What's the Rush, RI?

Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy

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Homeless in Marijuana Country: A Walk up Denver’s Stoner Hill

Homeless in Marijuana Country: A Walk up Denver’s Stoner Hill

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Cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release

Heavy cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release in brain: Effect similar to other addictions.

Source:  Columbia University Medical Center: 
“Heavy cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release in brain: Effect similar to other addictions.” ScienceDaily. 14 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160414214826.htm>.

ScienceDaily Summary:
Evidence of a compromised dopamine system has been found in heavy users of marijuana. Lower dopamine release was found in the striatum — a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention. Previous studies have shown that addiction to other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and heroin, have similar effects on dopamine release, but such evidence for cannabis was missing until now.

What’s the Rush, Research and Analysis Team Note:
Researchers also that in all participants lower dopamine release was associated with worse performance on learning and working memory tasks.  Heavy use was defined as daily for seven years beginning at age 16.

Journal Reference:
E van de Giessen, J J Weinstein, C M Cassidy, M Haney, Z Dong, R Ghazzaoui, N Ojeil, L S Kegeles, X Xu, N P Vadhan, N D Volkow, M Slifstein, A Abi-Dargham. Deficits in striatal dopamine release in cannabis dependenceMolecular Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2016.21

Cannabis Exposure Affects Fetal Growth Trajectories

Marijuana, the most common illicit substance used during pregnancy, can reduce birthweight by an average of 15 ounces over the course of a full term pregnancy. The 2009 study conducted in the Netherlands among 7,500 mothers was  Researchers also found a statistically significant reduction in head circumference.

The abstract and entire article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry can be found at:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709660731

First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in Massachusetts

WTR-RI Research & Analysis Team Note:

Following are links to two Associated Press Stories that appeared in the Providence Journal recently.  They describe some of the regulations with respect to product safety and on site practices dispensaries in Massachusetts must follow.

The Providence Journal:  June 20, 2015; Section: Rhode Island; Page A5
Baker approves waiver for state’s first pot dispensary 
By Steve LeBlanc The Associated Press


The Providence Journal:  June 25, 2015; Section: Rhode Island; Page A2
First dispensary in Massachusetts opens 
The Associated Press

Teens who use alcohol, marijuana together are at higher risk for unsafe driving

Teens who use alcohol, marijuana together are at higher risk for unsafe driving

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, April 28, 2014)  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. (2014, April 28). Teens who use alcohol, marijuana together are at higher risk for unsafe driving. ScienceDaily.  Retrieved May 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428074801.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

Teenagers who drink alcohol and smoke marijuana may be at increased risk for unsafe driving, according to a study. The findings point to a need for education on the risks of “simultaneous use” of alcohol and marijuana. The study of U.S. high school seniors found that teens who had used both in the past year had higher rates of traffic tickets/warnings and cat accidents. At particular risk were kids who used alcohol and marijuana at the same time: They were about 50 to 90 percent more likely to admit to unsafe driving than their peers who did not drink or smoke pot.

Journal Reference:

Terry-McElrath, Y. M., O’Malley, P. M., & Johnston, L. D. Alcohol and marijuana use patterns associated with unsafe driving among U.S. high school seniors: High use frequency, concurrent use, and simultaneous useJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(3), 378-389

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