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Legalized Pot May Lead to Fewer Drug Overdoses

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
cannabis-leads-to-fewer-drug-overdosses
Medical Marijuana may lead to fewer drug overdoses, according to a recent study.
 
Researchers found that after states that have legalized medical marijuana deaths associated with the use of opiate drugs decreased dramatically. They argue that states that have decriminalized medical marijuana saw nearly a 25 percent decline in overdose deaths from opiates and similar painkillers between 1999 and 2010, News-press.com reported.
 
Investigators believe people suffering from chronic pains tend to rely on medical marijuana when they have that option, which reduces the risk of addiction and overdose that accompanies use of prescription pain medication.
 
"We think that people with chronic pain may be choosing to treat their pain with marijuana rather than with prescription painkillers, in states where this is legal," Dr. Marcus Bachhuber, lead author of the study and a researcher with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, told HealthDay.
 
For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine the narcotic medication overdose death rate for each state between 1999 and 2010, and then took into account whether and when each state had passed a medical marijuana law.
 
According to the CDC, overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed over the past two decades, increasing 118 percent between 1999 and 2011.
 
Although overdose deaths have risen in all states, researchers found that the annual average number of deaths caused by painkillers is nearly 25 percent less in states with medical marijuana laws.
 
"In absolute terms, states with a medical marijuana law had about 1,700 fewer opioid painkiller overdose deaths in 2010 than would be expected based on trends before the laws were passed," Bachhuber said.
 
Researchers said further investigation is required to determine how medical cannabis laws may interact with policies aimed at preventing opioid analgesic overdose.
 

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No-pot city takes aim at Washington marijuana law

Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
no-pot-city-mj-law
FIFE, Wash. (AP) — To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It's in a strip mall across from BJ's Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.
 
But like dozens of other cities in Washington, the small Tacoma suburb of Fife doesn't want Wetherbee — or anyone else — opening marijuana businesses, even if state law allows it. The arguments officials are making in a lawsuit over the dispute threaten to derail Washington's big experiment in legal, taxed cannabis less than two months after sales began.
 
A Pierce County judge on Friday is scheduled to hear arguments on two key issues at the core of Wetherbee's legal challenge to the ban. The first is whether Washington's voter-approved marijuana measure, Initiative 502, leaves room for cities to ban licensed pot growers, processors or sellers. If the answer is no, Fife wants the judge to address a second question: Should Washington's entire legal marijuana scheme be thrown out as incompatible with the federal prohibition on pot?
 
"It's challenging the state's ability to create a legal and controlled market," said Alison Holcomb, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington lawyer who drafted the law. "They're saying, 'We'll just take the entire regulatory system down.' "
 
Washington's experiment is built around the notion that it can bring pot out of the black market and into a regulated system that better protects public health and safety than prohibition ever did. In reality, there won't be legal marijuana businesses in much of the state: 28 cities and two counties have banned them, and scores more have issued long-running moratoriums preventing them from opening while officials review zoning and other issues.
 
In Fife, a community of 5 square miles and fewer than 10,000 people, the planning commission spent months working on a plan that would have allowed state-licensed marijuana businesses in the commercial zone where Wetherbee wants to open his shop. But the City Council this summer amended it to ban the businesses.
 

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Uruguayans Can Now Register To Grow Marijuana At Home

Category: News | Posted on Thu, August, 28th 2014 by THCFinder
uruguayans-can-grow-weed-at-home-now
People in Uruguay who want to grow their own marijuana at home were able to register to do so Wednesday as the government launched the latest phase in its first-of-its-kind legalization program.
 
Under a law that went into effect in May, citizens of Uruguay or legal residents who are at least 18 can grow marijuana for personal use if they register. There is a limit of six female plants, with an annual harvest of up to 480 grams.
 
Few people appeared to be rushing to register with the government on the first day. Juan Vaz, a well-known cannabis activist, said he registered and found the process easy but can understand why some might be reluctant.
 
"There are some people who might feel persecuted," Vaz said. "For many years, they grew plants in secret and it's hard to break from that way of thinking."
 
Uruguay is the first in the world to attempt to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale.
 
The law, passed by Parliament in December 2013, also allows for the formation of growers and users clubs and the sale by pharmacies of 40 grams of pot a month to registered users.
 
So far, no club has yet completed all the requirements to begin operations but at least four have started the process. President José Mujica has said the sale through pharmacies will be postponed until next year.
 
Presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for October and the major opposition candidates have signaled that they intend to repeal all or part of the law if they gain the presidency or a majority in the parliament.
 

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NFL Upholds Josh Gordons 1 Year Suspension For Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, August, 28th 2014 by THCFinder
josh-gordon-suspended-for-1-year-from-nflThe NFL suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon for an entire year after he ‘failed’ a drug test, testing positive for marijuana. I say ‘failed’ because he took two tests. The first one he barely passed, and the second one he barely failed. The NFL has a very low threshold for a positive marijuana test compared to other sports. The NFL considers anything over 15 nanograms per milliliter to be a fail. Josh Gordon’s first test was 13.63 ng/ml, and his second was 16 ng/ml.
 
Josh Gordon appealed his suspension with the NFL, and rightfully so. Why should someone be suspended at all for having 1 ng/ml more than the threshold, especially for an entire year? To put the test result into perspective, the Olympics allow up to 150 ng/ml – ten times what the NFL allows. To say that the NFL has reefer madness is a huge understatement. Per NFL.Com:
 
“Appeals officer Harold Henderson has upheld the suspension for the 2014 NFL season of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The suspension is effective immediately,” the league said Wednesday in a statement.
 
Josh Gordon’s suspension is insane, especially when compared to the suspension of two games that Ray Rice got for assaulting his then fiance to the point that she was knocked unconscious. As many Josh Gordon fans and marijuana supporters pointed out, Ray Rice would have to knock out 7 more women to get the same suspension as Josh Gordon. Even more if you include preseason and playoff games. I don’t say this to be mean or insensitive, I say it to highlight the insanity that is the NFL’s marijuana policy. Shame on the NFL.
 

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Federal Government To Grow 30 Times More Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, August, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
fed-goverment-to-grow-30-times-more-mjThe federal government has been growing marijuana for multiple decades at the University of Mississippi. The marijuana is grown ‘for research’ and to supply four federal medical marijuana patients. The federal government also owns several patents for marijuana. The sad irony of course being that the federal government prohibits all forms of marijuana outside of their monopoly, and actively enforces marijuana prohibition, even in states that have legalized it in various forms.
 
Recently the federal government decided to ramp up production of marijuana at the University of Mississippi. And they are not just ramping it up a little, they are increasing production more than 3,000%. Per the Federal Register:
 
The DEA received one comment on the notice with request for comments. The commenter supported the adjusted 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana. The DEA appreciates the support for this adjusted 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana which will provide for the estimated scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States.
 
The DEA has taken into consideration the one comment received during the 30-day period and the Administrator has determined, pursuant to Section 306 of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 826), based on all of the above, and for the reasons stated in the May 5, 2014, notice, that the adjusted established 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana to be manufactured in the United States in 2014 to provide for the estimated scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks, expressed in grams of anhydrous acid or base, shall remain as follows:
 
Previously established 2014 quota – 21,000 g. Adjusted 2014 quota – 650,000 g.
 
There isn’t a clear reason why the federal government is ramping up production. For a government who’s official stance is that marijuana doesn’t have any medical value, they sure do plan on producing a lot of marijuana for medical research. It’s beyond time to give up the sham, and reschedule marijuana, or even better, eliminate marijuana prohibition altogether.
 

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In States With Medical Marijuana, Painkiller Deaths Drop by 25%

Category: News | Posted on Tue, August, 26th 2014 by THCFinder
mmj-helping-with-painkiller-deaths
America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States.
 
However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.
 
“The difference is quite striking,” said study co-author Colleen Barry, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The shift showed up quite quickly and become visible the year after medical marijuana was accepted in each state, she told Newsweek
 
In the study, published today August 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers hypothesize that in states where medical marijuana can be prescribed, patients may use pot to treat pain, either instead of prescription opiates, or to supplement them—and may thus require a lower dosage that is less likely to lead to a fatal problem.
 
As with most findings involving marijuana and public policy, however, not everyone agrees on a single interpretation of the results.
 
It certainly can be said that marijuana is much less toxic than opiates like Percocet or morphine, and that it is “basically impossible” to die from an overdose of weed, Barry said. Based on those agreed-upon facts, it would seem that an increased use in marijuana instead of opiates for chronic pain is the most obvious explanation of the reduction in overdose deaths.
 
Not so fast, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer at Phoenix House, a national nonprofit addiction treatment agency. He said that the immediate reduction in overdose deaths is extremely unlikely to be due to the substitute use of the herb, for one simple reason: Marijuana isn’t widely prescribed for chronic pain.
 
“You don’t have primary care doctors in these states [prescribing] marijuana instead of Vicodin,” he said. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, it is only prescribed by a small subset of doctors, and, therefore, probably couldn’t explain the huge decrease in opiate-related overdose deaths.
 
Kolodny says the study results are more likely due to a host of factors. One example is differences in state policies to cut down on over-prescribing of opiate medications. Also, many people who overdose on painkillers are already addicted, and these individuals are naturally among the most likely to take too much, Kolodny told Newsweek. States that pass progressive laws to treat addiction may be more likely to lower their rates of overdose deaths; for political reasons these states may also be more likely to legalize medical marijuana.
 

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