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The marijuana industry is copying Big Tobacco, writes Samuel Wilkinson, Yale School of Medicine. Few people smoked cigarettes in the late 1800s. By the 1950s, nearly half of US adults did. The tobacco industry changed cigarettes' chemistry to make them more addictive, used doctors to market them, and lobbied to protect profits from regulations to curb consumption. The marijuana industry is doing the same by increasing THC levels, marketing marijuana as "medical" with little scientific evidence to support such use, and challenging attempts to restrict advertising in court, he says.  
The American Epilepsy Society annual meeting presents several studies about cannabidiol. Evidence from in vitro studies (living cells in dishes or test tubes) and in vivo studies (in living animals) support further clinical research (in humans) of Epidiolex. Studies of artisanal cannabidiol (that states legalized but lack pre-clinical research) show a need for caution. One found about 30% of parents said artisanal CBD reduced their children’s seizures by 50% but EEGs confirmed change in only two. Some 47% suffered negative side effects, with 21.5% experiencing more seizures and 10% having severe side-effects.
Arizona's 2014 drug use survey shows most drug use is down among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students, but marijuana use is up. Use in some counties is higher than state averages. Statewide, 32% of 10th graders and 45% of 12 graders had used marijuana, but in Mohave County, 39% of 10th graders and 52% of 12th graders, as well as 15% of 8th graders, used the drug. Most said they obtained it from a friend, but an increasing number got the drug from someone with a medical marijuana card. Legalizing pot contributes to youth perceptions that smoking pot is safe and socially acceptable, comments one Arizona activist.
Very low doses of THC may halt Alzheimer's disease finds a new study from the University of South Florida. But newspaper headlines scream MARIJUANA MAY HALT ALZHEIMER'S, creating two problems. Researchers are talking about THC, not marijuana. Worse, this is the first of many steps scientists must take. This was an in vitro experiment with living cells in a test tube. Further tests in vivo (animals) and then clinical trials in humans must be conducted to see if this finding holds. The researchers say people with Alzheimer's should not use marijuana, but their findings may lead to the development of related compounds that are safe, legal, and effective for treating the disease.
The world is watching Washington's legalization experiment and the state is screwing it up, say the editors of the Seattle Times. Recreational legalization is undermined, they say, by a wildly unregulated medical marijuana industry whose stores outnumber Starbucks in Seattle. The editors visited three dispensaries. Two did not ask for authorization and sold them $20 worth of marijuana. One turned them away. Since November 2013, the city has banned new dispensaries from opening but 60 more have been licensed since then.
While the data isn't in yet, the Spokesman Review notes recreational marijuana is having unintended consequences. Neighbors of growing areas complain of the smell, increased traffic, and excessive lights from security setups. Washington counties and cities are banning marijuana businesses. Some 2,700 applications to grow marijuana are slow to be processed. The first went in July to a medial marijuana dispensary owner whose sales are so low he is looking to sell his store. Current store owners are offering discounts to attract customers. One county has 61 growers but only 11 reported sales in November, totaling $300,000.
Bermuda Does It Right--Bermuda's House of Assembly legalized medical marijuana a few days ago, but what they legalized are drugs other countries, including the US, have approved as safe and effective: Marinol and Cesamet. Because FDA has approved them, US doctors can prescribe these drugs to patients in all 50 states. Bermuda approved a third drug, Sativex, which is in Phase 3 clinical trials here and is expected to be approved early next year.
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E-Highlights features important news coverage posted to The Marijuana Report.Org each week. It is sponsored by National Families in Action, Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), and the Treatment Research Institute. Check The Marijuana Report.Org often to keep up with daily marijuana news. Subscribe to E-Highlights. Like us on Facebook and Twitter.
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