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Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy

Category Archives: Regulation

Gateway to Curiosity: Medical Marijuana Ads and Intention and Use During Middle School.

Adolescents who view medical marijuana ads more likely to use the drug, study finds

RAND Corporation. (2015, July 6). Adolescents who view medical marijuana ads more likely to use the drug, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 9, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150706154858.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:
A new study raises questions about whether there is a need to revise prevention programming for youth as the availability, visibility and legal status of marijuana changes. The report found that adolescents who saw advertising for medical marijuana were more likely to either report using marijuana or say they planned to use the substance in the future.

Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth J. D’Amico, Jeremy N. V. Miles, Joan S. Tucker. Gateway to Curiosity: Medical Marijuana Ads and Intention and Use During Middle School.Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 2015; DOI: 10.1037/adb0000094

Marijuana users substitute alcohol at 21

Marijuana users substitute alcohol at 21

July 7, 2015
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2015, July 7). Marijuana users substitute alcohol at 21. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 8, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150707120441.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:
A recent study looked at marijuana and alcohol use in people between the ages of 18 and 24. It’s probably not surprising that the results show a drastic increase in alcohol consumption in people just over 21; after all, that’s the minimum legal age to drink. What an economist-researcher found remarkable is that, at the same age, there was an equally dramatic drop in marijuana use.

Journal Reference:
Benjamin Crost, Santiago Guerrero. The effect of alcohol availability on marijuana use: Evidence from the minimum legal drinking ageJournal of Health Economics, 2012; 31 (1): 112 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.12.005

Clearing the Haze | A perspective series by The Gazette

Clearing the Haze | A perspective series by The Gazette

Day 1: Regulation 
Sunday, March, 22 2015

Two important assumptions about successful legalization of marijuana in Colorado were made. Regulation would provide a safer solution to the state’s drug problems and by regulating the sale of marijuana the state could make money otherwise locked up in the black market. Sunday’s stories suggest the net gain from taxes and fees related to marijuana sales will not be known for a while, as costs are not known or tracked well, and there are many other unknowns about pot’s effects on public health and safety.

Day 2: Marijuana and Crime
Monday, March, 23 2015

Proponents of Amendment 64 said legalizing recreational sales and use of marijuana would stifle the black market in Colorado. That is not the case; crime statistics indicate we have more to learn about the long-term effects of legal pot on public safety and other concerns. Data indicate there is new black market trafficking across the country as a result of legalized pot sales in Colorado. Other safety concerns surrounding concentrates and their manufacture are consequences of legalization that were never anticipated.

“Only 1.4 percent of inmates in the state corrections system were imprisoned for offenses involving only marijuana-related crimes.”

– Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004

Day 3: Youthful Addiction 
Tuesday, March, 24 2015

Protecting our children was a priority as the public headed to the polls to vote on Amendment 64. The most recent research on adolescent brain development and related addiction studies indicates this is more important than ever thought before. Adolescent exposure to marijuana is most troubling because young users are more vulnerable to addiction throughout their lives. Post-legalization trends in Colorado raise concerns because regulation has fallen short of the promises made by the state. The increasing rate of pot use also is a concern of employers.

“In 2009, Children’s Hospital Colorado reported two marijuana ingestions among children younger than 12. In the first six months of 2014, there were 12.”

– Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

Day 4: Medical Marijuana 
Wednesday, March, 25 2015

Medical marijuana sales in Colorado exploded after October 2009 as the result of a federal memorandum stating that resources likely would not be used to prosecute people involved in the business, which remains illegal under federal law. Gazette research confirmed the medical marijuana market continues to grow as the result of porous regulation and a favorable price differential versus retail marijuana sales. The issue is big and complex and may derail legitimate efforts to conduct research on parts of the marijuana plant that could produce new, clinically proven medicines.

Major ccupational health groups publish guidance for employers on the impact of marijuana in the workplace

Major occupational health groups publish guidance for employers on the impact of marijuana in the workplace

American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). (2015, April 13). Major occupational health groups publish guidance for employers on the impact of marijuana in the workplace. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150413213114.htm
ScienceDaily Summary:
Experts have published guidance for employers aimed at helping them better understand the implications of marijuana use on the workforce as attitudes toward marijuana and laws restricting it continue to change. The guidance paper summarizes current evidence regarding marijuana consumption; discusses possible side effects, including temporary impairment as it relates to the workplace; reviews existing federal and state laws that impact employers; and suggests various strategies available for monitoring marijuana use among employees.
Journal Reference:

  1. Jennan A. Phillips, Michael G. Holland, Debra D. Baldwin, Linda Gifford Meuleveld, Kathryn L. Mueller, Brett Perkison, Mark Upfal, Marianne Dreger. Marijuana in the WorkplaceJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2015; 57 (4): 459 DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000441
  2. J. A. Phillips, M. G. Holland, D. D. Baldwin, L. Gifford-Meuleveld, K. L. Mueller, B. Perkison, M. Upfal, M. Dreger. Marijuana in the Workplace: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers: Joint Guidance Statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental MedicineWorkplace Health & Safety, 2015; DOI: 10.1177/2165079915581983

Oregon Bans Medical Weed Dispensaries From Selling Edible Products.

Oregon Bans Medical Weed Dispensaries From Selling Edible Products


Posted: in Huff Post:  Small Business  03/20/2014 7:19 pm EDT Updated: 05/20/2014 5:59 am EDT

Link to complete story:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/20/oregon-weed-edible_n_5003083.html

WTR-RI Research Team Note:

The article discusses Oregon’s response to concerns regarding edible marijuana products that may be attractive to children.  Opinions, pro and con are reported.

Minimal Relationship Between Cannabis And Schizophrenia Or Psychosis Suggested

Minimal Relationship Between Cannabis And Schizophrenia Or Psychosis Suggested By Tumblr Post

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, October 22, 2009)  Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, October 22). Minimal Relationship Between Cannabis And Schizophrenia Or Psychosis, Suggested By Tumblr Post. ScienceDaily.

Retrieved June 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022101538.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

Last year the UK government reclassified cannabis from a class C to a class B drug, partly out of concerns that cannabis, especially the more potent varieties, may increase the risk of schizophrenia in young people. But the evidence for the relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia or psychosis remains controversial. A tumblr post has determined that it may be necessary to stop thousands of cannabis users in order to prevent a single case of schizophrenia.

Journal Reference:

Hickman et al. If cannabis caused schizophrenia-how many cannabis users may need to be prevented in order to prevent one case of schizophrenia? England and Wales calculationsAddiction, 2009; 104 (11): 1856 DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02736.x

Reclassification of cannabis in England linked to increased psychosis.

Reclassification of cannabis linked to cannabis psychosis

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, July 18, 2013)  University of York. (2013, July 18). Reclassification of cannabis linked to cannabis psychosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 1, 2014 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130718101156.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

Researchers have demonstrated that the change in cannabis declassification in 2009 has coincided with a significant increase in hospital admissions for cannabis psychosis – rather than the decrease it was intended to produce.

Journal Reference:

Ian Hamilton, Charlie Lloyd, Catherine Hewitt, Christine Godfrey. Effect of reclassification of cannabis on hospital admissions for cannabis psychosis: A time series analysisInternational Journal of Drug Policy, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.05.016

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

(The following is an excerpt from abstract of the above noted Journal Reference.  It is included here to clarify the references to the British controlled drug categories referenced in the preceding two ScienceDaily summaries.  The link to the abstract is http://www.ijdp.org/article/S0955-3959(13)00090-X/abstract)

“The UK Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) divided controlled drugs into three groups A, B and C, with descending criminal sanctions attached to each class. Cannabis was originally assigned by the Act to Group B but in 2004, it was transferred to the lowest risk group, Group C. Then in 2009, on the basis of increasing concerns about a link between high strength cannabis and schizophrenia, it was moved back to Group B. The aim of this study is to test the assumption that changes in classification lead to changes in levels of psychosis. In particular, it explores whether the two changes in 2004 and 2009 were associated with changes in the numbers of people admitted for cannabis psychosis.”

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