#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Tue, 28 Aug 2018 04:20:21 PST
California: Teen Marijuana Use Declines Post-Legalization
San Francisco, CA: Marijuana use by adolescents continues to decline in California, according to statewide data provided by the California Healthy Kids Survey, a biennial survey funded by the Departments of Health and Education.
Among 7th graders, 4.2 percent reported ever having used cannabis during the years 2015 to 2017, as compared to 7.9 percent during the years 2013 to 2015 (-47 percent). Among 9th graders, 17.4 percent reported ever having used cannabis during the years 2015 to 2017, as compared to 23.1 percent during the years 2013 to 2015 (-25 percent). Among 11th graders, 31.9 percent reported ever having used cannabis during the years 2015 to 2017, as compared to 37.9 percent during the years 2013 to 2015 (-16 percent).
The percentage of teens reporting using cannabis multiple times and/or repeatedly within the past 30 days also declined for all age groups.
“These initial reports confirm that legalizing and regulating cannabis doesn’t increase youth marijuana use, but rather it has the opposite effect,” said Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML. “The fact that the biggest drop in reported use came from younger age groups is a particularly encouraging indicator of the success of regulation.”
California law legalized the adult use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by adults in November of 2016. Retail adult use marijuana sales did not go into effect until January 1, 2018.
The findings are consistent with those of other studies and surveys from other states finding that the enactment of adult marijuana use laws is not associated with upticks in young people’s use of marijuana or access to the substance.
Full text of the study, “School Climate, Substance Use, and Well-being Among California Students: 2015-2017,” appears online.
Study: CBD Therapy Promotes Sustained Reductions In Seizure Frequency
Birmingham, AL: Epilepsy patients administered the standardized CBD extract Epidiolex experience a significant reduction in seizures over an extended period of time, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.
Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham assessed the long-term daily administration of Epidiolex in a cohort of 132 patients with intractable epilepsy. Authors reported that subjects experienced “significant improvements” in their adverse events profile and in seizure frequency at 12 weeks and that most sustained these improvements over 48 weeks of treatment.
In June, the US Food and Drug Administration granted market approval for the prescription use of Epidiolex in the treatment of two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet’s syndrome. The retail price of the new drug is estimated to be $32,500 per year.
Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol improves frequency and severity of seizures and reduces adverse events in an open-label add-on prospective study,” appears in Epilepsy & Behavior.
Survey: Pain Specialists Endorse Cannabis Therapy
Tel Aviv, Israel: Most Israeli pain specialists with an opinion on the issue believe that cannabis is a safe and effective analgesic agent, according to survey data published in the Journal of Pain Research.
Investigators surveyed the opinions of over half of all practicing pain clinicians in Israel. The Israeli government has regulated the prescription use of cannabis for much of the past decade.
Authors reported that virtually all of the survey’s respondents prescribed cannabis to their patients, and that 56 percent of them reported the substance to possess “mild or no” adverse side effects. Forty-five percent of those surveyed stated that “they themselves would prefer to be treated with cannabis rather than opiates in case of chronic pain.”
Authors concluded: “In the current survey, which probed the attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and collected experience of pain specialists using cannabis in their daily practice, cannabis emerges as an effective treatment option for many patients with chronic pain who have failed previous treatments. Moreover, their responses arguably present a possible change of paradigm and the possibility to consider cannabis earlier in the course of the disease, and not as a last resort.”
According to a 2017 literature review conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there exists “conclusive or substantial” clinical evidence that cannabis is “effective for the treatment [of] chronic pain.”
Full text of the study, “Personal experience and attitudes of pain medicine specialists in Israel regarding the medical use of cannabis for chronic pain,” appears in the Journal of Pain Research.
Proximity Of Dispensaries To Schools Not Linked With Teen Use
San Diego, CA: The establishment of medical cannabis dispensaries within close proximity of schools does not make teens more susceptible to using marijuana, according to data published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Researchers from UC San Diego examined the association between the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in school neighborhoods and teen use patterns in California. They reported: “The distance from school to the nearest medical marijuana dispensary was not associated with adolescents’ use of marijuana in the past month or susceptibility to use marijuana in the future, nor was the weighted count of medical marijuana dispensaries within the 3-mile band of school. Neither the product price nor the product variety in the dispensary nearest to school was associated with marijuana use or susceptibility to use. The results were robust to different specifications of medical marijuana measures.”
Authors concluded, “We did not find empirical support of the associations of medical marijuana availability, price, and product variety around schools with adolescents’ marijuana use and susceptibility to use … in the future."
The paper’s findings are consistent with prior studies finding that the prevalence of cannabis retailers is not positively associated with increases in either teen marijuana use or access.
Full text of the study, “Medical marijuana availability, price, and product variety, and adolescent’s marijuana use,” appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The NORML fact-sheet, “Societal Impact of Cannabis Dispensaries/Retailers,” appears online here.