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Marijuana edibles may post special risks
A new study indicates that marijuana edibles – marijuana infused gummy bears, cookies, candies, and other food products – may be more potent and potentially more dangerous than smoking or vaping pot. However, smoking or vaping can also cause a different set of problems.
The study analyzed thousands of marijuana-triggered emergency room visits to Denver-area hospitals and found edibles contributed to a disproportionate number of problems. Edibles were also more likely to cause severe intoxication, acute psychiatric symptoms in people with no history of such illnesses, and cardiovascular problems.
On the other hand, some pot smokers tend to have gastrointestinal problems like severe cramping and vomiting known as hyperemesis syndrome.
The study finds that although edibles accounted for less than one percent of the state’s total marijuana sales between 2014 and 2016, they accounted for about 10 percent of the marijuana visits to the UC Health University of Colorado Hospital Emergency Department.
Read New York Times story here. Read Annals of Internal Medicine study abstract here.

Surge in cannabis use among youth
preceded legalization in Canada
In Canada, the discussion of legalization and the presence of legal marijuana for medical use was enough to raise marijuana use among high-school students before the nation legalized recreational use, according to a new study.
Some 230,000 questionnaires filled out by students show nearly 10 percent used the drug at least once a week in 2017-2018 and 18 percent used it at least once in the past year, compared to 9 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in 2014-2015.
“With medicinal use more widespread and talk of total legalization starting, we saw a shift in public perception starting around 2014. Before that, youth cannabis use was declining. These changing social norms may have contributed to rising youth use,” says Alex Zuckermann, lead study author and a post-doctoral fellow with the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Read University of Waterloo press release about the study here. Read British Medical Journal study here.

Marijuana as a cure for opioid use?
Nation’s top drug scientist says she’s skeptical
Nora D. Volkow, MD, administrator of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the scientist who pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs, says there is no evidence that marijuana weans people from opioid addiction. Further, she is concerned that promoting such treatment may deny people a chance at recovery.
There are proven treatments that work, she says, such as buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. NIDA has a few studies underway to evaluate marijuana components for opioid addiction, but thus far scientific evidence does not support claims for marijuana as an effective treatment.
“I’m not saying it’s not possible,” Volkow says. “Like anything else, we do science in order to determine and provide the evidence of whether it’s effective of not.”
Read or see video by USA Today here.

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.
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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

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Partner (Ret.), Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta.

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Robert Margolis, PhD, Director
Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia.

Shannon Murphy, MD FAAP, Director
Birmingham, Alabama 
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Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.)
United Parcel Service, Atlanta.
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