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Guns for Everyone in Westminster, a gun rights group in Colorado, has filed the Colorado Campaign for Gun Rights, a ballot initiative to enable marijuana users—recreational and medical—to obtain concealed handgun permits. Current state law will not grant a permit to those who are "unlawful users of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance." While legal in Colorado, marijuana is a controlled substance and therefore illegal under federal law. The initiative needs 86,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Seven of ten drivers in Washington state have used marijuana. Almost half have driven within a few hours after use, a new survey shows. Nearly 90 percent said they did not think marijuana impaired their ability to drive safely, while 25 percent felt that driving while high made them better drivers. Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, says, “It’s extremely troubling to me that so many marijuana users think that driving while high is not a problem. It’s a serious problem.” More than 1,000 people in the state died from impaired driving between 2009 and 2013.
The Heritage Foundation and Smart Approaches to Marijuana co-hosted Marijuana Policy: Separating Scientific Facts from Popular Fiction. (View here.) Distinguished experts discussed the pot business, the science behind today's marijuana, and why Americans should oppose legalization. Speakers included U.S. Congressmen Andy Harris and John Fleming; former drug czar Barry McCaffrey; Stuart Gitlow, MD, president, American Society of Addiction Medicine; Kevin Gray, MD, American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry; and Krishna Upadhya, MD, Johns Hopkins University, among others.
Denver Public School arrests for pot-related incidents have spiked nearly 40 percent since pot shops opened for business January 1, 2014. During the 2013-2014 school year, there were 154 marijuana arrests compared to 111 arrests the year before. Some 100 recreational marijuana stores are located in Denver; a few dozen more are scattered throughout the rest of the state. Denver middle school marijuana arrests doubled from 17 last year to 34 this year. There were even five marijuana-related arrests at Denver's Public Elementary Schools, reports Colorado Public Radio.
Medical marijuana may worsen PTSD symptoms, increase violence new research warns. A large observational study of more than 2000 patients admitted to specialized Veterans Administration PTSD treatment programs between 1991 and 2011 shows that those who never used marijuana had significantly lower symptom severity than those who continued or started using marijuana use after treatment. Veterans who used marijuana when admitted but quit after discharge also had significantly lower levels of PTSD symptoms. Also, the highest levels of violent behaviors occurred in those who began using marijuana after discharge.
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Note: There will be no E-Highlights December 24, 2014. Publication will resume December 31, 2014.
E-Highlights features important news coverage posted to 
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