#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: email@example.com media :: news - Tue, 26 Jan 2016 04:20:21 PST
Poll: Majority Of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana
San Mateo, CA: A majority of Americans, including two-thirds of Democrats, believe that marijuana should be legal, according to national survey data compiled by YouGov.com.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said, "[T]he use of marijuana should be legalized." Only 34 percent of respondents opposed the idea.
Support for legalization was strongest among self-identified Democrats (66 percent), those with a household income of $100,000 or more (62 percent), and African Americans (59 percent). Support was weakest among Hispanics (39 percent), those over 65 years of age (39 percent), and self-identified Republicans (36 percent).
Sixty-six percent of respondents agreed, "[G]overnment efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth," while 62 percent said that the government should no longer enforce federal law in states that have legalized and regulated the plant's use.
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed, including 68 percent of respondents between the ages of 45 and 64, acknowledged having tried cannabis.
The YouGov.com poll is the latest in a series of national surveys showing majority support among Americans for regulating the adult use of cannabis.
Study: Alcohol, Tobacco Typically Precede Marijuana Use
College Station, TX: Alcohol is typically the first substance consumed by individuals who report polydrug use later in life, according to data published in The Journal of School Health.
Researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of Florida, Gainesville evaluated drug use patterns from a nationally representative sample of 2,835 12th graders.
Youth alcohol use most often preceded the use of tobacco or marijuana. Subjects' age of alcohol initiation was the strongest predictor of later polydrug use, authors found.
"Alcohol is the most commonly used substance, and the majority of polysubstance using respondents consumed alcohol prior to tobacco or marijuana initiation," they reported. "Our results ... assert that the earlier one initiates alcohol use, the more likely that they will engage in future illicit substance use."
Studies conducted by the RAND Corporation and others have previously dismissed any causal role of marijuana as a gateway to subsequent illicit drug abuse, finding, "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other drugs."
Full text of the study, "Establishing Alcohol as the Gateway Drug and Linking Age of First Drink With Illicit Drug Use," appears in The Journal of School Health.
Study: Cannabis Oil Mitigates Symptoms Of Alzheimer's-Induced Dementia
Ramat-Gan, Israel: The administration of liquid cannabis extracts containing THC is associated with the mitigation of various symptoms of Alzheimer's related agitation and dementia, according to observational trial data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Israeli investigators assessed the use of cannabis oil as an adjunct pharmacotherapy treatment in ten Alzheimer's disease patients over a period of several weeks. Researchers reported that drug administration was associated with a significant reduction in patients' symptom severity scores. Specifically, cannabis oil ingestion corresponded with decreased levels of aggression, irritability, apathy, and delusions.
Investigators concluded, "Adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer's disease patients pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option."
The administration of dronabinol (oral synthetic THC in pill form) has previously been reported to reduce Alzheimer's-induced agitation, while preclinical studies have theorized that cannabinoids may be neuroprotective against the onset of the disease.
Full text of the study, "Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis oil for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: An open label, add-on, pilot study," appears in The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Twin Study: Marijuana Use Does Not Effect IQ Decline
Los Angeles, CA: The cumulative use of cannabis by adolescents has no direct effect on intelligence decline, according to longitudinal data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Minnesota evaluated whether marijuana use was associated with changes in intellectual performance in two longitudinal cohorts of adolescent twins. Participants were assessed for intelligence at ages 9 to 12, before marijuana involvement, and again at ages 17 to 20.
Researchers reported no dose-response relationship between cannabis use and IQ decline. They also found no significant differences in performance among marijuana using subjects when compared to their non-using twins.
Investigators concluded: "In the largest longitudinal examination of marijuana use and IQ change, ... we find little evidence to suggest that adolescent marijuana use has a direct effect on intellectual decline. ... [T]he lack of a dose-response relationship, and an absence of meaningful differences between discordant siblings lead us to conclude that the deficits observed in marijuana users are attributable to confounding factors that influence both substance initiation and IQ rather than a neurotoxic effect of marijuana."
The findings follow the publication of a separate longitudinal study in the Journal of Pharmacology which concluded that cumulative adolescent marijuana use is not associated with lower IQ or poorer educational performance once adjustments are made for potential confounders, specifically cigarette smoking.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full text of the study, "Impact of adolescent marijuana use on intelligence: Results from two longitudinal twin studies," appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.