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Marijuana Bad for PTSD,
Kids Who See Medical Marijuana Ads
Twice as Likely to Use Pot,
RICO Statutes Target Marijuana Industry
Experts Say Marijuana Can't Help PTSD

If your family doctor suspects you may have brain cancer, she will refer you to a physician who specializes in treating that disease. She’ll be the first to tell you she is not as qualified to diagnose and treat brain cancer as the specialist is, because he has been trained to treat just one disease, while she is trained to treat ordinary problems and recognize when to refer her patients to specialists to treat more serious problems. The specialist keeps up with the latest research on new brain cancer treatments and the newest drugs to treat the disease so he can offer you the best treatment options available.
 
A peculiar thing about medical marijuana is that initially voters and later legislators—both with little to no medical training—are approving the use of marijuana to treat serious diseases. Then, once marijuana is legalized for medical use, most of the time general practitioners rather than specialists recommend its use to patients who are seriously ill. Many of the laws allow the state agency charged with implementing medical marijuana to periodically add a disease marijuana should treat, often despite objections from the specialists trained to treat that disease.
 
Such is the case in Colorado. An editorial in The Gazette explains that specialists in the state who treat PTSD say marijuana can make PTSD worse, not better. They are deeply concerned that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will consider adding PTSD to the list of diseases that qualify for medical marijuana treatment. “Telling someone to use marijuana for PTSD or any mental health problem is like telling them to go get drunk,” says one specialist who has treated the disorder among veterans and active-duty service members for more than 15 years.
 
“Marijuana users mask problems without addressing the underlying causes of the stress, anxiety, fear, and anger that keep them in a continual state of emotional distress. If they’re under the drug’s influence, therapy is nearly impossible, and the symptoms of PTSD—a condition that in most cases lasts less than a year with rigorous therapy—worsen, says Dr. Stuart Gitlow, immediate past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “Psychoactive substance use will generally lead to a deteriorating course and treatment failure.”
 
The Department is holding a rule-making hearing about whether to qualify PTSD for medical marijuana use today. Stay tuned.
 
Read editorial here
 

Study: Middle School Children Who See Medical Marijuana Ads Twice as Likely to Use Marijuana

RAND Corporation researchers surveyed more than 8,000 middle-school students in 16 Southern California schools. They found that students who reported seeing any ads for medical marijuana were twice as likely to use the drug or to report plans to use it in the future. The researchers note that frequent marijuana use has increased 40 percent since 2006 as medical and recreational marijuana use have become more acceptable. Medical marijuana advertising appears on billboards, in newspapers, on TV, and on the street via medical marijuana storefronts.
 
Marijuana use during early adolescence is associated with poor school performance, neuropsychological performance deficits, and further use of other illicit drugs including heroin and cocaine, say the researchers.
 
“Given that advertising typically tells only one side of the story, prevention efforts must begin to better educate youth about how medical marijuana is used, while also emphasizing the negative effects that marijuana can have on the brain and performance,” the researchers say. Regulations similar to those that govern tobacco and alcohol may be needed to limit marijuana advertising as well, they conclude.
 
Read Science Daily summary here.  Read abstract here
 
RICO Statutes Target Colorado Marijuana Industry 

The 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law that imposes federal criminal penalties for activities that benefit a criminal enterprise. The Act also provides for civil penalties for people hurt by such enterprises. Successful civil lawsuits trigger triple penalties.
 
Neighbors filed two suits against nearby pot shops and all the businesses associated with them in February. Although neither suit has come before a judge yet, as ancillary businesses from the landlord to a bonding company guaranteeing tax payments agreed to stop doing business with Medical Marijuana of the Rockies, the pot shop was forced to shut down.
 
Safe Streets Alliance, a Washington DC crime prevention group, brought the lawsuits on behalf of the neighbors on the grounds that it is still illegal to cultivate, sell, or possess marijuana under federal law. If their legal theory works, those who participate in any aspect of the marijuana industry will be exposing themselves to significant liabilities, say Safe Street lawyers.
 
The state also is defending against two other lawsuits. The Attorneys General of Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado to stop legalization on the grounds that it is significantly increasing their law enforcement costs to prevent stoned driving and stop distribution of Colorado’s marijuana products in their states. And 10 Colorado sheriffs sued the state to end legalization because they must take an oath to uphold both state and federal law, something impossible to do given that the two laws conflict.
 
Read story here

To Our Subscribers
 
July 1 marked the first-year anniversary of The Marijuana Report e-newsletter. By far the most popular issues published last year were the February 4th issue featuring Colorado's marijuana health report. More than 24,000 readers clicked through to read it. More than 11,500 readers clicked through to read the Colorado public safety report featured in our February 11th issue. For those who missed the Colorado health report, click here (note new link); the public safety report, click here. A huge thank you to all our readers who share their copy of The Marijuana Report with others in their networks!
National Families in Action and partners, Project SAM and the Treatment Research Institute, welcome our new readers. We hope you enjoy this weekly e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with all aspects of the marijuana story. Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, and subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter The Marijuana Report to learn more.

National Families in Action is a group of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. We advocate for:
  • 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
What is our call to action?
  • Ask your leaders to establish FDA expanded access to Epidiolex® for children with epilepsy.
  • Ask your leaders to find a middle road between incarceration and legalization of addictive drugs.
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