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Here’s What Happens When You Legalize Marijuana: Pot Use Nearly Doubles . . .
 
In just three years, legalization has nearly doubled the number of Americans who currently use marijuana, from 7% in 2013 to 13% today.
 
The Gallup Poll has been asking Americans about their marijuana use since 1969, when only 4% had ever tried the drug. Today, 43% have tried it.
 
Use is highest in the west at 14%, where four states—Colorado and Washington in 2012 and Oregon and Alaska in 2014—legalized marijuana for recreational use. Three more western states—California, Arizona, and Nevada—have legalization initiatives on the November ballot.
 
Many fewer Americans in the south use marijuana regularly (6%), while in the east and midwest use is higher (9% each).
 
Only 2% of weekly churchgoers use pot regularly, compared to 14% who seldom or never attend church.
 
Other significant differences occur by age and annual income. Some 19% of 18- to 29-year-olds use pot regularly, compared to only 3% of those age 65 or older. Some 14% of those with annual incomes of less than $30,000 are current users, compared to those with higher annual incomes (9%).
 
Read 2016 Gallup Poll here.
 

. . . And Gets into the Food Chain, 
Sickening Innocents
 
People who live in legal marijuana states, medical and/or recreational, are finding that the drug is getting into the food chain and sickening unsuspecting children and adults. There are two kinds of marijuana-infused foods: 

1. Commercial Marijuana Infused Foods--When Colorado commercialized marijuana for medical use in 2009, entrepreneurs began developing lines of commercial products--cookies, candies, baked goods, and a bewildering array of other foodstuffs—that they infused with marijuana, packaged, and sold in dispensaries. 

2. Do It Yourself Recipes--When the state legalized recreational pot in 2012, the commercial products could also be bought in pot shops. In addition, The Denver Post created The Cannabist, a digital news website that reports on “the culture of cannabis.”

One aspect of that culture includes food writers who figure out how to infuse marijuana into ordinary meals and then publish recipes so you can too. 

The delicious-looking skirt steak salad pictured above, for example, is infused with canna-olive oil. The Cannabist food writer not only tells you how to make the salad, but also explains how to infuse marijuana into olive oil. Two tablespoons are all that are needed for this recipe.

The writer crows, “The only thing better that a grilled slab of red meat is a grilled slab of red meat that gets you stoned.”
 
While some might find this statement amusing, increasing episodes of marijuana overdoses are occurring among kids and grown-ups who eat foods without knowing they are infused with pot. See the following stories reporting overdoses that have occurred in just the past few weeks.
 
Read The Cannabist recipe for skirt steak salad here.
 

Marijuana Candy Sickens 19 at Quinceañera
 
A tradition in Hispanic families is a Quinceañera, a coming of age party for girls who turn 15. One held in San Francisco recently went badly wrong when 19 guests, most age 18 or younger including a 6-year-old, ate some candy, became ill, and were hospitalized.
 
Authorities suspect the candies were infused with marijuana as 12 of the children tested positive for THC. Three including a 9-year-old boy were treated in intensive care units. All were discharged a few days later.
 
The children “suffered from symptoms consistent with the effects of edible cannabis including rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, dilated pupils, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, lethargy, and confusion,” the newspaper reports.
 
The party was catered by a company in Oakland. Investigators are working to determine where the marijuana-infused candy came from. Authorities have warned people not to eat any candies remaining in gift bags they took home from the party.
 
Read the Napa Valley Register story here. See CNN video here.
 

Pot Brownies
Send Bachelorette Party to ER in Tahoe
 
A group of women attended a bachelorette party in South Lake Tahoe, California. They ate brownies they got from a ride-sharing service. A few hours later, 10 women were taken to the emergency room and 8 were admitted to the hospital.
 
“While many would have you believe marijuana is a harmless drug, those of us in the public safety arena have seen increases in medical emergencies from marijuana ingestion,” said Police Chief Brian Uhler.
 
He opposes Amendment 64, the ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana for recreational use in California.
 
“This initiative is bad for California and bad for South Lake Tahoe,” he said.
 
Read News4 story here.
 
24 People at Ohio Rap Festival Hospitalized
for Bad Reactions to THC-Laced Candy
 
“A music festival at the Ohio Dreams venue turned into a nightmare Saturday when 24 people suffered bad reactions to candy laced with THC, police said,” according to the New York Daily News.
 
The candy contained extremely high doses of THC. Someone began passing out the colorful packs of “medibles” to concertgoers.
 
By 4 p.m., attendees started getting sick. Ambulances took them to OhioHealth hospital in Mansfield. All were expected to recover.
 
A Michigan man, suspected of passing out the candies, has been arrested and charged with felony drug-trafficking.
 
Read New York Daily News story here. Read AP story here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Watch for the Hispanic version of The Marijuana Report coming August 19th, 2016. Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.
 
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About National Families in Action (NFIA)
NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy 
About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of "incarceration versus legalization" when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:
  • To inform public policy with the science of today's marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of "Big Marijuana" - and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana's medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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