#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Tue, 28 Mar 2017 04:20:21 PST
Study: Regular Cannabis Use Associated With Lower BMI, No Adverse Effect On Bone Density
Portland, OR: Those subjects who consume cannabis more than five times per month possess, on average, lower body mass index (BMI) than do those who do not use the substance, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Archives of Osteoporosis.
Researchers at Oregon's Health and Science University assessed the relationship between cannabis use and a variety of health outcomes in a nationally representative sample of 4,743 participants between the ages of 20 and 59.
Authors reported, "Heavy users of cannabis had a lower mean BMI compared to that of never users, with a mean BMI being 26.7 kg/m in heavy users and 28.4 kg/m in never users." The finding is consistent with those of prior reviews, such as those here and here.
On average, more regular consumers of cannabis spent more time per day engaging in daily physical activity than did occasional users or never users.
Investigators reported no relationship between cannabis use prevalence and changes in bone mineral density of the hip or spine. In preclinical models, cannabinoid administration has been associated with bone-stimulating effects.
Overall, 60 percent of subjects reported having used cannabis at some point during their lives. Forty-seven percent of respondents said that they were former users. Seven percent said that they were regular users while five percent defined themselves as occasional users.
Full text of the study, "Cannabis use and bone mineral density: NHANES 2007-2010," appears in Archives of Osteoporosis.
New York: New Regulatory Changes To Expand Medical Marijuana Access
Albany, NY: Newly enacted regulatory changes to the state's medical cannabis program are expected to result in increased patient access.
As of this week, patients suffering from chronic pain conditions are now eligible to qualify for cannabis therapy. In January, a National Academies review of over 10,000 scientific abstracts acknowledged that "conclusive" evidence exists to support the use of cannabis in pain treatment.
Another change in the program allows physician assistants to provide medical marijuana recommendations. Previously, only doctors and nurse practitioners were eligible to recommend cannabis therapy to qualified patients.
Under the law, recommending physicians must register with the state. To date, fewer than 900 have done so.
Currently, less than 14,500 patients are registered in the statewide program - a comparatively low number compared to other states of its size.
Washington: Marijuana Use By Young People Largely Unchanged Post-Legalization, Survey Says
Olympia, WA: The percentage of young people consuming marijuana has not been adversely impacted by changes in state law regulating its adult use and distribution, according to 2016 data compiled by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
Results from the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey, which surveys over 230,000 students in grades 6 through 12, "rates of teen marijuana use have remained steady" post legalization. The Department issued similar findings when they last published the survey in 2015.
By contrast, a separate review of national survey data in the journal JAMA Pediatrics in February reported a slight uptick in self-reported, past-month marijuana use among Washington 8th graders and 10th graders, but not among 12th graders, in the years 2013 to 2015. That same analysis, which reviewed national survey data compiled by Monitoring the Future, reported no increased use among 8th graders, 10th graders, or 12th graders in Colorado.
Nationally, self-reported cannabis use by high-schoolers has fallen significantly since the late 1990s, despite multiple states liberalizing their marijuana laws and penalties during this same time period. "We had predicted based on the changes in legalization, culture in the U.S. as well as decreasing perceptions among teenagers that marijuana was harmful [and] that [accessibility and use] would go up," Nora Volkow, director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in December. "But it hasn't gone up."
Rhode Island: Regulating Marijuana Market Would Yield Nearly $50 Million In New Annual Revenue
Providence, RI: Taxing and regulating the marijuana market in Rhode Island will generate nearly $50 million in new annual tax revenue, according to a report issued this week by the advocacy coalition Regulate Rhode Island.
According to the report, commercial sales of cannabis are estimated to reach $161 million by 2020. Taxing this retail market at rates comparable to those in Colorado or Washington would yield $48.3 million per year.
Legislation (The Adult Use of Cannabis Act) is pending in the Rhode Island House and Senate to regulate the commercial production and sale of cannabis to adults. Similar legislation is also pending in Connecticut.
Voters in Massachusetts passed a similar measure by voter initiative in November.