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Graphic images are coming
to cigarette packaging

As of June 2021, the top half of the front and back of a cigarette pack will display stark images of the harms smoking can cause, like the one above. The US Food and Drug Administration has finalized 11 required warnings (see the others below) based on the relevant scientific literature and other findings.

Studies show that current warnings on packages and in ads are virtually invisible because they are small and lack an image, notes Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. As a result, smokers don’t understand how harmful smoking can be to their health.

The new warnings must also appear on 20 percent of the top of cigarette ads.

It took 160 years to show Americans what smoking does to health. Let’s hope it doesn’t take that long to show the public the harms marijuana can do to health.
Read JAMA Network article here.
Read FDA statement titled Cigarette Health Warnings here.


Early exposure to cannabis boosts young brain’s sensitivity to cocaine, rodent study suggests
A team of distinguished researchers has identified key molecular and epigenetic changes that a synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC brings about in adolescents but not adults. These unique findings show how the use of marijuana during adolescence may enhance their first use of cocaine and lead to continued use among vulnerable individuals.
The husband and wife team of Drs. Eric and Denise Kandel of Columbia University and Dr. Philippe Melas, who was an associate research scientist in Dr. Eric Kandel’s lab, partnered with researchers from the University of Cagliari in Italy to conduct this study in rats. Dr. Denise Kandel, PhD, is a professor of sociomedical sciences in psychiatry at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Eric Kandel, MD, co-directs Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, is Kavli professor of brain science at Columbia, and senior investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Melas, PhD, is now a junior researcher in the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The Italian researchers are in the University of Cagliari’s department of biomedical sciences.
“Our findings suggest that exposure to psychoactive cannabinoids during adolescence primes the animals’ prefrontal cortex, so that it responds differently to cocaine compared to animals who had been given cocaine without having previously experienced cannabis,” said Dr. Melas.
“This study suggests that teenagers who use cannabis may have a favorable initial reaction to cocaine, which will increase their likelihood of engaging in its repeated use so that they eventually become addicted, especially if they carry additional environmental or genetic vulnerabilities,” said Dr. Denise Kandel.
The study was funded by a number of US and international agencies and foundations.
Read Columbia University’s summary of this study here.
Read Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study (full text) here.
Medical cannabis in asthmatic patients
This review of studies on the effects of marijuana on asthmatic patients finds that marijuana has a bronchodilator effect on the airways and may have an anti-inflammatory effect on asthma patients.

However, harmful effects of smoking the drug include airway irritation and chronic bronchitis symptoms.
The researchers note that most of the studies involved the use of recreational rather than medical marijuana.
They conclude that marijuana has some beneficial but many harmful effects on the lungs and call for more research.
Read full text of this review in the Israeli journal IMAJ here.

Denver auditor says city is not
collecting enough pot taxes
The Denver Audit Services Division conducted an audit of the city treasury’s tax collection process and found room for improvement. Specifically, the treasury unit: 
  • Does not use quality information which would identify marijuana businesses at highest risk of under-reporting
  • Does not use or retain all relevant information when auditing marijuana businesses
  • Does not accurately measure how efficiently it deploys city resources
  • Has an ineffective process to identify unlicensed businesses
  • May lead to a loss of revenue for the city due to its lack of verification of state share-back payments. 
After analyzing deficiencies, the report makes a series of recommendations to improve the process and bring in more money for the city.
Read the report here.

Magic soap financing magic mushrooms
ballot initiative in Oregon
David Bronner, the cosmic engagement officer of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, pictured above, has issued an announcement that his company is donating up to $50,000 to match donations from others for a ballot initiative in Oregon. The initiative would legalize psilocybin, a drug listed on the federal Controlled Substances Act.
The measure, Initiative Petition 34, needs money to collect 16,000 more signatures to place it on the state’s November ballot and now must overcome COVID-19 social distancing requirements to get them.
Declaring illicit drugs “medical” and persuading voters to pass initiatives to legalize them is the new way to market drugs to doctors and patients, bypassing the FDA process that requires drug makers to conduct clinical trials to prove safety and efficacy. Without FDA approval, we can’t know if a drug will do more harm than good.
We are learning how foolish it is to ignore FDA protocols when even our president hawks an un-FDA-approved remedy as a potential “cure” for COVID-19.
IP 34 is straight out of the marijuana legalization playbook. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps contributed nearly half a million dollars to at least three successful pot legalization campaigns in Colorado, Washington, and California. Now its on to magic mushrooms. What illicit drug will be next?
Read Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap announcement here.


Parenting just got a lot harder
with legal marijuana

Are you in yet? Take the "I'm in" pledge to join Parent Movement 2.0! To sign, click here.
What should I know about marijuana?

Hear what scientists want you to know on any of National Families in Action’s 25 podcasts here.
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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.
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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. Editor, Nicole Carter. Proofreading, Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus. IT Consultant, Lee Clontz. Social Media Coordinators, Margarita Eberline, Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, and Nicole Carter.
National Families in Action Board of Directors
William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board, Coldwell Banker Atlanta. Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta. Richard L. Brown, Secretary, Attorney (Ret.), Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. 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. LLP, Atlanta. Debbie Berndt, Director, Parent Movement 2.0, Walnut Creek, California. Margarita Eberline, Director, Strategy Director, Ultim Marketing, 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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