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Teen Marijuana Use May Show No Effect On Brain Tissue, Unlike Alcohol

Category: News | Posted on Fri, December, 21st 2012 by THCFinder
A teen who consumes alcohol is likely to have reduced brain tissue health, but a teen who uses marijuana is not, according to a new study.
 
Researchers scanned the brains of 92 adolescents, ages 16 to 20, before and after an 18-month period. During that year and a half, half of the teens -- who already had extensive alcohol and marijuana-use histories -- continued to use marijuana and alcohol in varying amounts. The other half abstained or kept consumption minimal, as they had throughout adolescence.
 
The before-and-after brain scans of the teens consuming five or more drinks at least twice a week showed reduced white matter brain tissue, study co-author Susan Tapert, neuroscientist at University of California, San Diego, told HuffPost. This may mean declines in memory, attention, and decision-making into later adolescence and adulthood, she said.
 
The teens who used the most marijuana did not show a change in brain tissue health, according to the study. The researchers did not test performance; they only looked at brain scans.
 
The study was conducted by researchers at UC San Diego and is scheduled to be published in the April issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
 
The damage occurs because white matter brain tissue develops throughout adolescence and into a person's 20s, Joanna Jacobus, postdoctoral fellow at the UC San Diego, and co-author of the study, told HuffPost.
 
Part of that still-developing brain tissue is where decision-making ability comes from, which can exacerbate substance use. "It becomes a cycle. If teens decrease their tissue health and cognitive ability to inhibit themselves, they might become more likely to engage in risky behavior like excessive substance use," Jacobus said.
 
While studies showing the deleterious effect of alcohol on adolescents and adults have been more consistent, studies of the effect of marijuana have not, Tapert said. "One reason is that marijuana can really vary. Different strains contain different levels of THC and other marijuana components. For example, some studies have suggested one component, cannabidiol, may actually have neuroprotective effects," she said.
 

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Seattle Police Department Loosens Rules On Marijuana Use For Recruit

Category: News | Posted on Thu, December, 20th 2012 by THCFinder
OLYMPIA, Wash., Dec 19 (Reuters) - A month after Washington became the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, the Seattle Police Department has relaxed its rules on previous pot use for job seekers.
 
Going forward, applicants must not have used marijuana for at least a year before joining the force, police officials said. Previously, the rule was no pot use for three years.
 
The change was spurred by Washington state's groundbreaking vote last month to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said.
 
"We have to do a good job protecting the city, but we have to have a group of people who resemble the people we protect," Pugel said.
 
Statewide, marijuana legalization passed by 56 percent to 44 percent. In King County, where Seattle is located, it pulled nearly 64 percent support.
 
Pugel said the Department was considering a change before the new law passed, after a pair of otherwise strong applicants who had used marijuana within three years but not within the past 12 months had been automatically disqualified.
 
One was a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who had briefly been prescribed marijuana by a doctor for pain. Another was a former high-level college athlete who had smoked marijuana 20 months before applying.
 
Pugel said he is not aware of other Washington state police departments that have taken similar action.
 
Seattle police officers are still prohibited from using marijuana, whether on or off duty.
 
However, Washington state law prohibits random workplace drug tests, meaning that the department must have reasonable suspicion that an officer has used marijuana in order to have him or her tested.
 

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Anonymous, Team Vendetta Announce 12-21-12 'aPOTcalypse'

Category: News | Posted on Tue, December, 18th 2012 by THCFinder

Online marijuana legalization group Team Vendetta, working in concert with the shadowy hacktivist collective Anonymous, has announced the "aPOTcalypse," which is what it is calling a new phase of direct action against cannabis prohibition.

 

Read more: http://www.tokeofthetown.com


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President Barack Obamas Cannabis Industry Statements Mark Historical Support For The Cannabis Industry

Category: News | Posted on Tue, December, 18th 2012 by THCFinder
President Obama, in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News on December 13, 2012, stated, “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper proclaimed Amendment 64 as amending the state constitution on December 10, 2012 just days after Washington State Initiative 502 formally became law, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.
 
CNBC estimates that the Cannabis industry is a $40 Billion dollar a year business. Internal estimates illustrate the Cannabis industry is closer to $73 Billion a year, with some industry estimates placing it over $100 Billion.  There are now 18 states that have some type of legal Cannabis Program, along with several countries including Canada, the Czech Republic, and Israel.
 

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Push to decriminalize marijuana to launch in Ga.

Category: News | Posted on Mon, December, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
Should you go to prison if you smoke pot in Georgia?  One group plans to argue emphatically that you should not.  A campaign to decriminalize marijuana in Georgia will be launched Monday at the State Capitol.
 
All News 106.7's Connie Cummings reports that the Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education will hold a news conference to urge state lawmakers to include reforming Georgia's marijuana laws as they reform the criminal justice system.  One member of that group, James Bell, says the state effort to stop filling prisons with non-violent offenders should include marijuana laws.   
 
Bell also says they want lawmakers to modernize the state's medical marijuana law and make use of an existing state law that taxes marijuana. 
 

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Obama: Time for "conversation" on marijuana laws

Category: News | Posted on Fri, December, 14th 2012 by THCFinder
President Obama said he does not support marijuana legalization but that it's time to have a "conversation" on the matter now that Washington state and Colorado have legalized the drug at the state level.
 
"This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law," Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. "I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about, how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?"
 
Though Colorado and Washington voters in November approved ballot initiatives that legalize recreational marijuana use, as well as its regulation and taxation, the drug is still banned under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The Obama administration has yet to say how it will respond, but it has a number of choices: Its options include taking a hands-off approach and letting the states proceed, enforcing the federal law itself and raiding state-sanctioned marijuana sellers once they're established next year, or suing the states.
 
As Mr. Obama alluded to, some members of Congress are supporting legislation to amend the Controlled Substances Act, to exempt its enforcement against marijuana in states that have legalized the drug. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy plans on holding a hearing early next year to consider the federal government's options.
 
Mr. Obama told Walters that while "the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions... it does not make sense from a prioritization point of view to for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said under state law that's legal."
 
Federal drug law enforcement, however, hardly ever targets individual drug users. Instead, if the administration chose to enforce federal law, it would likely target commercial distributors. Alison Holcomb, the drug policy director for the ACLU of Washington state and an author of the state's marijuana ballot initiative, told CBSNews.com that marijuana use shouldn't be particularly risky for individuals in the state.
 
"Federal law enforcement resources tend to be focused on major organized crime," she said. "It is very, very rare that marijuana use is subjected to federal enforcement," unless users are on federal lands like national parks. "By and large, the DEA has much better things to do than go after the marijuana users."
 

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