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Arizona Says No to Recreational Marijuana Legalization; Four Other States Say Yes
 
Voters in five states had initiatives on yesterday’s ballots to legalize marijuana for recreational use and in four more states to legalize pot as medicine. Here’s the outcome:

Legalized Marijuana for Recreational Use
   
Arizona

Defeated. Read story here
California
Approved. Read story here.
Maine
Approved. Read story here.
Massachusetts
Approved. Read story here
Nevada
Approved. Read story here.

Legalized Marijuana for Medical Use

Arkansas

Approved. Read story here.
Florida
Approved. Read story here.
Montana
Approved. Read story here.
North Dakota
Approved. Read story here.

Speaking about the recreational votes, Kevin Sabet, co-founder of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), who also served as a White House drug adviser, said, “Tonight's results were disappointing overall, but given how we were outspent by 15 to 1, not wholly unsurprising."
 
Regarding the medical marijuana votes, Sabet said, "Marijuana may contain medical value, but the whole plant is not medicine. We don't use mold for the benefits of penicillin nor do we smoke opium for the benefits of morphine. These were ill-conceived initiatives meant to act as a first step to full-blown commercial marijuana legalization.”
 
SAM announced that it has raised $1M in pledges for a new Marijuana Accountability Project to hold state officials and the marijuana industry accountable -- by making sure data is collected, municipalities are empowered to ban stores in their neighborhoods, and the industry pays for the damage it does.
 
Read more here.
 
Cannabis Abuse Possible Cause of Psychosis
 
Prior research has shown that people with psychotic disorders use marijuana more frequently than the general population, but researchers are divided on whether marijuana causes psychotic disorders.  
 
Studies on twins can answer such questions because twins have similar genetics, have grown up in the same family, and have the same socioeconomic background.
 
This study, conducted by researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University, involved Norwegian twins who were given psychiatric interviews.
 
Researchers found that in twin pairs, a twin with a genetic risk for marijuana abuse had a 3.6 times greater risk developing symptoms of psychosis, compared with the other twin who lacked a risk for marijuana abuse.
 
Even after taking genetic risk and the risk of childhood environment into account, however, those who abuse marijuana still have a multiplied risk for psychosis.
 
The researchers say these findings should be considered when evaluating the costs of making marijuana more available via legalization.
 
Read more here. Read study abstract here.
 
Teen Use of Opioids Linked to Marijuana
 
Adolescents who use opioid painkillers with or without a prescription also often use marijuana, another new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from 11,000 teens ages 10 to 18 in ten US cities. The young people were asked whether they had used prescription opioids in the past 30 days and whether they ever used marijuana.
 
Of the 524 who reported using prescription opioids in the past 30 says, 80 percent had also used marijuana. Of those who used opioids without a prescription in the past 30 days, 88 percent also used pot.
 
Moreover, teens who used alcohol or tobacco in addition to opioids were even more likely to use marijuana. Opioid users who also used alcohol were 10 times more likely to use marijuana too, compared to those who didn’t use alcohol recently. And opioid users who smoked tobacco were 24 times more likely to have used marijuana as those who didn’t smoke.
 
Read more about this study here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). 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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