#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Wed, 01 Aug 2018 04:20:21 PST
Study: History Of Cannabis Use Associated With Increased Survival Rates Among Heart Attack Patients
Aurora, CO: Heart attack patients with a history of marijuana use are less likely to die during hospitalization as compared to those who test negative for the substance, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.
Investigators with the University of Colorado compared the hospital records of over 3,800 heart-attack patients who acknowledged having consumed cannabis or had tested positive for it to those of over 1.2 million similarly matched controls. They found that cannabis use was not associated with adverse short-term health outcomes, after controlling for potential confounders such as concomitant tobacco use. On average, patients with a history of cannabis use were younger than non-users.
Authors reported: "[M]arijuana-using patients were significantly less likely to die (OR 0.79), experience shock (OR 0.74), or require an IABP (intra-aortic balloon pump) post AMI (acute myocardial infarction) than patients with no reported marijuana use. These results suggest that, contrary to our hypothesis, marijuana use was not associated with increased risk of adverse short-term outcomes following AMI."
They concluded, [T]hese findings suggest that additional study is warranted to further investigate these discoveries and to identify potential mechanisms by which marijuana is associated with improved short-term outcomes following AMI."
Separate studies have similarly identified an association between marijuana use and decreased in-hospital mortality in trauma patients, those undergoing orthopedic surgeries, patients with traumatic brain injuries, and heart failure patients.
Full text of the study, "Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction," appears in PLOS One.
New Jersey: State To Temporarily Suspend Marijuana Prosecutions
Trenton, NJ: The state's Attorney General has called on county and municipal prosecutors to suspend marijuana-related prosecutions until early September.
In a letter obtained Wednesday by NJ Advance Media, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal wrote that "all municipal prosecutors in New Jersey seek an adjournment until September 4, 2018, or later, of any matter involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court" so that his office could develop "appropriate guidance" for prosecutors. A working group is expected to take up the issue this summer.
New Jersey has one of the highest annual marijuana arrest totals in the nation. Under state law, possessing cannabis is punishable by up to six-months incarceration and a $1,000 fine.
Governor Phil Murphy campaigned on a promise to legalize and regulate adult marijuana possession and sales. To date, several bills are pending in the legislature to legalize the plant. Lawmakers are anticipated to begin debating this legislation in September.
Pisa, Italy: The long-term use of a cannabis-infused decoction is effective at reducing pain intensity and mitigating anxiety and depression in patients with chronic pain, according to clinical data published in the journal La Clinica Therapeutica.
Italian researchers assessed the long-term use of cannabis in a cohort of 338 patients with chronic pain. Subjects consumed between 5mg and 10mg of THC-infused tea daily. Two hundred and fourteen subjects completed the one-year trial without interruption.
Authors reported: "After 12 months of therapy, pain intensity, pain disability, anxiety and depression show[ed] substantial improvement."
They concluded: "Our research demonstrates that cannabis therapy, as an adjunct to traditional analgesic treatment, reduces pain intensity, improves daily functionality, and allows a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms. ... Cannabis should be prescribed responsibly by taking into account the comprehensive pain history of the patients, obtaining informed consent after discussing the risks and benefits of treatment, and administering periodic follow-up of the treatment efficacy."
Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis in patients with chronic pain: Effect on pain relief, pain disability, and psychological aspects. A prospective non-randomized single arm clinical trial," appears in La Clinica Therapeutica.
Pennsylvania: Auditor's Report Says Marijuana Legalization Would Yield Over $500 Million In New Annual Revenue
Harrisburg, PA: A fiscal report issued by the state's Auditor General estimates that taxing Pennsylvania's existing retail cannabis market would yield $581 million in new annual revenue.
The report estimates that just under 800,000 Pennsylvanians are currently using cannabis. Statewide polling finds that a majority of voters endorse legalizing and regulating its use by adults.
"The benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana are undeniable," the report concludes. "As its neighbors weigh the issue, Pennsylvania must act to create its own marijuana market. Otherwise, it runs the risk of losing the revenue from potential customers to other states. It is time for Pennsylvania to stop imagining the benefits of marijuana and realize them."
Pennsylvania's Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has previously spoken in support of statewide legalization. Governor Tom Wolf has expressed support for decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses, but has been reluctant to endorse legalizing the marijuana market.
Full text of the report, "Regulating & Taxing Marijuana: A Special Report on the Potential Revenue & Financial Benefits for Pennsylvania," appears online.
Colorado: Youth Marijuana Use Unchanged Post-Legalization, State Survey Data Says
Denver, CO: Marijuana use by young people remains largely unchanged since the enactment of a voter-initiated law legalizing the plant's possession and retail sale to adults, according to data released by the Department of Public Health and Environment.
State survey data finds that the percentage of teens acknowledging using cannabis in 2017 was 19 percent, down one percent from 2013. Colorado voters passed legalization in November 2012. Retail sales of cannabis began on January 1, 2014.
The percentage of Colorado youth using cannabis is consistent with the national average.
By contrast, self-reported marijuana use by adults has increased slightly, driven largely by an increase in consumption by younger adults.
The data is consistent with prior studies finding that neither the enactment of medical cannabis legalization nor the enactment of adult use regulation is independently associated with increased marijuana use by young people.
Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, "Marijuana regulation and Teen Use Rates," available online.