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Marijuana and Cannabinoids:
A Neuroscience Research Summit
On March 22-23, 2016, five National Institutes of Health agencies sponsored a two-day summit to explore the science of marijuana and its cannabinoids. Nora Volkow, MD, pictured above, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, welcomed participants to the symposium. The four other agencies that co-sponsored the summit were the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Researchers were asked to discuss the complex science in their respective fields and to conclude their lectures with two slides: 1) what do we know about that field and 2) what do we still need to know about that field? Future issues of The Marijuana Report will present this information.
Fields covered at the summit were:
  • Understanding the Endocannabinoid System
  • Brain Development and Function
  • Psychosis, Addiction, and Alcohol Interactions
  • Therapeutic Potential: Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Psychomotor Performance and Detection
  • Therapeutic Potential: Pain and PTSD/Anxiety
  • Policy Research: Challenges and Future Directions
Readers may view the entire summit here. Dr. Volkow’s welcome, in which she summarizes the goals of the meeting, are contained in the first eight minutes.
New Report: How Georgia Has Avoided Commercial Medical Marijuana
National Families in Action has issued a new report that lays out how a coalition of drug prevention groups persuaded legislators to reject a medical marijuana bill that was not evidence-based.
Read report here.
Congressional Hearing:
Protecting the Public from the Impact of
State Recreational Marijuana Legalization
Senator Charles Grassley and Senator Dianne Feinstein held a hearing yesterday to examine whether the U.S. Justice Department is doing its job in enforcing federal law. The hearing resulted from a scathing Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the answer is no.
View Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing here.

Read GAO report, State Marijuana Legalization: DOJ Should Document Its Approach to Monitoring the Effects of Legalization, here.
A Day in the Lives of Young
Sacramento Medical Marijuana Patients
Young people with a videocam show how they “do dabs” all day—in their apartment, in their car, before work, during lunch break, and all afternoon after being sent home from work, smoking a blunt while driving.
None can suck dab vapors into their lungs without persistent, uncontrollable coughing as they try to breathe afterwards. Throughout the video, they demonstrate an array of medical marijuana products they have purchased from dispensaries in California, a state that has legalized medical, but not recreational, marijuana.
Warning: X-rated language. See video here.
In Denver, a Growing Number of
Marijuana Shops are Close to Schools
An analysis of city data by The Denver Post finds that more than two dozen schools are located less than 1,000 feet from a medical or recreational pot shop. The city is saturated with pot shops and officials are considering ways to reduce the saturation.
Read story here.
Marijuana Businesses Should Be
Banned in Pueblo County, New Petition Says
In a first for Colorado, citizens have filed a ballot initiative in Pueblo County to remove all marijuana businesses within county borders. The petition calls for an end to licensing any new marijuana commerce as of November 8, 2016, and closing all existing marijuana businesses by 2018.
Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use in 2000, legalized commercial medical marijuana in 2009, and legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, effective January 2014. While 75 percent of the state’s local jurisdictions have banned marijuana businesses from starting up within their borders, this is the first effort to repeal marijuana businesses that residents say have saturated their county.
Read 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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