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Medical Marijuana Articles 2016
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

Medical Marijuana has shown positive results for:

  • Relieving the Horrible Pain and Misery of Chemotherapy
  • Treating Glaucoma and Helps Prevent Blindness
  • Relieving the Painful Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Helping Control Epileptic Seizures and Parkinson's Disease
  • Relieving the Pain and Inflammation of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Slowing Alzheimer's Disease and Reducing Dementia
  • And Other Less Well Known Medical Problems

But the scientific support for these benefits is not as unequivocal
as medical marijuana advocates would like. Read the articles below.

12-21-16 ‘Psychedelic sanctuary’ will help drug users get over bad trips
‘Psychedelic sanctuary’ will help drug users get over bad trips
The first psychedelic drug treatment centre in the US plans to help users of LSD, magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens come to terms with their experiences. How do you recover from a bad trip? A “psychedelics sanctuary” is set to open in New York this month, the first US therapeutic facility for users of psychedelic drugs. Instead of focusing on going cold turkey, the centre will use psychotherapy and group support to help users come to terms with any intense and difficult experiences they might have had while taking hallucinogenic drugs. “The prescriptive mode that prevails in drug treatment today says that drug use is a chronic, progressive disease that is only arrested by total abstinence,” says Andrew Tatarsky, founder of the Center for Optimal Living, a New York substance abuse clinic that will host the sanctuary. Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, are usually regarded as drugs of abuse. Conventionally, treatment has attempted to rid people of their addictions, encouraging complete abstinence. However, LSD, psilocybin and other psychedelics are not physiologically addictive. Many people who use psychedelics are not looking to be cured, but instead seek help making sense of their trips, which can sometimes fundamentally challenge how they see the world. (Webmaster's comment: We also need the same thing for all the new brain fried pot heads as a result of the new recreational marijuana laws.)

12-17-16 We need to talk about medical marijuana
We need to talk about medical marijuana
As the smoke cleared after Election Day 2016, we found ourselves at the dawn of a new era for cannabis in the United States. In Massachusetts, and elsewhere, new marijuana laws will go into effect. On Election Day, four states, including California (the most populous state in the union), voted to legalize recreational marijuana, bringing the national total to eight states plus the District of Columbia. Four other states voted to allow the use of cannabis in a medical capacity, which means that medical marijuana is now legal in more than half of all states. To put the election results into perspective, the percentage of Americans now living in an area where recreational marijuana is legal, or will soon be, rose from 5 percent to 20 percent. Given the accelerated acceptance for the use of cannabis, it's worth considering the consequences of these new laws. There has been plenty of hand-wringing about how these new laws might harm society, but I believe they have the potential to help in a range of societal issues.

12-16-16 Plan for pot
Plan for pot
Marijuana products should be sold in plain packaging, and only to buyers ages 18 and over, according to a Canadian task force charged with drawing up guidelines for national pot legalization. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to legalize recreational marijuana in his 2015 election campaign, and now his panel has put out a 106-page report that will shape the legislation. The report envisions stores and dispensaries that sell only marijuana, not alcohol or cigarettes, as well as cafés where pot can be smoked on site. There would be penalties for driving while stoned, and the government would regulate the level of THC, the chemical that causes the high, per dose. “Now is the time to move away from a system that for decades has been based on prohibition of cannabis into a regulated market,” said task force chair Anne McLellan.

12-16-16 Some of the things we were told to avoid
Some of the things we were told to avoid
Marijuana may take a long-term toll on the mind. Researchers found that weed reduces blood flow to virtually every part of the brain. The effect is most notable in the hippocampus, the neural region responsible for learning and memory, which is particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. “The media has given the general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug,” says co-author Daniel Amen. “This research directly challenges that notion.” Separate studies this year found that longtime marijuana users are also more likely to have memory problems, and are at a greater risk for gum disease.

12-9-16 Weed linked to Alzheimer’s
Weed linked to Alzheimer’s
Proponents of legalizing marijuana have long argued the drug is safe for recreational use, but new research suggests long-term indulgence may reduce blood flow to the brain and increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Using imaging technology that evaluates blood flow and cerebral activity—single photon emission computed tomography—researchers studied the brains of about 1,000 current or former marijuana smokers and those of 100 people who never touched the drug. They discovered that weed users had less blood flow to nearly every part of their brains. The effect was most pronounced in the hippocampus—the area responsible for learning and memory and the first affected by Alzheimer’s. “Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function,” study author Daniel Amen tells “The media has given the general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug. This research directly challenges that notion.”

11-27-16 Marijuana advocates sceptical about Canada path to legal pot
Marijuana advocates sceptical about Canada path to legal pot
Canada will soon introduce legislation to legalise recreational marijuana. Pot advocates are not as happy as you might think. The Cannabis Culture dispensary in downtown Toronto gets a steady stream of foot traffic around noon on a weekday. But Marc Emery, who helped set up the franchise that flouts Canadian drug laws by selling pot to anyone over 19, is annoyed. The dispensary had been raided the day before by Toronto police. "It's the government's intention to legalise it. So why is the government still arresting people?" he asks. r Emery is just one of many owners of illegal marijuana storefronts that have mushroomed in cities across Canada after the federal Liberals were elected in 2015. The Liberals have committed to legalising recreational marijuana in Canada and plan to introduce marijuana law reforms on the sale, cultivation and distribution in parliament next spring.

11-26-16 The rise of legal weed in America
The rise of legal weed in America
A majority of the U.S. population now has access to legalized cannabis in some form. What's the track record so far? Here's everything you need to know: There have been some huge upsides, as well as serious downsides. In Colorado, the booming new cannabis industry has created more than 18,000 full-time jobs and generated $2.4 billion in economic activity. The state tightly regulates weed sales: Adults over 21 can possess only 28 grams, and marijuana plants are tagged with a radio-frequency ID chip so that they can be tracked. Products are tested for potency and contaminants, and are sold in child-resistant containers. "There are a certain number of folks, like myself, who were pretty reticent about [legalization] to begin with," says House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Democrat. "[But] the sky didn't fall." Legal-weed states have experienced a significant jump in marijuana-related DUIs. In Washington state, a record 745 drivers who were pulled over on suspicion of DUI in the first six months after legalization tested positive for THC, the main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana, compared with 1,000 over the entire previous year. At the same time, the number of drivers involved in fatal car crashes who tested positive for THC rose by 48 percent between 2013 and 2014, when legalized marijuana hit the market. Hospitalizations for overdoses are also up. "Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug," says Peter Kissinger, CEO of the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety.

  • Where is weed legal?
  • What's happened in states that legalized weed?
  • What are the downsides?
  • Why are hospitalizations up?
  • Is overall weed use up?
  • Will it be legalized nationally?
  • Weed baths and bacon brittle

11-25-16 Ex-big pharma executive behind OxyContin sells medical marijuana
Ex-big pharma executive behind OxyContin sells medical marijuana
John Stewart used to run the pharmaceutical company behind the narcotic painkiller OxyContin. Now he is banking on medical marijuana. Mr Stewart does not know which is more controversial these days, OxyContin or pot. He guesses the average person would give "a bigger negative" to the powerful and controversial painkiller that has been linked to the opioid overdose and addiction epidemic in the US and Canada. "There is a lot of anti-opioid sentiment," he says, delicately. "And certainly based on the social disruption that we've seen it's understandable." In the US, an estimated 1.9 million Americans were addicted to prescription opioid painkillers in 2014. Accidental overdoses from prescription painkillers quadrupled between 1999 and 2012. In 2014, drug overdoses were the leading accidental cause of death south of the border, driven by prescription opioids.

11-18-16 Legalizing marijuana
Legalizing marijuana
Recreational use is now fully legal in eight states plus Washington, D.C., after voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine approved marijuana ballot initiatives last week. On Election Day, voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota brought the tally of states with legal medical marijuana to 28. Though cannabis is still illegal under federal law, Election Day was widely considered a tipping point for the legalization movement. A recent Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans now approve of legalizing marijuana, and there is a growing bipartisan consensus that the $1 trillion war on drugs has failed. Criminalizing the use and sale of drugs has sent millions of nonviolent criminals to prison—a disproportionate number of them black—and empowered violent drug cartels. At the same time, there is growing scientific research showing that casual cannabis use by adults is fairly safe—less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Another major factor propelling legalization is that states can tax it and get a big boost in revenues. As one pro-legalization ad in Colorado put it: “Jobs for our people. Money for our schools. Who could ask for more?”

  • Where is weed legal?
  • What’s happened in states that legalized weed?
  • What are the downsides?
  • Why are hospitalizations up?
  • Is overall weed use up?
  • Will it be legalized nationally?
  • Weed baths and bacon brittle

11-15-16 Marijuana use weakens heart muscle
Marijuana use weakens heart muscle
.Young, male, healthy pot smokers at high risk of stress cardiomyopathy. Marijuana use may double the risk of developing stress cardiomyopathy, a temporary weakening of the tip of the heart. Marijuana use is associated with an almost doubled risk of developing stress cardiomyopathy, a sudden life-threatening weakening of the heart muscle, according to a new study. Cannabis fans may find the results surprising, since two-thirds believe the drug has no lasting health effects. But as more states approve recreational use, scientists say there’s a renewed urgency to learn about the drug’s effects. An estimated 22 million Americans — including 38 percent of college students — say they regularly use marijuana. Previous research has raised cardiovascular concerns: The drug has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack immediately after use, and a 2016 study in rodents found that one minute of exposure to marijuana smoke impairs the heart’s inner lining for 90 minutes, longer than tobacco’s effect.

11-11-16 Marijuana reform wins big in ballot initiatives
Marijuana reform wins big in ballot initiatives
Marijuana advocates won major victories in ballot initiatives across the country, as voters in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada this week voted to legalize the recreational use of the drug, while Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota approved medical marijuana. Arizona rejected a proposal on recreational weed, and a vote in Maine was too close to call. Together, the results were the nearest the U.S. has come to a national referendum on marijuana, which remains illegal for all uses under federal law. “These votes send a clear message to federal officials that it’s time to stop arresting and incarcerating marijuana users,” said Rob Kampia, head of the Marijuana Policy Project advocacy group. Tougher gun control was on the ballot in four states. Voters in California approved a proposition that will outlaw high-capacity magazines and require background checks to buy bullets. Washington State voted to give authorities the power to temporarily seize firearms, with a court order, from people deemed a threat. A proposal requiring universal background checks for private firearms sales was approved in Nevada and narrowly voted down in Maine.

10-6-16 The economics driving America's devastating drug scourge
The economics driving America's devastating drug scourge
America is coming to the belated realization that it has a heroin epidemic on its hands. And this problem is intertwined with a larger epidemic of legal painkillers, which killed more people than car crashes or guns in 2014. Like all big social changes, part of this story is economic. How much money people make, where, how, and whether they can work, what they can buy — all of this forms the superstructure in which human lives and communities grow and thrive or whither and die. That applies to the heroin epidemic as much as anything else. And like all economic stories, this one comes in two parts: The demand side and the supply side. The demand side — why so many more Americans are using — has gotten most of the attention so far. But the supply side is equally fascinating in its own grim way.

9-20-16 Teenage cannabis use rises in Europe - EU Espad survey
Teenage cannabis use rises in Europe - EU Espad survey
Cigarette and alcohol use among 15- and 16-year-olds is declining across Europe but the numbers using cannabis are growing, an EU survey shows. The Espad report for 2015 includes most EU countries, but not Germany or the UK, and data for Spain is incomplete. In 2015 "current smokers" accounted for 21% of those surveyed, and the highest total was in Italy (37%). In 1995-2015 those using alcohol in the past 30 days fell from 56% to 47%. Top in cannabis use were the Czechs (37%). That figure for Czech teenagers reporting a lifetime experience of cannabis was higher than the level in the US - 31% in comparable surveys. The average for cannabis use in the European countries surveyed was 16%. That was lower than the comparable figure for Spain - 27%.

Cannabis use in the last 30 days by gender. 25-country trend 1995-2015.

9-16-16 Marijuana Growth
Marijuana Growth
The legal marijuana industry in the U.S. could grow to be worth $50 billion over the next decade, eight times its current size, according to a recent market analysis. Nine states have pot-related initiatives on the ballot this November, five to legalize the drug for all adults and four to allow it for medical use.

9-9-16 They use more marijuana
They use more marijuana
Over the past 12 years, the number of Americans who say they use marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis has jumped from 3.9 million to 8.4 million, or from 1.9 percent of the U.S. population to 3.5 percent, according to a new study in Lancet Psychiatry.

8-27-16 This is your brain on pot
This is your brain on pot
Staci Gruber vividly remembers her first hit of marijuana, back when she was in college. It made her so paranoid, she locked herself in a bathroom. She couldn't decide whether to remain in hiding or to run. But she knew she'd never try pot again. She didn't lose interest in the drug, however. Today, she runs the 2-year-old Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery, or MIND, project at McLean Hospital in this suburb of Boston. With cognitive testing and neuroimaging, MIND is conducting a longitudinal study of medical marijuana. She ran a small study, published in 2013, that found teenagers and young adults who smoked marijuana were more likely to exhibit impulsive behavior than their peers and were more likely to have certain changes in the brain's white matter. A follow-up study found that those changes could reorganize brain regions associated with inhibitions. This year, Gruber's research team also found that chronic recreational users of pot had poorer cognitive and executive functioning, particularly if they began using marijuana as teens.

8-11-16 US government wants more cannabis farms for science
US government wants more cannabis farms for science
The DEA has decided to allow organisations to apply to grow marijuana for research purposes, a move intended to encourage more studies on the drug’s effects. At last, researchers will be able to get their hands on the stuff. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced it will allow more organisations to grow and distribute marijuana for the purposes of research. Until now, the only approved supplier of cannabis for science has been the University of Mississippi. This has made it difficult for researchers to study the drug, such as its effects on depression, and whether it might help people with post-traumatic stress disorder. But the DEA today announced it will allow other organisations to apply to become registered suppliers, a move it hopes will foster more marijuana research. This policy change follows a letter last year calling on the DEA to take action to support more research into marijuana’s medical benefits, signed by eight US senators.

8-10-16 Speedy cannabis spit test could spot people driving while high
Speedy cannabis spit test could spot people driving while high
Now that personal use of marijuana has been legalised in many parts of the US, police are looking for ways to stop people driving while high. A 3-minute test could help. An erratic driver is pulled over by the police. The officer smells a hint of marijuana, so dabs a cotton swab in the driver’s mouth to collect some saliva. Just 3 minutes later, still by the side of the road, the result comes back: every millilitre of spit contains 5 nanograms of THC, weed’s active ingredient. This scenario may soon be commonplace thanks to a new test developed in the lab of Shan Wang at Stanford University in California. Wang’s technology uses nanoparticles that are shaped to fit like a lock-and-key to either THC or to reagents attached to a surface. With no THC molecules around, they connect to the reagent molecules, creating an electromagnetic distortion a sensor can measure. Add in THC and there are fewer distortions. “The more THC in the saliva, the less signal we detect,” Wang says. The sensor connects to a smartphone through Bluetooth, making it easy to use on the go – there’s no need to take samples back to the lab. “I think field testing is really the next step,” Wang says. “We have to make the device more user-friendly to the law enforcement officers.” (Webmaster's comment: Getting driving potheads off the roads will save a lot of lives just as keeping drunks off the road does!)

8-10-16 UK top for online drug sales in Europe
UK top for online drug sales in Europe
UK-based drug dealers earn more money online than any of their European rivals, research suggests. In January, British dealers made $2.2m (£1.7m) in web sales, with a 16% share of the global online drugs market. However, US dealers had a 36% share of the online market and took home $5m (£3.8m). Cannabis was the most popular item on the underground websites, accounting for a third of transactions. Purchases of prescription-only medicines accounted for a further 19%.

Online drug market share in January

  • United States - 35.9%
  • United Kingdom - 16.1%
  • Australia - 10.6%
  • Germany - 8.4%
  • Netherlands - 7.8%

Most popular drugs

  • Cannabis - 33%
  • Prescription medication - 19%
  • Stimulants - 18%
  • Ecstasy-type drugs - 12%
  • Psychedelics - 11%

8-10-16 11 questions employers should never ask job applicants
11 questions employers should never ask job applicants
This is a topic many people could stand to learn more about. A CareerBuilder survey last year found that 20 percent of hiring managers have asked an illegal question in an interview. A third of the more than 2,100 hiring and human resource managers polled said they were unsure of the legality of certain interview questions. Taboo topics also can come up during small talk, which is potentially just as damaging. "People chit-chat in interviews, and it's natural to talk about things that might give you information that's not job-related, but could be used to discriminate against a person," labor attorney Peter Moser told Huffington Post. A basic rule of thumb is that all questions need to be job-related. For a start, anything that touches on age, race, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation are not okay. Here are 11 red-flag inquiries:

  1. "How old are you?"
  2. "Are you married?"
  3. "What religious holidays do you celebrate?"
  4. "How's your health?"
  5. "What's your race?"
  6. "What country are you from?"
  7. "Have you ever been arrested?"
  8. "Have you ever used drugs in the past?"
  9. "Do you like to drink socially?"
  10. "Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?"
  11. "What type of discharge did you receive in the military?"

8-8-16 Why do we fall for false positives even though they're common?
Why do we fall for false positives even though they're common?
From cannabis in the water supply to breast cancer screening, so many of the tests we use routinely give false results – so why don’t we expect them? Last month, the drinking water in a Colorado town was declared unsafe, because it had been contaminated by an ingredient from cannabis. It took two days to discover that this was not the case – a water test had turned up a false positive result. In fact, false positives are widespread in our everyday lives, and we seem to have an innate inability to get to grips with them. The fuss in Hugo, Colorado – a state where cannabis use is now legal – began when a county employee administering a test for drug use decided to use the same kind of test on tap water, rather than saliva, in an attempt to rule out a false positive. When the water tested positive too, it was assumed the test kit was a dud. But when they tried a different kit from another manufacturer the result was the same – it appeared that there was THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, in the water. Police then investigated the town’s well and found what they thought was evidence it had been tampered with. Residents were advised to switch to bottled water and restaurants were closed. But THC does not dissolve easily in water. If someone had wanted to contaminate the town’s water supply with this compound, they would have needed a huge – and expensive – amount of THC. By chance alone, we should expect things like this to happen. Any test will turn up a result that isn’t accurate every now and then, and we would expect this on occasion to happen in the same place multiple times. But our brains seem to have particular trouble handling these kinds of probability estimations. When the FBI conducted further tests, it emerged that the initial findings had been false positives. False positives can be caused by anything from faulty test kits to contamination, or even what you eat – people can test positive for opiate drugs after eating poppy seeds.

8-8-16 One in Eight U.S. Adults Say They Smoke Marijuana
One in Eight U.S. Adults Say They Smoke Marijuana
Thirteen percent of U.S. adults tell Gallup they currently smoke marijuana, nearly double the percentage who reported smoking marijuana only three years ago. Although use of the drug is still prohibited by federal law, the number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana use has grown from two in 2013, Colorado and Washington, to four today -- with the addition of Alaska and Oregon -- plus the District of Columbia. Five states will vote on whether to legalize marijuana this November.

  • 13% report being current marijuana users, up from 7% in 2013
  • 43% of U.S. adults say they have tried it
  • Use and experimentation differ by religiosity, age

7-22-16 Marijuana chemical contaminates Colorado town's water
Marijuana chemical contaminates Colorado town's water
Marijuana is legal in Colorado for medical and recreational use. But... Residents of a small town in the US state of Colorado have been told not to drink tap water after THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, was found in one of the area's wells. The sheriff's office said the well near Hugo, about 90 miles south-east of Denver, may have been tampered with. It said it was not clear whether the water had been deliberately tainted. Medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado but there are no legal farms near Hugo. Officials said the contamination came to light when a company that carries out employee drug tests sampled the tap water, assuming it would test negative, and was surprised when the result was positive. The presence of THC was later confirmed in field tests; more detailed laboratory tests are now taking place.

7-22-16 The alternate painkiller
The alternate painkiller
In the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply. In medical-­marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of anti­depressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-­nausea doses, and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication—and 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year.

7-14-16 Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers
Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers
IT MUST have been something in the air. Some 11,000 years ago, humans in Europe and Asia began using a new plant – cannabis. An archaeological study suggests that different groups of people across Eurasia began using the plant independently at the end of the last ice age – perhaps for its psychoactive properties, as a source of food or medicine, or even to make textiles from its fibres. “The cannabis plant seems to have been distributed widely from as early as 10,000 years ago, or even earlier,” says Tengwen Long at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, whose team conducted the study. But the first dope dealers did not arrive for another 6000 years, says the team. At the dawn of the Bronze Age, the Yamnaya – nomadic pastoralists on the Eurasian steppe – mastered horse riding. This allowed them to cover vast distances and begin forging transcontinental trade networks following the same routes that would become the famous Silk Road several millennia later. This earlier “Bronze Road” enabled all sorts of commodities to be transported between east and west, potentially including cannabis. “It’s a hypothesis that requires more evidence to test,” says Long. It might also explain the spread of wheat to east Asia 5000 years ago, he says.

7-7-16 Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers
Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers
The ancient tribes of the Eurasian steppes that helped lay the foundations of Europe might have initiated a cross-continental trade in cannabis. It must have been something in the air. During a short time window at the end of the last ice age, Stone Age humans in Europe and Asia independently began using a new plant: cannabis. That’s the conclusion of a review of cannabis archaeology, which also links an intensification of cannabis use in East Asia with the rise of transcontinental trade at the dawn of the Bronze Age, some 5000 years ago. Central Eurasian’s Yamnaya people – thought to be one of the three key tribes that founded European civilisation ­– dispersed eastwards at this time and are thought to have spread cannabis, and possibly its psychoactive use, throughout Eurasia. The pollen, fruit and fibres of cannabis have been turning up in Eurasian archaeological digs for decades. It is often assumed that cannabis was first used, and possibly domesticated, somewhere in China or Central Asia, the researchers say – but their database points to an alternative. Some of the most recent studies included in the database suggest that the herb entered the archaeological record of Japan and Eastern Europe at almost exactly the same time, between about 11,500 and 10,200 years ago. “The cannabis plant seems to have been distributed widely from as early as 10,000 years ago, or even earlier,” says Long.

6-30-16 Donald Trump, marijuana, and the yearning to make America sober again
Donald Trump, marijuana, and the yearning to make America sober again
This Tuesday, the organizers of a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in California had their petitions certified, meaning Californians will vote in November on the question. Even though a legalization measure failed at the ballot in 2010, this one is almost sure to succeed (polls have shown support at around 60 percent), adding 39 million Americans to the still-modest number who live in states where pot is legal. The difference is not just the passage of six years, but the fact that this is a presidential year, which means a much different electorate going to the polls — in particular, a lot more young people. California is just the beginning: Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine will also have initiatives allowing recreational use, and Florida will have a medical marijuana measure on the ballot. Other states where marijuana initiatives are in the process of collecting signatures include Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, Montana, and North Dakota. In all likelihood some of them will succeed and others won't, but this much we can say: With each passing year, on this issue as on so many others, Blue America and Red America are separating from each other. And in some ways, we can see it as a separation between old America and young America. The divisions by age are perhaps the most striking thing about polling on marijuana use; while all age groups have gotten more supportive of legalization over the decades, what really matters is whether you came of age before the 1960s or after. Today legalization is supported by majorities of all age groups except senior citizens. To take one example, in this Pew Research Center poll from last year, those under 35 and those over 70 were mirror images of each other: 68 percent of the millennials supported legalization while 29 percent opposed it, and among the Silent Generation, 29 percent supported it and 68 percent opposed it.

6-28-16 Vaccines could counter addictive opioids
Vaccines could counter addictive opioids
Shots that harness the body's immune system may help addicts stay clean. Scientists are searching for a different kind of shot to prevent such tragedies: a vaccine to counter addiction to heroin and other opioids, such as the prescription painkiller fentanyl and similar knockoff drugs. In some ways, the vaccines work like traditional vaccines for infectious diseases such as measles, priming the immune system to attack foreign molecules. But instead of targeting viruses, the vaccines zero in on addictive chemicals, training the immune system to usher the drugs out of the body before they can reach the brain. (Webmaster's comment: We also need a vaccine for pot heads!)

6-23-16 Who's funding the US cannabis industry?
Who's funding the US cannabis industry?
Webb Garrison wants to start his own cannabis business. He doesn't have any industry experience and he's only just building up his knowledge of the complicated regulations that govern the sector. Cannabis has been legalised for either medical or recreational purposes in 25 states, but remains illegal on the national level. It can cost more than $1m to start a cannabis business in the US, according to the Marijuana Business Association. Licensing fees, equipment costs and rent are often the biggest charges and costs vary widely across states because of the different regulations.

6-17-16 Microsoft to help track legalised marijuana sales
Microsoft to help track legalised marijuana sales
Microsoft has teamed up with California-based technology start-up Kind Financial, which helps businesses and government agencies track sales of legalised marijuana "from seed to sale". It is the first-ever partnership of its kind for Microsoft. Kind has been selling its marijuana tracking software to businesses and governments for some three years. The start-up will now be able work on Microsoft's government cloud. Kind's software, which is called Agrisoft Seed to Sale, "closes the loop between marijuana-related businesses, regulatory agencies, and financial institutions,"

6-17-16 Pot harms gums
Pot harms gums
Studies have shown that heavy marijuana use apparently isn’t as hazardous to your health as smoking cigarettes. With one exception, that is: gum problems. Researchers in New Zealand followed 1,037 people from birth to middle age and found that more than half of those who smoked pot for two decades had no significant health issues other than periodontal disease—sore and swollen gums that can lead to tooth loss. Meanwhile, the condition affected fewer than 14 percent of subjects who never used the drug. The study doesn’t prove that smoking pot causes gum disease, but researchers note the association cannot be explained by poor oral hygiene, alcohol abuse, or tobacco. They also stressed that their findings shouldn’t be interpreted as a green light to get high. “We don’t want people to think, ‘Hey, marijuana can’t hurt me,’” study author Madeline Meier of Arizona State University tells, pointing to previous research associating weed with “increased risk of psychotic illness, IQ decline, and downward socioeconomic mobility.”

6-16-16 Cocaine addicts can’t kick other habits either
Cocaine addicts can’t kick other habits either
Hard for users to adjust behavior despite negative consequences, study finds. Cocaine addicts aren’t just hooked on the drug; they’re also more likely to hang on to other unrelated habits, a new study suggests. People hooked on cocaine are more likely to stick to other habits, too. They’re also less sensitive to negative feedback that tends to push nonaddicts away from harmful habitual behaviors, new research published in the June 17 Science suggests. The findings might help explain why cocaine addicts will do nearly anything to keep using the drug, despite awareness of its negative consequences. Instead, treatments that encourage new, healthier habits in place of drug use might click better.

5-27-16 Anger after Toronto police raid dozens of marijuana shops
Anger after Toronto police raid dozens of marijuana shops
Canadian marijuana users have decried recent raids on dozens of Toronto shops that sell the drug, calling the operation a waste of police resources. Medical marijuana is legal in Canada, but only licensed providers can sell it to people who have a doctor's approval. Police raided 43 Toronto shops on Thursday and made 90 arrests. Raids come just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Government is poised to make marijuana legal to recreational users. Protesters gathered outside police headquarters on Friday, calling the medical marijuana dispensaries essential. Police said the shops raided were not authorised to sell marijuana.

5-20-16 Dangers of driving stoned
Dangers of driving stoned
Fatal car accidents involving marijuana more than doubled in Washington after the state legalized the sale of the drug in 2012, new research shows. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that marijuana was involved in 17 percent of Washington’s fatal accidents in 2014—up from 8 percent the year before, reports. “Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug,” says the nonprofit’s president, Peter Kissinger. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and 20 more states are considering similar legislation. Legal blood alcohol limits were easily established, but determining when people are “too high” to drive is much more complicated, because THC, the main chemical component in marijuana, affects everyone differently. In any event, the study authors say, “just because a drug is legal does not mean it is safe to use while operating a motor vehicle.”

4-27-16 The B&B where cannabis is part of your stay
The B&B where cannabis is part of your stay
Colorado's cannabis industry is growing fast, with armoured cars full of cash a common sight on Denver's streets. But businesses are stuck in a legal no-man's land - state laws allow the drug to be sold, but federal laws still prohibit it. It all began in the year 2000, after a state-wide referendum changed the Colorado constitution to legalise the use and supply of marijuana for medical purposes. This was not a move led by politicians; the current governor is still opposed. But the people spoke and the legislators had to turn the decision into fact. Colorado was not the first state to legalise medical cannabis. It's claimed to have many physical and mental effects: easing pain, calming fits, energising or relaxing the body, depending on which particular strain of the drug you use (and which particular dosage). Now, there is something very weird about cannabis in the US. Using it and growing it is still a federal crime. Though individual states have fiercely defended their own legal rights, marijuana is still officially classified as a schedule one drug, as fearsome to the federal authorities as heroin.

4-21-16 Canada to push for making sale marijuana legal
Canada to push for making sale marijuana legal
The Canadian government will introduce legislation next year that would make the sale of marijuana legal, its health minister has said. If enacted, the move would make Canada one of the largest Western countries to allow widespread use of the drug. Health Minister Jane Philpott pledged on Wednesday to keep marijuana "out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals".

4-12-16 DEA mellowing out on cannabis would make medical research easier
DEA mellowing out on cannabis would make medical research easier
The US Drug Enforcement Agency is mulling its classification of marijuana and reviewing the science - something its tough laws have stymied. You can buy weed gummy bears in Colorado and vape cannabis in Oregon, yet US scientists are struggling to get their hands on the stuff for medical research. This could soon change: the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it hopes to reach a decision on the legal status of cannabis by July. Although states have their own classifications and laws governing the possession and sale of marijuana, the federal government classes it as a Schedule 1 drug, a category typically reserved for dangerous drugs that offer no medical benefits. This creates significant hurdles for scientists interested in marijuana research. A letter signed by eight US senators last year urged the government to craft a new policy that would support expanded research on its potential medical benefits. For example, additional research could help pin down how marijuana affects conditions like depression and non-neuropathic pain, and whether it could help people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

4-4-16 Marijuana use starting in youth implicated in financial woes
Marijuana use starting in youth implicated in financial woes
Persistent pot users more likely to experience downward social mobility. Persistent, heavy pot smoking starting in adolescence heralds serious financial troubles by age 38, a long-term study of New Zealanders finds. Financial health takes a hit among people who smoke a lot of marijuana from adolescence into young adulthood, even if they don’t get hooked on the drug, researchers say. The more years that individuals smoke pot four or more days a week, the more likely they are to experience serious money problems, say social epidemiologist Magdalena Cerdá of the University of California, Davis and her colleagues. Cash woes include defaulting on credit card payments, struggling to pay for food and rent and going on welfare. (Webmaster's comment: Like I've said, marijuana use is a two-edged sword. It can help with serious medical problems, but can be just as much a problem as drinking to much alcohol.)

3-4-16 Pot tourism
Pot tourism
Pot tourism, after the number of ER visits by tourists under the influence of marijuana nearly doubled in the first year of the drug’s legalized sale in Colorado. Inexperienced users are evidently consuming too many pot brownies and other edibles.

2-24-16 New laws could force marijuana dispensaries to close
New laws could force marijuana dispensaries to close
Off licences, fast food restaurants and abandoned buildings line Gratiot Street in north-east Detroit where the cannabis dispensary 420 Dank stands. But despite the store's success, Ms Gaetano and her nine employees may soon be out of business. New legislation in the city of Detroit prevents medical marijuana dispensaries from being within 1,000ft (305m) of schools, churches, off licences, strip clubs or other dispensaries - and 420 Dank is just 371ft away from an off-licence. But even if the store is allowed to stay open it will still face new restrictions. Drive-through sales have been banned and stores cannot open until 10am, cutting into the hours when it caters for people finishing night shifts. (Webmaster's comment: It may be legal to sell it, but towns, cities, counties, and states have a hundred ordinances and laws to use to shut the stores down.)

2-21-16 Why is Facebook shutting down legal marijuana pages in the US?
Why is Facebook shutting down legal marijuana pages in the US?
Cannabis has been now made legal in 23 states in the US. In some states, like Colorado, it's legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Authorised cannabis businesses in these states are entirely legal. So they say they were left puzzled in recent weeks, when their Facebook pages were suddenly shut down. Reports suggest that at least a dozen cannabis businesses across six US states have had their Facebook pages disabled in the past few weeks.

2-18-16 How Obama totally blew it on marijuana reform
How Obama totally blew it on marijuana reform
Last April, Raymond Schwab and his wife Amelia planned to relocate their family to Colorado. A Gulf War veteran who has struggled with chronic pain and PTSD since his honorable discharge, Schwab wanted to move so he could legally obtain medical marijuana, the only effective remedy he'd found for his symptoms. As a Veterans Administration (VA) employee, Schwab was able to take his job with him to Denver, and all seemed good to go. But the Schwab family was moving from Kansas, where marijuana — even for medical use — remains strictly illegal. So when an angry family member reported Schwab's pot use to the police, five of the couple's six children were taken by the state. (Webmaster's comment: Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug. The president can change this.)

2-12-16 Marijuana affects memory
Marijuana affects memory
Many marijuana smokers enjoy the drug's short-term high, but a new study reveals that weed may also wreak long-term havoc on the brain. Specifically, researchers found that years of pot smoking could hinder people's ability to recall certain words. The team tracked the marijuana use of nearly 3,400 men and women over the course of 25 years. At the end of the study the subjects were tested on their verbal memory, mental processing speed, and executive function. For every 5 years of exposure to marijuana, the study found, one out of every two smokers remembered one word fewer from a list of 15 - a small but statistical effect. Marijuana use didn't affect other areas of brain function, but the more pot people smoked the worse they performed on memory tests. "Recreational marijuana users use it to get high, to benefit from the transient change it produces," The lead author, Reto Auer of the University of Switzerland, tells "But this transient effect might have long-term consequences on the way the brain process information, and could also have direct toxic effects on neurons."

1-29-16 Our marijuana laws don’t make sense
Our marijuana laws don’t make sense
The Netherlands led the way in legalizing the sale of marijuana 25 years ago with its groundbreaking “coffee shops,” said Gerard Spong and Frits Lauwaars. Now it’s time to go further and legalize production. The idea of letting customers in at the front door while trying to stop suppliers entering at the back was never going to work. Nearly every day, a coffee shop owner is charged with procuring supplies—and though “no self-respecting judge” ever imposes punishment, prosecutors go on charging them just the same, wasting taxpayers’ money on gathering evidence and legal fees. The impetus for change is coming from local authorities, who say the proliferation of illegal attic “marijuana nurseries” is a growing fire hazard. They want to see supply regulated along with demand. Once cultivation is controlled by the state, they argue, it will no longer fuel criminal activity. Polls suggest that the majority of the public support the idea. Alas, the Netherlands’ ruling party won’t budge, claiming a change in the law would defy international treaties. But if Colorado in the U.S. can regulate the cultivation of cannabis along with sales, why can’t we? The government should stop making excuses and introduce a policy that makes sense.

With doctor's advice and under prescription control legalizing
Medical Marijuana seems like a good idea, but the above scientific
facts will help you decide whether to support it or not.

Medical Marijuana Articles 2016