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Exploring the Connection Between
Tobacco, Marijuana, and E-Cigarettes
 
Presentations from a live webcast hosted by the tobacco-related disease research program at the University of California, San Francisco, May 26 are now available online. Titled “The Triangulum: Tobacco, Marijuana, and E-Cigarettes,” the symposium explores the emerging “intersection of tobacco, marijuana, and electronic cigarettes; the latter being the delivery device for both these and other substances.’
 
The program description notes, “This changing landscape includes not only e-cigarettes, but also hookah pens delivering flavored nicotine liquids; heat-not-burn products that produce no flames, no fire-no smoke; flavored little cigars, both regular and electronic; synthetic marijuana (spice) that you can dab; and liquid THC, which you can aerosolize.”
 
The photo above, from Dr. Kelvin Choi’s presentation, shows many people using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to aerosolize liquid substances simultaneously.
 
The live webinar brought together outstanding scientists in their respective fields to explain and comment on this new, disturbing series of trends.
 
View the scientists' presentations online here.
 
Edible Marijuana Overdoses Reported
to US Poison Control Centers on Rise
 
Researchers analyzed exposure calls coded to marijuana edibles that were reported to the National Poison Data System from January 2013 to December 2015. Four-hundred and thirty calls were reported.
 
The two states that had implemented recreational marijuana legalization by then had the most exposures:
  • Colorado—166, or 1.05 per 100,000
  • Washington—96, or .46 per 100,000
 Three-hundred and eighty-one (91%) calls occurred in states with medical and recreational marijuana, and the number of calls increased each year of the study.
 
The age groups with the most calls were children less than five years old (109 calls) and adolescents ages 13-19 (78 calls).
 
The most frequent clinical effects were drowsiness/lethargy (43%), tachycardia (31%), agitated/irritable (14%) and confusion (14%). The youngest children suffered the most intense effects.
 
Three patients had to be intubated (ages 4, 10, and 57); 23% were managed at home, 50% were treated and released; 3% were admitted to a critical care unit.
 
The researchers speculate that increasing edibles exposures may be related to delayed absorption of THC, lack of packaging regulations, increased availability of edibles in legal states, and increased familiarity of poison control center specialists with edible products to code events properly.
 
They conclude” “Edible marijuana exposures are increasing and may lead to severe respiratory depression.”

Read “Characterization of Edible Marijuana Product Exposures Reported to United States Poison Centers” here.
 
New Edible Easier to Break Off “Appropriate Dose”
Than Splitting a Cookie into 18 Pieces

Oblivious to the fact that edibles are sending people to the ER, a former Apple employee has jumped into the edibles business to make marijuana chocolates. Défoncé (French for “stoned”) Chocolatier has launched its first product, a chocolate bar that can be broken into 18 pieces shaped like pyramids. The whole bar contains 180 milligrams of THC, so one pyramid equals “one dose.”
 
[We wonder how many readers can eat only one square of a chocolate bar. Or only one-eighteenth of a cookie.]
 
The new company has partnered with a California celebrity chef to extend its line of candies. If the state legalizes recreational marijuana in November, Défoncé confections may be showing up in restaurants soon after, the reporter notes.
 
Read “This Beautiful Line of Marijuana Edibles was Created by an Ex-Apple Employee” here.
 
First Comes Medical Marijuana,
Which Then Funds Recreational Pot
 
The Arizona Republic published the donors and amounts donated to the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol last week. The paper notes, “It seems the grassroots campaign to legalize weed in Arizona is more grass that roots.”
 
The legalization group has raised $2.2 million to persuade Arizonans to legalize the drug for recreational use. But most of the financing, a whopping $840,000, has come from out of state via the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project.
 
The newspaper’s list of all contributors reveals that only $46,000 was contributed by businesses unaffiliated with legalization proponents and the thriving medical marijuana industry in the state.
 
Meanwhile, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy and others have filed a lawsuit to quash the Campaign’s ballot initiative. Opponents say the 100-word description on petitions did not adequately explain key provisions the initiative contains to those who signed them. The Maricopa County Superior Court has set August 12 to hear oral arguments in the case.
 
[Note: With the exception of Hawaii, the first 10 states that legalized marijuana for medical use did so via ballot initiatives, all funded by national organizations from out of state. The four states and DC that have also legalized the drug for recreational use did so by ballot initiatives funded by the same groups.]
 
Read “Look Who’s Bankrolling Push to Legalize Pot in Arizona” to see the complete list of contributors here.
Visit Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy website here.
Visit Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

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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