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In our 6th podcast, Mahmoud ElSohly, PhD, describes the responsibilities
of growing research-grade marijuana
Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly knows a thing or two about growing pharmaceutical-grade marijuana. A professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Mississippi, he also runs the Marijuana Project, which grows marijuana for research throughout the world.  
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finances a large share of the world’s research on drugs. It contracts with the Marijuana Project to supply pure, standardized plant material and extracted components for marijuana research. This work ensures that research subjects receive contaminant-free material that can deliver a consistent dose. Dr. ElSohly explains what it takes to produce research-grade material.
The Marijuana Project also tracks the potency of illicit marijuana from seized samples. This tracking lets us know how potency has increased over past decades, from 2 to 3 percent THC in the 60s to 12 percent in 2014. He describes a paper by NIDA director Nora Volkow, MD, who notes that the rise in marijuana-related ER admissions parallels the rise in marijuana potency.
Access Dr. ElSohly’s What is Involved in Growing Research-Grade Marijuana? podcast here
Podcasts released to date may be accessed here as well: 
6-What is Involved in Growing Research-Grade Marijuana? Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly
5-Safe and Effective Medicines, Dr. Marilyn Huestis
4-Medical Marijuana, Dr. Michael Kuhar
3-How Other Nations Ensure Road Safety, Dr. Marilyn Huestis,
2- State Regulations to Ensure Road Safety, Dr. Marilyn Huestis
1-Marijuana and Driving, Dr. Marilyn Huestis
They also may be downloaded from the Google and Apple stores and other popular podcast hosts. Look for the series “What Do I Need to Know about Marijuana”?

NEW - 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Marijuana use continues to climb
Those who oppose marijuana legalization predicted that a commercial marijuana industry would drive marijuana use up in order to increase profits. Six years after the first two states legalized marijuana for recreational use, that prediction is proving true.
When Colorado and Washington fully legalized marijuana in 2012, 31.5 million Americans ages 12 or older had used the drug in the past year. By 2018, that number ballooned to 43.5 million, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released yesterday.
Moreover, 27.7 million Americans used marijuana in the past month in 2018, up from 18.9 million 2012.
And 8.7 million used the drug daily or near daily, up from 5.4 million in 2012.
Legalization proponents say use among 12- to 17-year-olds is lower than it was in 2012. While true, that claim misses the point that adolescent use started ticking up from 3,676,000 in 2016 to 3,806,000 in 2017 and 3,823,000 in 2018.
Perception of harm continues to drop among all age groups, another indicator that the uptick of use among adolescents is likely to continue.
In 2018, 1,339,000 adolescents used marijuana for the first time, compared to 1.2 million new users ages 18-25, and 525,000 new initiates ages 26 and older.
About the only good news in the new survey is psychotherapeutic drug use, including pain relievers, is beginning to decline, and marijuana use among pregnant women dropped by half since last year.
Access the 2018 survey here.
CDC launches probe into surge
of severe lung disease cases linked to vaping
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory Saturday that it is consulting with five state health departments to investigate a cluster of severe lung diseases associated with e-cigarette use among adolescents and young adults. The states involved are Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Indiana, and Minnesota.
A total of 94 cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping in 14 states, including 30 cases in Wisconsin, have been reported from June 28 to August 15, 2019. CDC is working with them all to determine the cause of these illnesses.
Read CDC Media Statement here
Read New York State Public Health Department bulletin here.

Marijuana-related poison control calls
for Massachusetts kids doubled after medical pot legalized
Researchers analyzed data from the Regional Poison Control Center in Massachusetts, four years before and four years after the state passed a medical marijuana law, but before recreational legalization went into effect.
They found there were 218 calls related to marijuana exposure, primarily marijuana-infused edibles and marijuana concentrates, among children ages 0 to 19. Of these, 98 concerned marijuana alone, while 120 calls concerned marijuana combined with other drugs.
The number of marijuana-only calls doubled from 29 four years before medical marijuana was legal to 69 calls four years after Massachusetts legalized the drug for medical use. States that have not changed their marijuana laws experienced no such phenomena.
The researchers conclude that more emphasis must be placed on preventing accidental marijuana exposures among younger children and on preventing older children from being able to access both edibles and concentrates.
Read Science Daily article here. Read JAMA Network article here.

Marijuana exposures triple among
children ages 0-5 in seven months
since recreational pot shops open

In the seven months since Massachusetts recreational marijuana dispensaries opened for business, calls to the state’s Regional Poison Control Center about children ages 0 to 5 ingesting marijuana edibles have tripled, compared to a year earlier. The calls accounted for more than 25 percent of all marijuana-related calls to the center during that time. Most of what they are eating are marijuana-infused chocolates and gummy candies like those shown above.
Hospitals often have to put such young marijuana-exposed children in intensive care with a cardiac monitor because they are so lethargic. Poison control calls are a small part of the picture. When parents are unable to wake their children up or find them having seizures, they often call 911 directly or rush their kids to the ER.
The state’s efforts to require child-resistant packaging with neutral colors and no cartoon characters that appeal to kids do not seem to be working as the number of child marijuana exposures are increasing. This has led some to question whether such cases should be reported to the Department of Children and Families, which investigates suspected cases of abuse and neglect.
Read the Boston Globe story here.
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 Report?
  Find it here.

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
Nicole Carter
Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus
IT Consultant
Lee Clontz
Social Media Coordinator
Margarita Eberline
We are grateful to our Board of Directors and Senior Adviser for their support of National Families in Action, which produces The Marijuana Report website and e-newsletter.
National Families in Action
Board of Directors

William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board
Realtor Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Georgia Properties, Atlanta.
Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta.
Richard L. Brown, Secretary
Attorney (Ret.), Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association 
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
William H. Avery, Director
Partner (Ret.), Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta.
Margarita Eberline, Director
Strategy Director, 360 Marketing Plus, 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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