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In our 9th podcast, released today, Ryan Vandrey, PhD, says high THC marijuana CAN be obtained for research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and from Canada.
Dr. Ryan Vandrey, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of National Families in Action’s Science Advisory Board, explains that researchers being unable to obtain research-grade marijuana with today’s THC levels is an old story.
While journalists continue to report this, Dr. Vandrey says “the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in particular, I feel, has been very responsive to our (researchers') needs to get very high concentrations of THC, to get high CBD variants of cannabis, and more recently to get cannabis extracts, so the really high-potency extracts are now available to us as well.” Despite continuous reports in the media that sing this old song, “that record is broken and needs to get thrown out now,” he adds.
Also, he says, researchers can import high THC marijuana from Canada since that nation legalized the drug recently and can legally export it to other countries.
Dr. Vandrey explains the endocannabinoid system that is in our bodies and how marijuana and its components act on that system and change it with frequent, chronic  use. He also describes the difference between potency and dose.
To learn more from scientists who study marijuana, listen to Dr. Vandrey’s podcast titled, “What Does Marijuana Do to My Brain? here.

Why Trump Administration plans
to clear market of flavored e-cigarettes
“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
Driving the concern is the rapid rise of e-cigarette use by high school and even middle school students, compared to the dramatic decline in cigarette use by these age groups. Preliminary data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show that youth use of cigarettes has decreased from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 5.8 percent in 2019, while e-cigarette use skyrocketed from 1.5 percent in 2011 to an astonishing 27.5 percent in 2019. A single e-cigarette can contain as much nicotine as a pack of combustible cigarettes.
The rapid rise of e-cigarette use among teens is attributable to flavors added to disguise the taste of nicotine. The chart below shows which flavors teens report in the survey are their favorites. Both graphics appear in last week’s FDA News Release.
Other news coming in this week: 
  • Yesterday, the Washington Post reported a seventh death from vaping-related lung disease occurred in California. A 40-year-old man died of “complications related to the use of e-cigarettes,” health officials said. His family reported that he vaped nicotine e-cigarettes and THC vape products. Read Washington Post story here.
  • Massachusetts health officials report that as of September 16, they had identified 38 vaping-related lung illnesses, up from 10. At least seven involved teenagers. The CDC revised its nationwide tally, from 450 possible cases of illness to 380 probable cases in 36 states. Read Boston Globe story here.
  • What may be the first case of severe illness related to vaping THC was reported two years ago in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society described here.
  • Boston doctors say the vaping crisis is exploding now for three reasons: “toxic chemicals in the supply chain of vape products; clinicians previously only asked patients about cigarettes, not vaping; and more people are vaping now.” Read Boston Globe story here.
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order designed to crack down on both the nicotine and marijuana vaping industries. Read Marijuana Business Daily story here
Read FDA News Release here.
Georgia officials find
spiked CBD products sold in state
An Associated Press investigation finds that synthetic marijuana is sometimes substituted for CBD in so-called “CBD Oils.” High-school students in Savannah, Georgia began passing out after puffing vapes last year.
An AP reporter purchased five vape products at a store in nearby Columbia, SC. Lab tests showed three contained synthetic marijuana. The practice is known as “spiking,” and has sent dozens of people nationwide to emergency rooms.
The Columbia news gathering was part of a much larger investigation AP carried out. Reporters bought 29 vape pods online and in shops in California, Florida, Maryland, and South Carolina. An additional pod was provided by a college student who was admitted to an emergency room after puffing the pod.
Of the 30 vapes AP paid to test, 10 contained synthetic marijuana. In addition, eight contained no detectable level of CBD, 14 had less that 0.3 percent CBD by weight, and six ranged between 1.07 percent and 8.87 percent CBD by weight.
Read WTOC article here. Read WSB article here.

Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area releases sixth report on the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado
Here are just three of many graphs in Volume Six of the HIDTA report on the impact of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Colorado.
The first graph shows that in 2009, when the state first commercialized marijuana, 787 people arrested for impaired driving tested positive for marijuana. That number escalated to 3,755 in 2018.
In 2000, the year Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use, some 2,541 people were hospitalized for reasons related to marijuana. By 2017, that number had swollen to 16,614 people, six- and one-half times greater in 17 years.
In 2018, tax revenue from medical and recreational marijuana amounted to less than one percent of the state’s annual budget. (A report published last year by the Centennial Institute of Colorado Christian University found, “For every dollar gained in tax revenue, Colorado taxpayers paid $4.50 to mitigate the effects of marijuana legalization.”)
Read the full HIDTA report 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
Nicole Carter
Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus
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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