Cannabis

Some employers may be thinking about dropping marijuana from their drug testing panel as a way to address legalization. Learn about what to consider before making any changes to your drug-free workplace program in a short video produced by our friends at Drug Free Business.

https://youtu.be/ExvaVePrKYs

After calls for cannabis to be legalised in the UK police chiefs in Los Angeles - the state’s largest legal weed market - say there’s been a rise in illegal cannabis market even though recreational marijuana was legalised back in January….

But there are hundreds of illegal cannabis stores where customers can buy the drug at cheaper prices than at the heavily regulated and taxed legal dispensaries. 

California regulators sent out almost 1,000 cease and desist letters to marijuana businesses they suspected were illegal in April alone.

And in May 142 people were charged in a massive crackdown on the illegal shops. 

Lt Spell, who oversees the division's cannabis unit, said there had been much more "illicit activity" in the past few months.

And he said one of the biggest falsehoods about legalising marijuana is that it will curb illegal activities.

He told Sun Online: “Here in Los Angeles we see a large number of illegal retail stores.

“But we also come across a lot of illegal grows - places where people are growing the cannabis.

“And oftentimes it's to export out of state into places where it’s still illegal because the marijuana that might cost, let's say $3,000-a-pound here, may cost as much as $4,000- to $6,000-a-pound somewhere else.

“Probably one of the biggest fallacies about the regulation or the legalisation of recreational marijuana is that the illegal activities will go away when in fact, when you look at all of the states - and we've done comparative analysis with other places - all of the places that have allowed recreational marijuana, have seen increases in the illegal activities.

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A new study led by Ana Sebastião, group leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes and Professor of Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade de Lisboa (iMM, FMUL; Portugal) and her team in collaboration with researchers from the University of Lancaster (UK), shows that the long-term use of either cannabis or cannabis-based drugs impairs memory. 

The study now published in the Journal of Neurochemistry reveals the implications for both recreational users and people who use the drug to combat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.

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by Dr. Drew W. Edwards Republished from DrDrewEdwards.org

All the independent, peer-reviewed research confirms what I and other experts have observed for years. Cannabis users significantly underachieve in education, their careers, and have significant problems with their most significant relationships. Two recent and eye-opening studies published in the medical journals Addiction, and Neuropharmacology respectively reveal gross deficits in cognitive ability (IQ) executive functioning, attentiveness, inhibition of impulsiveness and motivation.

What the Studies Reveal

In a large prospective study approximately 1900 adolescent were followed and evaluated for 10 years. The results were clear, definitive and shocking. Marijuana users were three times more likely to be unemployed or have dropped out of school compared to non-users. The evidence was so compelling that the lead investigator of the research dubbed marijuana as, “the drug of choice for life’s future losers.” In short, adolescents and young adults who possess the intelligence, desire, and motivation to go on to college or technical school frequently abandon these aspirations for something less rigorous once they begin smoking marijuana.

Hurd and colleagues (2014) demonstrated that even casual cannabis use impairs memory, motivation, and executive functioning, which involves the ability to organize tasks, control impulses and set
priorities. As a result, most marijuana users adjust their life’s trajectory, goals, and priorities downward to accommodate their impaired cognitive state. Parallel research published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (2015) reveals the nearly 30 percent of marijuana users suffer from Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). This is much higher than the addiction rate for those who use alcohol. One of the reasons is that the average age on initiation to illicit drugs is during the 12th year. This precedes the neuronal pruning and myelination that occurs during puberty. Out of 8,000 new initiates to an illicit drug each day in the US, 7,000 will use marijuana.

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Lauren M. Jansson, MD1Chloe J. Jordan, PhD2Martha L. Velez, MD1

JAMA. Published online July 16, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8401 

Increasing public attention has recently been paid to the opioid epidemic and attendant effects on prenatally exposed infants and children. 1Current literature has emerged proposing marijuana as a safe alternative to opioids in addressing pain 2 and cannabis legalization as a way to decrease opioid fatalities. 3 As a result, perceptions of cannabis safety have increased, and the prevalence of marijuana use among pregnant women has expanded; past-month cannabis use among pregnant US women increased from 2.4% to 3.9% between 2002 and 2014. 4 Further, cannabis potency has been substantially increasing over the past 4 decades in the United States, and will likely continue to do so as extraction procedures of active components improve.

Although cannabis does have known medical utility for some conditions, its associated acute and long-term psychoactive effects on brain function are also known. Expanding use of cannabis among pregnant and lactating women (as likely will occur with legalization) may lead to increased risk from fetal and child exposures if the teratogenic potential of cannabis remains underappreciated …The exogenous supply of cannabinoids resulting from THC exposure can adversely affect fetal growth as well as structural and functional neurodevelopment. 6

Prenatal THC exposure has been documented to adversely affect infant neurobehavior and child development up through the teen years,5and postnatal exposures may compound prenatally acquired deficits. Neurobehavioral effects associated with prenatal THC exposure range from dysregulated arousal and motor difficulties at birth to disturbed sleep, memory impairment, aggression, and other developmental and behavioral concerns in childhood. 5

Despite these risks, it appears that clinicians are not addressing cannabis use during pregnancy or lactation; in one study of 74 lactation professionals, 85% encouraged breastfeeding among marijuana-using mothers. 7 Most national breastfeeding guidelines (eg, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) have remained steadfast in recommending against cannabis use during lactation….

The medical community should advise pregnant women to avoid perinatal THC exposure and intervene for women needing treatment, for children at risk for neurobiological and developmental problems, or for dyads at risk for negative outcomes associated with an untreated substance use disorder. Advice from medical professionals should be consistent: pregnant and lactating women should be advised to avoid cannabis use, and women (and men) caring for developing children also should be advised to maintain abstinence. Treatment programs for women with CUD should be available and accessible, and gender and culturally specific, particularly during pregnancy and postpartum periods. Converging, systematic research is necessary at both the preclinical and clinical levels to address insufficient evidence regarding maternal cannabis use 9 and to fully understand the short- and long-term effects of perinatal THC exposure, the effects of maternal cannabis use on fetal outcomes, and the consequences of polysubstance use in treatment and intervention efforts.

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