Tag Archives | Marijuana

How marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is making the world a better place

"Marijuana Ambulance" by Hammerin Man via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

“Marijuana Ambulance” by Hammerin Man via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

via Washington Post:

No pressure, Colorado and Washington, but the world is scrutinizing your every move.

That was the take-home message of an event today at the Brookings Institution, discussing the international impact of the move toward marijuana legalization at the state-level in the U.S. Laws passed in Colorado and Washington, with other states presumably to come, create a tension with the U.S. obligations toward three major international treaties governing drug control. Historically the U.S. has been a strong advocate of all three conventions, which “commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to
recreational marijuana,” according to Brookings’ Wells Bennet.

The U.S. response to this tension has thusfar been to call for more “flexibility” in how countries interpret them. This policy was made explicit in recent remarks by Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, wholast week at the United Nations said that “we have to be tolerant of different countries, in response to their own national circumstances and conditions, exploring and using different national drug control policies.” He went on: “How could I, a representative of the Government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?”

As far as policy stances go this is an aggressively pragmatic solution. The federal government lacks the resources and perhaps the political will to crack down on the legalization states, but it also likely doesn’t want to openly admit that it’s allowing regulation regimes that openly contradict the provisions of major treaties.

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New 20-Year Study Shatters Myths About Marijuana Use

Professor Wayne Hall has published the results of a 20-year study of the use of marijuana in the journal Addiction (PDF of Full Study article here), which summarizes his findings as follows:

Adverse effects of acute cannabis use

  • Cannabis does not produce fatal overdoses.
  • Driving while cannabis-intoxicated doubles the risk of a car crash; this risk increases substantially if users are also alcohol-intoxicated.
  • Cannabis use during pregnancy slightly reduces birth weight of the baby.

Adverse effects of chronic cannabis use

  • Regular cannabis users can develop a dependence syndrome, the risks of which are around 1 in 10 of all cannabis users and 1 in 6 among those who start in adolescence.
  • Regular cannabis users double their risks of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teens.
  • Regular adolescent cannabis users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers but we don’t know whether the link is causal.
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Legal highs need regulation, not an outright ban

Bans don’t work. matthijs, CC BY-NC-ND

Bans don’t work. matthijs, CC BY-NC-ND

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Matthew Warren, University of Oxford

A few doors down from my house, a man is selling drugs. He has herbs to smoke that could leave me happy and stoned and various white powders to ingest that could keep me partying all night. All this would be totally legal, because he runs my local head shop.

Such easy access means people succumb to buying these drugs. One in five freshers who are starting universities this month have admitted to trying one of these legal highs.

Like many countries, the UK is currently working out how to deal with legal highs, or, to use the proper nomenclature, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). Over the past decade, the use of NPS has become increasingly common as more and more products and head shops enter the market.… Read the rest

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Study Says Women May Be More Sensitive to THC

By Joana Coccarelli via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Joana Coccarelli via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Alternet:

With roughly half of men admitting to having tried marijuana and only a third of women saying the same, it’s no wonder the pothead image throughout society is often a male-dominated one. Is this with good reason? Or are women more private about advertising their weed use? There could be numerous explanations — either way, a recent  study in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal suggests because of their estrogen levels, women may be more responsive to the key active ingredient in the plant.

In the study, funded by a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant, Washington state psychology professor Rebecca Craft found that female rats are at least 30 percent more sensitive than males to the pain-relieving qualities of  THC, which is the ingredient in cannabis that leads to a high. The study also found the females developed a tolerance to THC more quickly.

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Thoughts From a Conservative Mom Who Buys Weed For Her 12-year-old Son

Brett Levin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Brett Levin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

GB from xoJane via AlterNet:

To say I’m your standard Conservative Suburban Mom is probably an understatement.

I’ve voted with the GOP hardline in the last three elections (which is probably enough to get me burned at the stake with most of you reading this.) I wear sweater sets with pearls. We go to church every Sunday.

And I score drugs for my 12-year-old son.

Why yes, that is my SUV (with the “Romney 2012” bumper sticker) outside Milo’s cheesy college apartment, picking up this month’s supply. I always guiltily hit up 2 different ATMs to get the money, not wanting the nice girl at my bank branch to wonder why I’m always getting cash. I dose my son with a nice home-baked chocolate chunk cookie. (Important: keep those cookies in a separate jar.)

As a baby, my Matthew developed in a perfectly normal fashion.

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“Crossfaded”: What happens when you’re drunk and stoned at the same time?

By Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

By Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

Luckily, Popular Science has the answer.

via Popsci:

The intoxicating effects of alcohol and of marijuana have been widely studied, but their combined effect—getting “cross-faded“—is woefully underexplored scientific territory. Here’s a look at what we know about how pot and booze together affect the brain.

First, the basics: Marijuana contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which acts on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system. Trying to compare the two isn’t even like comparing apples and oranges, says Gary Wenk, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University. “It’s apples and vegetables. They’re very different drugs.” An extremely simplified explanation would be to say that THC largely has cognitive effects, like paranoia and a distorted sense of time, while alcohol mainly affects motor skills, making it hard to walk in a straight line and causing slurred speech.

So does combining weed and alcohol just add their respective effects together?

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The Feds Continue to Spread Misinformation About Marijuana

Some cannabis bud, which is well-cured (i.e. dried slowly following a specific procedure). The strain is Sweet Tooth #3

Some cannabis bud, which is well-cured (i.e. dried slowly following a specific procedure). The strain is Sweet Tooth #3

Or maybe it’s more disinformation than misinformation. Either way, I’m guessing that none of you are surprised.

via AlterNet (Please follow the link to read the entire piece):

In her latest blog post, US National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora Volkow claims that “science should guide marijuana policy.” But if the nation’s top anti-drug doc truly believes that facts, not ideological rhetoric, ought to shape America’s drug policies, why does she feel the need to keep distorting the truth about pot?

Writes Volkow: “Besides being addictive, marijuana is cognitively impairing even beyond the phase of acute intoxication and regular use during adolescence may cause a significant, possibly permanent IQ loss.”

Or, more than likely, it may not. In fact, the very study Volkow relies on to make this questionable claim was publically repudiated in a 2012 review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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A simple way to counter the paranoia side effect of Marijuana

Close-up of cluster of female cannabis plant by Bokske via Wikimedia Commons

Close-up of cluster of female cannabis plant by Bokske via Wikimedia Commons

As someone who stopped smoking recreationally because of the paranoia/anxiety inducing side effects, this is rather interesting. Maybe I’ll try it out one day.

via AlterNet:

According to a recent report by Marijuana.com, sniffing black peppercorns could be the simple answer to reducing the paranoia effects sometimes felt after smoking pot. By simply smelling or chewing on peppercorns after lighting up, smokers can mitigate these effects, writes Jay Arthur.

Owen Smith writes in Canada’s Cannabis Digest that while at Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, he witnessed the impact pepper had on pot. “Most patients who have tried this simply took a few sniffs of the black pepper to receive an almost immediate effect,” he wrote. “Others have reported that after chewing on pepper corns they felt relief within an hour, but that may be a delay most would seek to avoid.”

Why would this work?

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