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Study: Early Use of Marijuana
Can Increase Its Negative Health Impacts
 
Canada expects to legalize marijuana for recreational use soon. To prepare, Canadian researchers from Montreal’s Concordia University, pictured above, reviewed three national surveys from Canada and the US as well as the scientific literature.
 
Their major finding is that all of marijuana’s negative health effects intensify the earlier in life use begins. The researchers were surprised to find that nearly all marijuana use in Canada begins in adolescence. People who do not use marijuana before age 21 almost never use it, they say.
 
Like most other researchers who have examined the health impacts of marijuana, they find the drug has harmful effects on both physical and mental health that persist even after use stops.
 
They say that Canadian teenagers who start using before age 15 “will suffer for the rest of their lives even if they never use marijuana after the age of 21.” However, they say, while marijuana use damages health, it is not as damaging as adolescent tobacco use.
 
Only five percent of Canadian teenagers perceive regular marijuana use to be a health hazard.

The likelihood of an epidemic of health problems emerging from marijuana legalization therefore can be dramatically reduced if extensive education programs are provided in schools, the researchers say. In addition, adolescents should not have access to marijuana. “Strict government control over its production and distribution is needed to protect them,” as well as control of price, THC content, and advertising, they advise.
 
Read study, published in Health, here.
 
Eight of 16 People Indicted in
Colorado Marijuana Trafficking Operation
Listed as Having State Pot Licenses
 
Colorado authorities have indicted 16 people on charges they ran a massive home-grown marijuana operation across the Denver area that produced and distributed some 300 pounds of marijuana a month to at least four other states. Half of those indicted had active or expired licenses from the state to grow or sell pot.
 
The investigation was triggered by the search of one property where authorities found more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $5 million.
 
It is against Colorado law to ship marijuana across state lines. For the past year, law enforcement groups have been cracking down on marijuana grown in homes for out-of-state sale.
 
The chief of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver office, which is leading the enforcement effort along with state and local law enforcement groups, said her office is working on several similar cases. She says both Colorado residents and people who are moving to the state are growing marijuana to sell it out of state while hiding in plain sight of the state’s liberal marijuana laws. “We’re seeing ourselves as a larger source of supply that we ever were before [legalization],” she notes.
 
Read Denver Post stories here and here.
 
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Files
Public Records Requests for Marijuana-Related Records from the State of Oregon

 
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a national organization dedicated to advancing evidence-based marijuana laws, formally issued public records requests from the State of Oregon. The requests call for state officials to disclose all internal records regarding the content and the timing of a recently leaked report on marijuana legalization that finds the state of Oregon in violation of Federal guidance regarding the drug.
 
The report, produced by the Drug Enforcement Section of Oregon State Police, evaluates Oregon’s compliance with federal guidance and reveals a number of serious violations since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. Though dated January 2017, the report only became public in March after The Oregonian unearthed a copy earlier this month and reported on its contents.
 
According to the study, Oregon’s black market has thrived since legalization, including significant marijuana trafficking operations to states that have not legalized marijuana. This lucrative black market has also spilled into foreign countries and fueled criminal activity, including money laundering. Additionally, the report highlights concerning trends regarding marijuana impairment among minors since the state legalized recreational marijuana use.

SAM is asking for any documents relevant to the decision not to publish the report. 
 
Read SAM press release here. Read The Oregonian story here
Read the report here.


The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.
 
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About National Families in Action (NFIA)
NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy 
About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of "incarceration versus legalization" when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:
  • To inform public policy with the science of today's marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of "Big Marijuana" - and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana's medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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