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Opioid deaths INCREASE 23 percent
in medical marijuana states 

A new study ends what has become a mantra endlessly repeated by legalization proponents and the marijuana industry: states must legalize marijuana for medical use because those that have done so have fewer deaths from opioid overdoses.

It turns out the mantra is not true.

The study that started it was conducted in 2014 by a group of researchers who cautioned that their study was correlational, not causal. Few listened.

The new study used the same methodology as the earlier study and got the same results for the years it covered – 1999 to 2010. But this second study added seven more years of data, during which time 32 more states passed medical marijuana laws. 

“Not only did findings from the original analysis not hold over the longer period, but the association between state medical cannabis laws and opioid overdose mortality reversed direction from -21% to +23%,” say the researchers. 

They conclude that research into therapeutic potential of marijuana should continue, “but the claim that enacting medical cannabis laws will reduce opioid overdose death should be met with skepticism.”

Or, as lead author of the study, Chelsea Shover, told The Atlantic, “If you believed the results of the first study, it’s hard to argue that you don’t believe the results of the second one, since the methods are the same.” 

Many states, including Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania, have listened to advocates and the marijuana industry instead of scientists and added opioid use disorder as a condition for medical marijuana use. If legislators continue to ignore the scientific evidence in light of this study, it won’t be long before families who lose loved ones to opioid deaths turn from hopelessness to rage and seek repeal of laws based on greed rather than public health.

Read the PNAS study here.
Read “The Misplaced Optimism in Legal Pot” in The Atlantic here.
Read “A cautionary tale about medical marijuana and opioid deaths” in the Washington Post here.

Cannabis fans everywhere may get their wish as Oreo-maker Mondelez eyes CBD-infused snacks

After last month’s FDA hearing on products containing marijuana and marijuana components revealed that CBD can be toxic to the liver, interfere with prescription medications, and produce a drug effect, Oreo-maker Mondelez may want to end exploring whether to add CBD to some of its products. 

In an interview with CNBC, Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said his company is “getting ready, but we obviously want to stay within what is legal and play it the right way,” adding quickly that  consumers would not get CBD-infused Oreos because CBD “might not be a fit for the company’s family brands.”

That made us wonder which of the company’s products are nonfamily brands. Cadbury candies? Sour Patch Kids? Philadelphia Cream Cheese? Chips Ahoy Cookies?

Already jumping into the CBD mania is Kroger, which announced Monday that it will carry CBD products in 92 of its 120 stores in Michigan and an untold number of Kroger stores in 17 other states. Products Kroger is adding to its shelves this week include CBD lotions, balms, oils and creams.

Read CNBC story here.
Read Michigan Live story here.
See complete line of Mondelez brands here.

Children’s marijuana ingestions
surge in legal marijuana states 

Researchers examined all marijuana ingestions by children under age 6 in the National Poison Data System between January 1, 2000 and July 31, 2017. 

Through 2008, there were no changes in such ingestions among the study population. But following 2009, a mean annual increase of 27 percent per year occurred. 

By 2017, 742 children under age 6 (2.98 per 100,000) experienced marijuana ingestions that year. More than 70 percent occurred in states that had legalized marijuana. 

Slightly more than half (54.6 percent) received hospital care, and 7.5 percent of those required critical care. Problems experienced by the children ranged from drowsiness and confusion to seizures and coma. 

"If you're a two-year-old you don't read,” says Henry Spiller, one of the researchers. “You don't read labels, warning labels, this-has-this—it just looks like candy or brownies and they take it." He advises parents to lock up any marijuana in the home.

Read WOSO Radio story here.
Read Pediatric Emergency Care study abstract here.
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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
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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