MPP Challenges Drug Czar To Justify Self- Contradicting Statement
Category: News | Posted on Sat, December, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
The Office of National Drug Control Policy released an email invitation this past Friday for the first White House Drug Policy Reform Conference in history. The email contained a graphic with a quote from U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske that read, Drug policy reform should be rooted in NEUROSCIENCE – NOT POLITICAL SCIENCE. Now, MPP is asking the office to explain the meaning behind their contradictory statement, since actual neuroscience has shown that marijuana harms the human brain far less than alcohol does.
For example, in 2005, Researchers at Harvard University reported in the American Journal on Addictions that marijuana use was not associated with structural changes within the brain.
When compared to control subjects, [marijuana] smokers displayed no significant adjusted differences in volumes of gray matter, white matter, cerebrospinal fluid, or left and right hippocampus. … These findings are consistent with recent literature suggesting that cannabis use is not associated with structural changes within the brain as a whole or the hippocampus in particular.
Furthermore, according to a 2004 report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
Heavy drinking may have extensive and far-reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple ‘slips’ in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care.
Studies that compare the effects of marijuana and alcohol side by side also find that alcohol is more damaging than marijuana. A 2009 study published in the journal Clinical EEG and Neuroscience found:
Abnormalities have been seen in brain structure volume, white matter quality, and activation to cognitive tasks, even in youth with as little as 1-2 years of heavy drinking and consumption levels of 20 drinks per month, especially if >4-5 drinks are consumed on a single occasion. Heavy marijuana users show some subtle anomalies too, but generally not the same degree of divergence from demographically similar non-using adolescents.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.co
Worlds Leading Experts Issue Standards On Cannabis, Restore Classification As Botanical Medicine
Category: News | Posted on Fri, December, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
In an historic move, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) released the first installation of a two-part Cannabis monograph yesterday that classifies cannabis (marijuana) as a botanical medicine, alongside many other widely accepted Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Written and reviewed by the world’s leading experts, the Cannabis monograph brings together an authoritative compendium of scientific data, including long-awaited standards for the plant’s identity, purity, quality, and botanical properties. The monograph provides a foundation for health care professionals to integrate cannabis therapy into their practices on the basis of a full scientific understanding of the plant, its constituent components, and its biologic effects.
“The inclusion of cannabis in the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia returns the plant to its place alongside as a proven botanical medicine, which has been used for centuries by countries and cultures around the world,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, which helped support the development of the Cannabis monograph. “Health care professionals, researchers and regulators now have the tools to develop effective public health programs for medical marijuana and to further explore its therapeutic benefits.” ASA will host a Google Hangout on Thursday, December 12th at 5:30pm PT, featuring a panel of experts discussing the ramifications of the Cannabis monograph and a new Cannabis certification program.
The first Cannabis monograph was introduced in the 3rd edition of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1851, where it remained until the 12th edition in 1942, making the AHP monograph the first of its kind in more than 70 years. Cannabis medicines were produced by Eli Lilly and other American pharmaceutical companies until the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 sharply reduced U.S. cannabis production and prescriptions.
AHP began development of a Cannabis monograph in 2011 in part because of a need for validated standards to guide laboratory analysis for quality control of cannabis and related products. However, AHP also recognized that the expanding use of medical marijuana makes accurate information regarding appropriate use and safety important for health care decisions. Patients, providers, and regulators will also benefit from proven testing standards that can quantify the key chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, that are tied to the plant’s therapeutic effects, as well as identify potentially harmful pesticides, metals, and microbes.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced In New York Senate
Category: News | Posted on Thu, December, 12th 2013 by THCFinder
New York — Today, New York State Senator Liz Krueger introduced a bill to tax and regulate marijuana for adult use. The bill would end the criminalization of adults 18 years and older who possess up to two ounces of marijuana and would create a regulatory system allowing for the retail sale of marijuana to those over the age of 21, much like the current system for regulating alcohol. Recent polls show a majority of Americans now support taxing and regulating marijuana.
New York’s current marijuana policies are widely recognized as broken. Approximately 600,000 people, mostly young Black and Latino men, have been arrested for marijuana possession in NY since 1997, saddling them with criminal records that impede their ability to obtain jobs, student loans, and housing.
“Prohibition of marijuana is a policy that just hasn’t worked, no matter how you look at it, and it’s time to have an honest conversation about what we should do next,” said Sen. Krueger. “The illegal marijuana economy is alive and well, and our unjust laws are branding nonviolent New Yorkers, especially young adults, as criminals, creating a vicious cycle that ruins lives and needlessly wastes taxpayer dollars. Worst of all, this system has resulted in a civil rights disaster: African Americans are dramatically more likely to be arrested for pot possession than whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use among both groups.”
In New York City, marijuana possession is the number one arrest, and NY makes more marijuana arrests than every other state in the country, including California, Florida and Texas. Nearly 97% of all marijuana offenses in New York were for mere possession. The vast majority of those arrested (85%) are Black and Latino, mostly young men, even though numerous government studies report that young white men use marijuana at higher rates.
“As a neuropsychopharmacologist who has spent the past fifteen years studying the neurophysiological, psychological and behavioral effects of marijuana, I can tell you that the claims about the harms associated with marijuana use have been greatly exaggerated in the media,” said Dr. Carl Hart, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University. “Far greater harm results from arresting people for marijuana possession and the racial disparities of those arrests.”
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
New Harvard Study: Marijuana Does Not Cause Schizophrenia
Category: News | Posted on Wed, December, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
A new Harvard study published in the journal Schizophrenia Research has found evidence that cannabis use, regardless of how often or in what quantities, does not lead to an increase in schizophrenia, despite decades of propaganda to the contrary.
For the study, researchers examined patients separated into four sample-groups; “sample 1: 87 non-psychotic controls with no drug use; sample 2: 84 non-psychotic controls with cannabis use; sample 3: 32 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum psychosis with no drug use; sample 4: 76 patients with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis with cannabis use. All cannabis using subjects used this drug during adolescence, and no other substance, with the exception of alcohol. Structured interviews of probands and family informants were used to obtain diagnostic information about probands and all their known relatives.”
After conducting this study, the Harvard researchers concluded that; “The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself.”
The study, which was led by Lynn DeLisi, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, can be found by clicking here.
This is one of several schizophrenia-related studies released this year; one government funded study found that cannabis may actually combat the symptoms of schizophrenia, and another found that it may lead to better cognitive function in those who are schizophrenic.
Marijuana Use Causes Man Boobs?
Category: News | Posted on Sat, December, 7th 2013 by THCFinder
Pot-smoking dudes, beware: That joint you're toking may be causing your breasts to blossom.
In a post for CNN on Thursday, Detroit-based plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn warned that marijuana use could be behind the development of man boobs, known in the medical world as "gynecomastia," because of the drug's effects on hormone levels.
"Gynecomastia is caused by a hormone imbalance between testosterone and estrogen," Youn wrote. "When the ratio between testosterone and estrogen tips in favor of estrogen, the body responds by creating excessive breast tissue. Hence, man boobs."
Animal studies, the physician explained, have shown that exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active component in cannabis, can result in a "decrease in testosterone levels, a reduction of testicular size and abnormalities in…sperm."
The jury is still out, however, as to how weed effects hormone levels in humans, though there is some evidence to suggest that pot users have lower testosterone levels than non-users and that heavy doses of the drug may delay the onset of puberty in young men.
There may not be any definitive evidence as yet linking marijuana use and man boobs, but Youn is hardly the first person to suggest a connection.
According to a recent Philly.com report on the topic, the medical community has suspected a link between pot and moobs for decades. However, due to the drug's status as an illicit substance, there hasn't been sufficient research to confirm these speculations.
Marijuana Can Be Covered In Mold, E.Coli, Insect Parts And Pollutants
Category: News | Posted on Fri, December, 6th 2013 by THCFinder
Researchers at the University of New Haven in Connecticut took a close look at some marijuana under their microscopes and found something disturbing: mold, invisible to the naked eye. And it has made the scientists concerned that marijuana users could unknowingly be smoking contaminants along with their weed.
Mold isn't the only thing that has been found on marijuana -- mildew, insect parts, salmonella and E.Coli are just a handful of substances that can also be found in marijuana, said Heather Miller Coyle, forensic botanist and associate professor at New Haven who was involved in the study, to The Associated Press.
Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational use of marijuana, and twenty states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, Coyle is busy working on a new and faster process that will create DNA profiles of potentially harmful substances on marijuana to aid in their detection and the quality control of the plant.
Although the Department of Justice announced that it will allow Colorado and Washington's new recreational pot laws proceed, marijuana remains illegal under federal law and that means that government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration won't oversee the testing and policing of the products.
So it's up to the states to come up with a testing and certification process.
"It's important for us to do it because it's public safety and there's no U.S. FDA oversight here," said Randy Simmons, the Washington State Liquor Control Board project manager in charge of implementing Initiative 502 which legalized marijuana for recreational use, to NBC News. "Things that would be FDA rules don't exist."
Many states, including Washington and Colorado, already require quality control testing of marijuana.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
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