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Contemporary Pediatrics Publishes “Special Report: Generation Weed” for Pediatricians
 
Contemporary Pediatrics devotes its February issue to a “Special Report: Generation Weed.” Although designed to help community pediatricians provide scientifically accurate information to patients and their families, the report can benefit others as well, especially public policymakers.  
 
Beginning with two articles that focus on teenagers, the authors note that “the statistics are staggering:  5.4 million teenagers 12 years old and older used marijuana every or nearly every day during 2012.”
 
A third article explains why the American Academy of Pediatricians opposes marijuana use and legalization.
 
A fourth asks eight questions in search of an evidence base regarding “medical” marijuana.
 
A fifth explains that cannabis oils are marijuana concentrates with extremely high THC levels that come in the forms of shatter, budder, earwax or wax, honeycomb or crumble wax, dab or glob, and honeybuds. This article is a must-read for anyone making marijuana policy who finds these terms unfamiliar.
 
A sixth examines issues of when pediatricians should drug test patients.
 
A seventh is a podcast discussion of a Contemporary Pediatrics clinical report, “Testing for drugs of abuse in children and adolescents.”
 
The final article describes a new urine test that can detect low biomarkers of marijuana that will enable scientists to assess to what extent children are exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke.
 
1. Read “Help teens make 'Smart Decisions' about marijuana” here.
2. Read “Talking to teens about marijuana” here
3. Read “Why AAP opposes marijuana use and legalization” here
4. Read “Medical marijuana: 8 questions in search of an evidence base” here
5. Read “Dabbling in ‘dabbing’: What teens need to know” here
6. Read “Drug testing and the pediatrician” here.
7. Listen to “PODCAST: Testing for substance abuse” here
8. Read “Detecting secondhand exposure to marijuana” here.
 

Tourist Pot Complaints Double
at Colorado Emergency Rooms
 
The Associated Press reports that a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that visitors to Colorado who buy and use marijuana there are showing up at emergency rooms at twice the rate of residents who consume the drug. The rate for out-of-state visitors increased from 85 per 10,000 visits in 2013 to 168 per 10,000 visits in 2014, while the rate for residents increased only slightly, from 106 per 10,000 to 112 per 10,000 during that time.
 
Doctors reviewed ER admissions at their Denver-area hospital the first year the state implemented full legalization. They checked their figures against statewide data from the Colorado Hospital Association and found them to be similar.  
 
Dr. Andrew Monte, an ER room toxicologist at the University of Colorado Denver, pictured above, took part in the analysis. He told NBC News that they see three different groups of people coming to their ER due to marijuana use.
 
The first are problems related to underlying conditions such as “anxiety disorders or schizophrenia,” which marijuana use can worsen, or “people with heart disease who can develop complications with heavy use.” For them, “the stress of a racing heart from eating marijuana could be fatal.”

The second group is directly affected by the drug and has such problems as “cyclic vomiting which can come with heavy daily use” and “motor vehicle collisions when they are high.”
 
“The third group are people who smoke or eat a little too much pot and get heavily intoxicated and scared.”
 
Read  AP story here. Read NBC News story here. Read letter in the New England Journal of Medicine here.
 

Georgia House Strips Down
Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program
 
This week, the Judiciary Committee (Non-Civil) of the Georgia House of Representatives rejected a bill that would have legalized cultivation, processing, and sale of marijuana for medical use. Instead, the committee offered a substitute that provides legal immunity in Georgia to producers from legal states who ship the oil directly to Georgia patients.
 
In 2014, a bill failed that would have provided CDB oil containing less than three-tenths of one percent THC to children suffering from rare forms of epilepsy.
 
Last year, the author of the failed bill introduced HB1. This bill expanded the amount of THC that CBD oil could contain from three-tenths of one percent to five percent, provided that the oil contained a minimum of a one-to-one ratio of each component. Legislators were told, incorrectly, that 5% THC was "ditch weed," THC levels that people smoked in the 60s and 70s and that the ratio would prevent people from getting high. (THC levels in marijuana did not reach 5% until the late 1990s.) HB1 also increased the number of qualifying conditions, from childhood epilepsy alone to a total of eight different diseases. The bill gave legal immunity to patients or their caregivers for possessing up to 20 ounces of the oil. HB1 passed and became law in April 2015.
 
This year, HB1’s author came back with HB1-Part 2. This bill would have legalized “whole plant extracts and resins” with no THC limits; would have legalized cultivation, processing, and sales in dispensaries; and would have expanded the number of qualifying conditions to 19. The Judiciary Committee substitute strips the original bill of everything but the number of conditions, grants legal immunity in Georgia to suppliers, and eliminates the one-to-one ratio requirement but does not change the 5% THC “limit” in current law.
 
The stripped-down version of HB1-Part 2 now goes to the Georgia Senate.
 
Source: The Marijuana Report
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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