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Getting a medical marijuana card
is easier than you think
 
Last week, we asked, “What’s more important? Protective equipment for doctors tending patients infected with COVID-19? Or protective equipment for growers tending marijuana plants infected with pests?”
 
We noted Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker closed recreational pot shops but declared medical dispensaries “essential” and left them open. We suggested someone should monitor whether the shutdown generates an increase in applications for medical marijuana (MMJ) cards.
 
The state’s Cannabis Control Commission reports it received 1,300 MMJ card applications in the first ten days after the shutdown of rec shops compared to 500 applications during the 10 days before. (In the graph above, one MMJ card symbol equals 100 MMJ card applications.)

Worse, on April 1 the Boston Globe’s marijuana reporter, Dan Adams, who hinted last year at a conference he addressed that he partakes of the stuff he reports on, taught people how to obtain a card, so the application frenzy is likely to escalate further. Adams writes “getting a MMJ card is easier than you think,” that “the hardest part was printing it out,” and that “Now, even with recreational shops closed, I can get tax-free cannabis legally delivered to my doorstep.”
 
Legally, that is, until you consider he never had a condition serious enough to apply for a medical card before the rec shops closed. “So there you have it,” he concludes. “A couple of phone calls, $175 [for the doctor’s fee], and you’re back in business. What recreational shutdown?”
 
The single-mindedness of the marijuana industry and those who support it is stunning.
 
Unlike Massachusetts’ Gov. Baker, whose rec-shop shutdown is an effort to protect the state’s citizens from COVID-19, California state and local politicos are urging Santa Clara County officials to reverse a decision they made last week to ban in-store sales of recreational marijuana but allow delivery sales. The politicians urging the reversal choose to protect pot profits over public health.
 
Market Watch reports that an analyst is telling his clients that “COVID-19 [is] a ‘net positive’ for marijuana producer Curaleaf.”
 
Ponder that for a minute. By no definition can a virus that has sickened 400,000 Americans and killed 13,000 at this writing be a “net positive.”
 
Read Dan Adams’ Boston Globe article here.
Read Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Boston Globe article here.
Read Eastbay [CA] Times article here.
Read Market Watch article here.

 
Trends in Marijuana Vaping and Edible Consumption From 2015 to 2018
Among US Adolescents
 
As many states legalize marijuana, new ways to consume it besides smoking have emerged. They include eating it in marijuana-infused foods, vaping it, dabbing it, and drinking it in marijuana-infused beverages, some alcoholic, some not.
 
Researchers analyzed data of 12th-grade students in the Monitoring the Future survey from 2015 through 2018. They found that:
  • Boys had greater odds than girls of vaping and eating marijuana,
  • White students had greater odds than Hispanic students of smoking it,
  • White students had greater odds than African-American students of vaping and eating it, and
  • Asian students had higher odds than white students of eating it. 
They also found that “Smoking marijuana was less prevalent and eating and vaping marijuana were more prevalent overall in 2018 than in previous years.
 
“More than one-quarter of students who vaped or used edibles in the past year used marijuana daily in the last month. Health care professionals should consider asking adolescent patients about noncombustible marijuana use to identify heavy users.”

Read JAMA Network “Research Letter” here.

 
Smoking marijuana could make the lungs
more susceptible to COVID 19,
experts say as cannabis sales spike
 
Health experts warn that smoking and/or vaping nicotine and/or marijuana can increase a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19 disease – and intensify symptoms and complications from the disease.
 
[Some are even speculating that the high rate of vaping among US adolescents and young adults may explain why COVID-19 deaths are occurring in these age groups here but not elsewhere.]
 
"We know cigarettes and marijuana both cause cellular toxicity and changes in cellular metabolism and cellular behavior, so that would be a biologically plausible explanation to say if you got an infection from [COVID-19], you're likely to have more dire symptoms," like shortness of breath and pneumonia, if you smoke,” warns Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, a pulmonologist and national spokesperson for the American Lung Association.
 
"If you get the infection and you have good, healthy lungs that aren't being combated every day by toxins, whether it's from inhaled marijuana or inhaled combustible cigarettes or inhaled electronic cigarettes, you're allowing your lungs to be at the best capacity they can to try and fight off this infection," he said.
 
Read Yahoo/Business Insider story here.


Brought to our attention by Randy Lewis, Fitzpatrick & Lewis Public Relations.
 
Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by corona virus by quitting smoking and vaping
 
In a blog post, Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, summarizes current knowledge about the impact of smoking and/or vaping nicotine and/or marijuana on the lungs. He also answers browsers’ questions.
 
Dr. Glantz is professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. He is best known for his work that exposed ways the tobacco industry markets smoking to youth and young adults and has made more than 90 million pages of industry documents revealed during the tobacco lawsuits publicly available through the internet.
 
In this post, Dr. Glantz briefly summarizes findings from last year’s British Medical Journal article that presented evidence of the many ways e-cigarette use damages the lungs. He examines studies that demonstrate the negative impact of smoking on lung health and refers browsers to the blog post of Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Volkow was one of the first to warn that smoking and vaping damage lungs which may make users more susceptible to COVID-19. He provides links to several other scientific articles as well as to health organizations that provide information on smoking, vaping, and exposure to secondhand smoke, which can harm the lungs of nonsmokers.
 
His answers to browsers’ questions are enlightening. In short, an entire course on why it’s important to stop smoking, vaping, and breathing in secondhand smoke could be developed from Dr. Glantz’s single blog post.
 
Read it here.
 

Brought to our attention by Lynn Silver, MD, Senior Advisor, Public Health Institute.
 
UCSF adds smoking and vaping nicotine and cannabis to COVID-19 triage protocol

We copy Dr. Glantz’s blog post announcement here in full to bring this critically important information to our subscribers.

“UCSF has added smoking and vaping both nicotine and cannabis to its screening and triage protocol for COVID-19 to help assess risks.
 
“The question in the protocol is:

“18. Do you currently smoke or vape?

    a. (Yes) Which of the following do you regularly do? (select all that apply)
  • i. Smoke cigarettes
  • ii. Vape nicotine (e-cigarettes)
  • iii. Smoke marijuana
  • iv. Vape marijuana 
“People who use any of these products are put into a higher risk category.  The full triage protocol is here.

“Not only will this addition lead to better screening of potential patients, but it will provide important information for assessing specific risks when coupled with outcome data later on.

“As noted on the triage protocol, it is available for non-commercial use.”


Also brought to our attention by Lynn Silver, MD, Senior Advisor, Public Health Institute.
 
Study suggests
marijuana may impair female fertility
 
A study whose abstract will be published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society and that was to be presented at ENDO 2020, the society’s annual meeting that was canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, finds that THC impairs the ability to produce viable embryos.
 
Researchers treated cow eggs with concentrations of THC equivalent to therapeutic and recreational doses. The eggs were collected and matured into five groups:
  • Untreated
  • Control
  • Low THC
  • Mid THC
  • High THC 
They measured the eggs’ developmental rates and gene expression and evaluated the ability of the embryos to reach critical stages of development at specific time points. With higher levels of THC, the embryos failed to reach these checkpoints.
 
THC exposure also led to significant reductions in the expression of genes called connexins, making it less likely that the embryos would proceed past the first week of development and thus lead to infertility.
 
Read the Endocrine Society’s account of this study here.

NOTE -- National Families in Action sends The Marijuana Report to subscribers on six different lists. Last week’s issue was inadvertently sent to one list twice and not at all to another list. We apologize for the error.
Each donation to National Families in Action supports The Marijuana REport website and e-newsletter. Thanks in advance for your donation!
Visit The Marijuana Report’s Facebook page. In addition to current issues of The Marijuana Report, we post several more marijuana messages each month on our Facebook page. Search Facebook for nationalfamilies to access it.
 
Looking for a past issue of The Marijuana ReportFind it here.
 
Did you know that in addition to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter, National Families in Action also publishes The Marijuana Report website? There you can find summaries of (and access to) scientific marijuana studies, the growth of the commercial marijuana industry, and what families and communities are doing to restrain it. Begin at our Welcome Page to access all the resources The Marijuana Report website offers.
 
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action's website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

Subscribe to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter.

The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor, Sue Rusche. Editor, Nicole Carter. Proofreading, Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus. IT Consultant, Lee Clontz. Social Media Coordinators, Margarita Eberline, Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, and Nicole Carter.
National Families in Action Board of Directors
William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board, Coldwell Banker Atlanta. Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta. Richard L. Brown, Secretary, Attorney (Ret.), Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Jeannine F. Adams, Director, President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta. Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director, Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta. LLP, Atlanta. Debbie Berndt, Director, Parent Movement 2.0, Walnut Creek, California. Margarita Eberline, Director, Strategy Director, Ultim Marketing, Atlanta. Robert Margolis, PhD, Director, Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia. Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, Director, Birmingham, Alabama.
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.), United Parcel Service, Atlanta.
 

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