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Heavy Teen Marijuana Use
May Cut Life Short by Age 60
Legalization advocates and the marijuana industry they have created insist that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose, and therefore the drug is harmless. An important new study shows just how foolish such a claim is. It finds that heavy marijuana use during adolescence puts men at risk of death by age 60. In other words, marijuana seems to have the same risk for premature death as tobacco.
 
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, the Institute of Social Medicine at the University of Rio de Janeiro State, and the Center for Epidemiology and Community Medicine in Stockholm studied some 45,000 Swedish military conscripts 42 years later. The conscripts were recruited at ages 18 and 19. The researchers found that those with a baseline history of heavy marijuana use--50 times or more--had a significantly higher risk of death (40 percent) than those who never used the drug. The association persisted after controlling for several possible confounders.
 
The researchers say that about ten percent of people who ever used marijuana and from one-third to one-half who use the drug daily will become addicted and continue to use despite experiencing problems.
 
They note that marijuana users “have been found to have higher rates of hospital admissions for injuries from all causes and of fatal traffic collisions compared to nonusers” and that there is reason to suspect the drug can cause some forms of cancer, including lung cancer, and perhaps cardiovascular fatalities.
 
Read CBS News story here. Read American Journal of Psychiatry abstract here.
 
Kids’ Cannabis Products Next Big Thing
 “My First Grow” is a kit designed to teach children how to grow cannabis seeds, according to a disturbing article in Green Rush Daily, an online news service about all things marijuana. “It comes with a growing cup, a packet of seeds, a package of soil, an instruction booklet, and some stickers,” according to Green Rush.
 
The news service finds products like these a cause for celebration. “More and more, as cannabis becomes mainstream the old stereotypes are starting to fall apart. And kids’ cannabis products are one of the big ways those stereotypes are being torn down,” it notes.
 
Other products include an array of marijuana books for children such as If A Peacock Finds A Pot Leaf, It’s Just a Plant, and Stinky Steve Explains Dad’s Dabs.
 
Read Green Rush story here. Visit Green Rush website here.
 
To Circumvent Bans, Marijuana Companies Invent New Breed of Advertising
Social media sites such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter all have policies that ban the promotion of illegal drugs, including marijuana. But marijuana businesses are finding ways around those bans in their zeal to promote their products.
 
Bang Industries, for example, offers a service that uses media personalities to market pot products. Not to miss out on the profits, it has gone public and trades under the stock symbol BXNG. Another company, Mantis, places online marijuana ads on pot-friendly publications and websites.
 
Such attempts to circumvent socially responsible behavior seem endemic to the marijuana industry, which seems incapable of abandoning its total focus on profits at the expense of public health and well-being.
 
Read qz.com story here.
 
Battle Over Georgia’s “No-Buzz”
Medical Marijuana Law Gets Personal
NBC News has written a two-part story on the triumph of anecdote over science with regard to so-called “low THC cannabis oil” laws passed by 17 states in just the past few years. The mother featured in this story is giving her child, who has autism, between 70% to 75% THC and THCa in the CBD preparations she makes and administers to her daughter twice a day. There is no scientific evidence that any marijuana component is useful for treating autism. In fact, exposing children to such high levels of THC almost certainly is dangerous, in terms of long-term damage to their brains.
 
Read NBC story here. Note: Part 2 appears first, followed by Part 1.
 
Medical Marijuana Bill Fails in Missouri House
The Missouri House of Representatives rejected a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use this week. The vote was 66-87 and the issue is dead for this year. Safe Kids Missouri and SAM Missouri worked hard to educate the public about the dangers inherent in legalizing marijuana for any use.
 
However, advocates are collecting signatures to place several initiatives on the state’s November ballot. Some would legalize marijuana for medical use; one would legalize the drug for recreational use.
 
Read story here.
 
When Growing Marijuana Isn’t Green
Two views of California’s Basin Gulch, one in 2004 and one this year illustrate the environmental impact of illegal marijuana grows on public lands.
 
The brown patches in the 2016 screenshot are marijuana grows that involve “a brew of pesticides, clear cutting, water diversion, and years of little environmental oversight,” say state fish and wildlife experts.
 
Marijuana consumes up to 23 liters of water per plant per day, about twice that of California grapes. Law enforcement officials say “growers routinely flout water laws, diverting and damming streams and rivers and sapping formerly replete local watersheds.”
 
Growers use rodenticides such as Furan, which is banned because it threatens the survival of endangered species such as the Pacific fisher, the marten, and the white spotted owl.
 
People are finally beginning to understand that illegal marijuana grows are damaging the environment and are beginning to do something about it, officials say. A bill to tax growers for money to clean up their grow sites has been introduced in the legislature.
 
Read NBC News story here.
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter produced by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

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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