first time

8/12/19--Outside Lands, the largest event in California, and the country, is the first to allow legal sales and consumption of cannabis. It is a preview of what may eventually become commonplace for other big gatherings such as Southern California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (though no such permit has yet been requested) as marijuana rules solidify. Read

Four takeaways from National Drug Use and Health Survey on marijuana use

8/5/19--As more states introduce medicinal and adult-use marijuana legislation, robust and reliable data helps to improve the understanding of the impact legalization has on use and public health. However, even though there are limitations on what can be inferred, there are clear upward trends in the usage of marijuana and a steady decrease in the perception of risk from smoking once a month across the country. These outcomes are important for policymakers to consider when determining their position on legalizing forms of marijuana. Read

Teen marijuana use drops amid legalization

7/12/19--Legalizing recreational marijuana has lead to a decrease in teen use in many states, according to a study published this week that contradicts previous research of how legalization affects teen pot use. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that recreational marijuana laws were associated with an 8% decrease in teen pot use, and a 9% decrease in frequent use. Read

Youth marijuana use declined in states that legalized, study finds

7/8/19--Legalizing marijuana is associated with a decline in youth cannabis consumption, according to a new study in a journal published by the American Medical Association. The research, which analyzed federal data on marijuana use trends among 1.4 million high school students from 1993 to 2017, showed that self-reported past-month youth cannabis use declined by an average of 8 percent in states that legalized recreational marijuana. Read

Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

7/9/19--Marijuana use among young people in the United States overall has climbed in recent years, but a new study suggests that in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, marijuana use among youth may actually be falling. The study involved analyzing data, from 1993 to 2017, on about 1.4 million high school students in the United States from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Read

Legalizing marijuana not a trigger for teen toking

7/9/19--According to a new study surveying more than 1.4 million U.S. high school students, legalizing marijuana does not encourage pot use among teenagers, and it may actually discourage them from smoking weed. And teen marijuana use actually seems to decline in states that have gone further and legalized recreational pot, researchers report online in the July 8 issue of the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Read

Marijuana manpower: Those kids you gave summer jobs to, yeah, they’re probably stoned

7/9/19--A team of researchers at the Washington State University College Of Nursing say they have evidence showing that gainfully employed minors in their neck of the woods are more likely to use marijuana than those who are non-working. The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, reads in part, "Among working 12th graders, marijuana use increased significantly over time relative to non-working youth. … Associations were stronger for youth who worked more hours per week." Read

Teen odds of using marijuana dip with recreational use laws, study finds

7/8/19--New research suggests legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults in some states may have slightly reduced teens' odds of using pot. The researchers analyzed national youth health and behavior surveys from 1993 through 2017 that included questions about marijuana use. Responses from 1.4 million high school students were included. Read

Marijuana use by U.S. teens has jumped 10-fold since 1990s

6/20/19--A study looked at 1991-2017 U.S. federal health data on more than 200,000 high school students. It found that the number who said they'd used pot at least once over the past month rose 10-fold -- from 0.6% in 1991 to 6.3% by 2017. Many are becoming "dual users" of both marijuana and alcohol: The number of teens who admit to using both substances at least once a month has almost doubled -- from 3.6% in 1991 to 7.6% in 2017. Read

Potent pot, vulnerable teens trigger concerns in first states to legalize marijuana

6/16/19--The first two states to legalize recreational marijuana are starting to grapple with teenagers’ growing use of highly potent pot. Parents, educators, and physicians say youths are easily getting hold of edibles infused with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component that causes a high, and concentrates such as “shatter,” a brittle, honey-colored substance that is heated and then inhaled through a special device. Read

Modes of cannabis use: A secondary analysis of an intensive longitudinal natural history study

6/24/19--There is a paucity of research on modes of marijuana use (e.g., joint vs. blunt), and further, little consensus on how to accurately assess both modes of use and route of administration. A secondary analysis used a longitudinal design with data collected daily to characterize mode of marijuana use. Although the major limitation of this study was use of a convenience sample and lack of detailed data on vaporizer use, results indicate that joint use is no longer the most common mode of use in either White or Black participants and exclusive use of a single modality is uncommon. Read

‘I’m too high. Something’s wrong.’ Teens caught vaping marijuana in scary new trend

5/3/19--Students are vaping in the presence of teachers, and they typically don’t realize a student has indulged until the teen confesses. There is no telltale odor, and the handheld devices used are small enough that a surreptitious student can indulge in class. Compounding the trouble, experts say, is the potency the devices can deliver, giving a student a much more intense high than expected. Read

Most Washington teens report using marijuana less often since legalization

3/15/19--Marijuana use went down significantly among the state's 8th and 10th graders after it was legalized in Washington, according to a new study by WSU. The study looked into whether legalizing marijuana made any difference among 8th and 10th graders, plus high school seniors who work in jobs. Read

Teen pot use fell in states that legalized medical marijuana

2/14/19--A new study suggests that fewer teen marijuana users are in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. States with medical marijuana laws had 1.1 percent fewer teenage pot smokers than states without such laws, researchers said. Researchers analyzed survey data gathered between 1999 through 2015 from 45 states, including more than 860,000 students. Read

Qualifying conditions of medical marijuana license holders in the United States

2/1/19--Chronic pain is currently and historically the most common qualifying condition reported by medical marijuana patients. According to a conducted analysis by Kevin F. Boehnke, Saurav Gangopadhyay, Daniel J. Clauw, and Rebecca L. Haffajee, 85.5 percent of all patient-reported qualifying conditions had either substantial or conclusive evidence of therapeutic efficacy. As medical marijuana use continues to increase, creating a nationwide patient registry would facilitate better understanding of trends in use and of its potential effectiveness. Read

What drives patients to use medical marijuana: Mostly chronic pain

2/4/19--A new study seeks to understand whether people are using medical marijuana for evidence-based reasons. According to the report consisting of a comprehensive review of 10,000 scientific abstracts on the health effects of medical and recreational marijuana use, there was conclusive or substantial evidence that chronic pain, nausea, and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity symptoms were improved as a result of marijuana treatment. Read

The scent of London has changed: all I can smell now is cannabis

1/26/19--The Spectator writer Mary Wakefield says marijuana is everywhere in London. She says this because the smell of the city has changed. A decade ago, the dominant scent was diesel and tobacco, but now the smell of London is marijuana. Research from the University of York examined the number of people accessing drug treatment services over the past ten years and found, not a rise in overall users, but a dramatic rise in the number of people over 40 smoking marijuana, nearly 120 percent. Read

Cannabis use disorder: The policy climate matters

1/23/19--Adolescents and young adults living in states with more liberal policies reported higher average rates of past-year marijuana use than those in states with more conservative policies, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, the rates of marijuana use disorder -- abuse or dependence on the drug -- were significantly lower in states with more liberal policies compared to states with more conservative policies. Read

Impacts of medical marijuana laws on young Americans across the developmental spectrum

1/4/19--State legalization of marijuana for medical purposes could increase illicit marijuana use among young people. Medical marijuana laws may boost the availability of marijuana and reduce perceptions of its harmfulness, leading more young people to try it. Prior studies report little evidence that these laws are impacting marijuana consumption by young Americans, and none have systematically compared developmentally distinct age groups. Read

Older Americans are flocking to medical marijuana

12/7/18--Oils, tinctures and salves — and sometimes old-fashioned buds — are increasingly common in seniors’ homes. Doctors warn that popularity has outstripped scientific evidence. Physicians who treat older adults expect their marijuana use to increase as the number of states legalizing medical marijuana keeps growing. Read

The “real” number of Washington State adolescents using marijuana, and why: A misclassification analysis

10/26/18--Approximately 12% of Washington adolescents claimed to have used marijuana in the past 30 days. Estimates indicate this figure is likely closer to 18%. Determinants of use included use of other substances, gender, age, and measures of deviant social influences, personality/attitude, school and family bonds, bullying, and acquisition ease, while determinants of misreporting included use of other substances, gender, parental education, and family bonds. Failing to control for misreporting considerably underestimates the prevalence of marijuana use among adolescents. Read

We asked Florida candidates if they’ve smoked marijuana. Here’s what they said.

10/12/18--The Times asked all candidates for statewide office if they have ever smoked marijuana, and if their experiences with the drug have influenced their views on marijuana policy. Four of the 12 candidates acknowledged prior marijuana use. Five candidates said they have never smoked, and three wouldn't respond. Read

Teens who’ve tried marijuana have used it in more than one form

9/28/18--Most teens who've tried marijuana have used the drug in more than one form, including products that are smoked, eaten, or vaped, new USC research shows. The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, raises concerns about adolescent health amid a booming marijuana market that touts sleekly packaged products claiming an array of health benefits. Read

Marijuana use among young adults is at an all-time high, study finds

9/11/18--The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently released the results of its latest study, which examined trends on substance use among non-college and college young adults. More than 13 percent of young adults not in college reported using marijuana daily or near daily, which is the highest level ever among the group. As a result, NIDA said daily marijuana use is now three times as high among non-college young adults as among college students. Read

Report warns of ‘serious risk’ to Peace Corps from drug use by volunteers

8/24/18--The Peace Corps has a drug problem related to an increasingly outdated view of marijuana, but significant enough to the agency’s Office of Inspector General that it warns of a “serious risk to the integrity and reputation of the Peace Corps as well as the health and safety of Volunteers.” Read

Relationships between state laws legalizing marijuana for medical use and college students’ use of marijuana/other drugs

8/28/18--A study published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice examined the relationship between medicalized marijuana laws and student utilization rates, perceptions, and experiences. Participants were students in 37 states attending institutions of higher education. Students who went to college in states that legalized marijuana for medical use were more likely to use marijuana and experience academic and health consequences than their counterparts who did not. Read

Snapshot: About one in four young adults use marijuana

8/15/18--While 13 percent of Americans say they "regularly" or "occasionally" use or smoke marijuana, the rate is significantly higher among young adults ages 18 to 29 and is higher in the West than in other regions of the country. Marijuana is most popular among young adults -- about one in four (24 percent) adults in this age group report regularly or occasionally using it. This is on par with an average 22 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds across three surveys from 2015 to 2017 who answered "yes" when asked whether they do, or do not, "smoke marijuana." Read

Teens who vape or use hookah are more likely to use marijuana later, study finds

8/6/18--Teens who used e-cigarettes and hookah were up to four times more likely to use marijuana later, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers found that the students who had tried e-cigarettes when they were freshmen had a more than three-fold greater likelihood of ever using marijuana and using marijuana in the past 30 days than students who hadn't tried e-cigs. Read

Adolescent e-cigarette, hookah, and conventional cigarette use and subsequent marijuana use

8/6/18--A study examining whether adolescent electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), hookah, or combustible cigarette use is associated with initiating and currently using marijuana as well as using both tobacco and marijuana concurrently concludes that the association between tobacco use and subsequent marijuana use across adolescence extends to multiple tobacco products. Read

Today’s heroin epidemic infographics

7/7/18--Today's infographics, as presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicate that more people are at risk given multiple drugs abused. More specifically, heroin use has increased among most demographic groups. Furthermore, heroin addiction and overdose deaths are climbing. Read

Health, polysubstance use, and criminal justice involvement among adults with opioid use

7/6/18--In this cross-sectional analysis, individuals who reported any level of opioid use were more likely than individuals who reported no opioid use to have physical and mental health conditions and co-occurring substance use. Involvement in the criminal justice system increased with intensity of opioid use, and any level of opioid use was significantly associated with involvement in the criminal justice system in the past year. Read

UMass researchers contribute to key statewide marijuana study

7/5/18--In an attempt to understand cannabis use in the state before recreational marijuana sales soon begin, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a “marijuana baseline health study.”  The study — an effort conducted in no small part by University of Massachusetts researchers — provides a snapshot of patterns of and perceptions of marijuana use, the prevalence of hospitalizations and impaired driving, and the economic impacts of cannabis for state and local government. Read

Legalized medical marijuana doesn’t cause more teens to smoke weed, study finds

3/5/18--According to a study out of Columbia University, teen usage of cannabis neither increased nor decreased after states legalized pot use for medical problems. The study was an analytical examination of four separate national surveys with data from eleven separate studies dating back to 1991. Still, the researchers want to study adult cannabis use next, pointing to the possibility that while connections to teen abuse appear unlikely, there may be a link to people becoming more dependent on the drug in adulthood. Read

National marijuana survey plan announced by Massachusetts consultant and UMass-Dartmouth

6/29/18--The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network of Somerville said it will work with the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth to mount a national survey of marijuana use. "The survey is aimed to better understand consumer/patient demographics, attitudes, choices, methods of consumption, and knowledge of cannabis products in legal cannabis states," a press release said. The plan for the survey was approved by the institutional review board of UMass-Dartmouth, and findings are to be published in a peer-reviewed journal and provided at conferences and forums. Read

One in five Mass. adults consumed pot in past month

6/29/18--A new study released by health researchers provides a snapshot of cannabis use as the state of Massachusetts gears up for the start of recreational marijuana sales. The study, led by the state Department of Public Health, found that 21 percent of adult residents surveyed had used marijuana in the past 30 days. Young people, however, are using the drug at much higher rates: More than 50 percent of those aged 18 to 25 consumed cannabis within the past 30 days, compared with just 18 percent of those 26 and older, according to the research. Read

Experts challenge claims about medical marijuana’s impact on teen recreational use and opioid deaths

2/22/18--Two papers published today look at the current evidence of the effects of medical marijuana laws and conclude there is little support that such laws increase recreational marijuana use among adolescents or reduce opioid overdose deaths. Read

Surveys state of Colorado relies on for youth marijuana use are flawed, critics say

12/22/17--Inconsistencies that exist in studies has made it difficult to precisely pinpoint just how marijuana is impacting the schools, and information is misleading because so little of it actually exists. According to state officials, part the problem is how the data is reported. Furthermore, critics believe data sources, including the state’s biennial Healthy Kids Colorado survey, and Monitoring the Future in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics are flawed. Read

Gogek: Marijuana not the answer to opioids

12/18/17--According to Dr. Ed Gogek, a psychiatrist specializing in substance abuse, the marijuana industry wants us to believe pot can solve the opioid crisis, but if that were true opioid-related deaths would have steadily decreased after Arizona’s medical marijuana law took effect in 2011, and they didn’t. Before the law passed, the opioid death rate in Arizona was falling, and after the law kicked in, that changed. Between 2012 and 2016, opioid deaths increased by 74.6 percent. In other words, marijuana is not saving us from the opioid epidemic. Read

NIH’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey shows both vaping and marijuana are more popular than traditional cigarettes or pain reliever misuse

12/14/17--Findings from the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th graders in schools nationwide indicates that nearly 1 in 3 students in 12th grade report past year use of some kind of vaping device, raising concerns about the impact on their health. The survey also suggests that use of hookahs and regular cigarettes is declining. Read

Teen drug use reaches a 43-year low, with the exception of marijuana

12/15/17--Teens today are using fewer drugs than the age group has used over the the past 43 years, with the exception of marijuana. A recent University of Michigan study found that one in 10 high school seniors say they’ve vaped marijuana in the past year. Richard Miech, the researcher in charge of the study, said the number of teens that are vaping the drug is much higher than he expected. Read

Teen marijuana use down in most legalized states, federal data says

12/11/17--According to new data from the federally-funded National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) published in the American Journal of Public Health, annual teen cannabis use is down across the U.S. as a whole, but the drop was less significant than that experienced in Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize marijuana. Read  

Recreational drug users not what we think

12/7/17--A study lead by David Plummer, a professor from James Cook University in Queensland, investigates why Australians are among the top users of illegal drugs in the world. New facts have been revealed about the motivations of recreational drug users. Research shows almost 40% of Australians aged 15 years and over have used one or more illicit drugs at some stage in their life, and approximately 17% within the past 12 months. Read