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DUI arrests increase nearly 160 percent in Colorado’s El Paso County
 
El Paso County had 81 traffic deaths last year, the largest number of such deaths in Colorado. The next largest number occurred in Weld County (63 deaths) and Denver County (60 deaths).
 
El Paso sheriffs set up a Traffic Enforcement Unit to pull drivers over and test them for drugs and alcohol. Between April 1 and May 17 – in less than seven weeks – deputies arrested 604 impaired drivers compared to 360 the same time last year.
 
Statewide, more than 1,700 impaired drivers were removed from the roads in slightly more than five weeks – between April 5 and May 13 – a decrease from last year during the same time when 1,932 impaired drivers were apprehended, showing that the Traffic Enforcement Unit is working.
 
Read the Gazette story here.

 
Legal marijuana reduces chronic pain,
but increases injuries and car accidents
 
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco reviewed more than 28 million hospital records, which included 16 million hospitalizations, in three states. The data come from the 2010-2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The states were Colorado, New York, and Oklahoma.
 
The study finds that after legalization in Colorado, the state experienced a 10 percent increase in auto crashes, a 5 percent increase in alcohol abuse, and a 5 percent increase in overdose injuries that resulted in injury or death. At the same time, Colorado experienced a 5 percent decrease in hospital admissions for chronic pain.
 
Read UCSF account of the study here. Read British Medical Journal Open study here.

 
 Statement of Concern

Pediatricians, mental health and addiction clinicians, and scientists representing major medical centers, medical schools, and health-related organizations in Massachusetts issued a statement of concern over how the state is regulating legal marijuana. The drug is being regulated as if it were an “ordinary commodity” rather than following a public health framework, they say, and regulatory failure is the likely result.
 
The statement summarizes key negative effects of THC based on current science, explains how current regulations are counterproductive to health equity goals, and presents 6 science-informed recommendations that prioritize public health and prevention among youth and young adult access and exposure.
 
Read Statement of Concern here.

CBD may reduce drug cravings in people
with heroin addiction, small study finds
 
Americans will be hearing a lot about a new preliminary study that finds CBD may reduce drug cravings in people with heroin addiction. Many accounts will attribute the findings to “CBD” alone. Some may describe the drug used in the study as “pharmaceutical-grade CBD.” But few will differentiate the CBD products that are sweeping the nation from the drug that was used in this study, Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved version of CBD to date.
 
In fact, lead researcher Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, stresses that “self-treatment with CBD for opioid use disorder is not advised at this time and might even be harmful given that non-prescription forms of CBD are not regulated. ‘A lot of CBD that is available to the public. . .[has] inaccurate information as to what is actually in the container and may even be contaminated with toxins,’ she told Live Science.”
 
The study she led involved 42 people with heroin-use disorder who were trying to abstain from using the drug. They were randomly assigned to a placebo group, a group that received 400 mg of Epidiolex daily, or a group that received 800 mg of Epidiolex daily. All three groups were dosed for 3 days. Neither the researchers nor the subjects knew who was getting what.
 
After subjects visited a laboratory to receive their doses, they were exposed to drug-related cues. All experienced cravings for heroin, but cravings were significantly reduced in those who received Epidiolex. They also experienced reductions in anxiety and physiological measures such as heart rate and the “stress hormone” cortisol compared to the placebo group.
 
The researchers call for more research to study whether Epidiolex can be used as an adjunct with current medications that treat opioid addiction such as methadone and buprenorphine.
 
Read LiveScience summary here
Read American Journal of Psychiatry abstract here.


Disclosure: The executive editor holds stock in GW Pharmaceuticals.
FDA: Supporting a science-based framework
for cannabidiol (CBD)
in food and dietary supplements
 
In remarks to the Consumer Health Products Association Regulatory, Scientific, and Quality Conference, FDA Chief of Staff Lauren Silvis spoke about regulating CBD. She notes that the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, making it legal to grow marijuana plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. However, the Farm Bill preserved all FDA authorities to regulate all human drugs, dietary supplements, conventional foods, animal foods and drugs, and cosmetics.
 
FDA is holding a public hearing from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 31 to obtain additional scientific data and other information related to cannabis and cannabis-regulated compounds. The hearing and the opening of a document for public comment will help FDA develop a path forward while protecting the public health.
 
Read chief of staff’s remarks on CBD (fourth section) here.
Read FDA regulation of cannabis and cannabis-derived products: Q & A here.
To view the FDA public hearing on May 31, click here.
To submit comments to FDA until July 2, click 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).

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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor
Sue Rusche
Editor
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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