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This week’s podcast: Michael Kuhar, PhD - Understanding marijuana studies

Ever wonder how two marijuana (or any) studies can have completely opposite results? Dr. Michael Kuhar explains it’s all part of the scientific process. This podcast is one of my personal favorites because it answers a question people ask all the time. 

Key points include:
  • There are different kinds of studies. 
  • What are open studies?
  • Why are control groups important?
  • What is a double-blind study?
  • What is the difference between correlation and causation?
  • Why findings from different studies can be contradictory.
  • Why replication is important.
Listen to Dr. Kuhar’s podcast here.

Up Next Week? Ryan Vandrey, PhD – Can states regulate medical marijuana like FDA does?

Atlanta physician describes
what’s happening to some teens who vape

Georgia State Representative Sharon Cooper, who chairs the Georgia House Health and Human Services Committee, held a hearing yesterday on the vaping crisis. One of the witnesses who testified is Justine Henao, MD, who testified in behalf of both the Atlanta Medical Association and the Georgia Medical Association. She is the mother of three children. 

She tells the story of a 17-year-old teen her colleagues treated, who had been “JUULing” for six months. He woke up one morning with a severe pain in his chest. It turned out his left lung had collapsed. Treatment included inserting a tube into his chest to remove air that had leaked from his lung into his chest cavity, pushed against his lung, and collapsed it. He was hospitalized for several days and released, but soon afterwards woke up with a similar pain in his chest. His other lung had collapsed. She said her hospital has treated four collapsed lungs in teens in just the last two months.

Dr. Henao pleaded with the committee to ban flavored e-cigarettes. “We’ve been talking about the latest vaping crisis, but let’s not forget the collapsed lungs, the nicotine addiction, the brain rewiring, exacerbations of asthma increasing all over this nation – and popcorn lung.

Her riveting testimony can be seen in the committee video at minute 51:13.

Watch it here.

JUUL knowingly sold tainted nicotine pods,
former executive says

“A former top executive of JUUL is alleging that the e-cigarette giant sold at least one million contaminated mint-flavored nicotine pods — and refused to recall them when told about the problem in March,” the New York Times reported this week.

Former senior vice president for global finance, Siddharth Breja, filed a lawsuit accusing the company of firing him last March after he learned that 250,000 JUUL Mint Refill Kits – the equivalent of one million flavor pods – were contaminated but shipped anyway and retailers were selling them. He said JUUL did not recall the pods, but he was told to charge the supplier $7 million so that JUUL could recover from the contaminated batches of flavored pods. Mr. Breja was fired a week later. 

He said then-CEO Kevin Burns commented at a company meeting in February, “Half of our customers are drunk and vaping” and wouldn’t “notice the quality of our pods.”

Burns denies he said this. Some 50 lawsuits are currently pending against JUUL.

Read New York Times story here.

1,888 lung injury cases, 37 deaths

The CDC update of severe lung injury cases last Thursday says as of October 29, 1,888 lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use have been reported from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and one US territory. A total of 37 deaths in 24 states have been reported as of that date as well.

CDC has information about what substances were used by 867 patients. About 86 percent reported using THC, 34 percent exclusively. About 64 percent reported using nicotine, 11 percent exclusively.

Read CDC Update here.

In random mold tests at 25 Denver dispensaries,
80 percent fail

The Denver Department of Health and Environment announced last August that it would be randomly testing levels of yeast and mold in marijuana sold in Denver dispensaries over the next several months. 

Denver’s alternative newspaper, Westword, reports it obtained and analyzed department reports of 25 dispensaries which found an 80 percent failure rate.

Read Westword story here.
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Looking for a past issue of The Marijuana Report?
  Find it here.

Did you know
that in addition to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter, National Families in Action also publishes The Marijuana Report website? There you can find summaries of (and access to) scientific marijuana studies, the growth of the commercial marijuana industry, and what families and communities are doing to restrain it. Begin at our Welcome Page to access all the resources The Marijuana Report website offers.
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.

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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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