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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 07 Jan 2020 04:20:21 PST

Adult-Use Marijuana Laws Associated with Less Binge Drinking by Young Adults on College Campuses

Corvallis, OR: The enactment of adult-use cannabis access laws is associated with decreasing rates of binge drinking by college students ages 21 or older, according to data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Researchers affiliated with Oregon State University compared self-reported drug and alcohol use among nearly one million college students over ten years (2008 to 2018). They reported that binge drinking prevalence among those between the ages of 21 and 26 fell by ten percent in jurisdictions where adult-use cannabis access was regulated as compared to other states. Investigators reported no increase in the use of any controlled substances other than marijuana, except for the use of sedatives by those under the age of 21.

Authors concluded: "[F]or students ages 21 years and over, binge drinking decreased following RML (recreational marijuana legalization). ... We speculate that legalizing recreational marijuana use may temper this [increased alcohol use by minors after they reach the legal drinking age] effect, such that college students over the age of 21 who otherwise would have engaged in binge drinking continue using marijuana instead. ... [A] substitution effect of RML on college students' binge drinking could have important public health implications."

Full text of the study, "Trends in college students' alcohol, nicotine, prescription opioid and other drug use after recreational marijuana legalization: 2008-2018," appears in Addictive Behaviors.

Adult-Use Marijuana Sales Begin in Illinois

Springfield, IL: An estimated 30 state-licensed retailers began selling marijuana products to adults on Wednesday, January 1.

Under the new law, state-licensed retailers may provide up to 30 grams of cannabis to those over the age of 21. Those who are visiting from out of state may purchase 15 grams of cannabis.

The law also enacts several other changes. Specifically, it permits qualified patients for the first time to engage in the home cultivation of up to five plants, while decriminalizing home grows for non-patients. The law also establishes procedures for the automatic expungement of low-level minor convictions (possession up to 30 grams) and facilitates a process for the expungement of cases involving the possession of up to 500 grams.

Illinois lawmakers passed the legislation, The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, in June. Illinois is the eleventh state to legalize adult marijuana use, and it is the first state to legislatively enact a comprehensive regulatory scheme governing commercial production and sales.

Commenting on the new law, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "Illinois lawmakers are to be commended for enacting comprehensive legislative reform that is both in accordance with public opinion as well as with principles of fairness and social justice."

On December 31, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued over 11,000 pardons to those with low-level marijuana convictions.

Clinical Trial: Cannabis Powder Associated with Reduced Pain, Anxiety in Cancer Patients

Gujarat, India: The daily administration of cannabis leaf-derived powder is associated with reduced pain, anxiety, and depression in patients with cancer, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Ayu.

A team of researchers from Gujarat Ayurved University in India assessed the safety and efficacy of a prepared cannabis mixture in 24 subjects with cancer. Subjects consumed capsules containing 250mgs of powder derived from dried leaves of the female cannabis plant three times daily for four weeks.

Researchers reported that cannabis treatment was associated with a statistically significant reduction in pain and anxiety, along with the mitigation of several other symptoms, including depression, appetite loss, and insomnia. Participants also experienced a significant improvement in their overall quality of life.

Authors concluded, "Administration of cannabis leaves powder ... for a period of one month significantly relieves pain, anxiety, and depression of cancer patients without creating any major side effects, dependency and withdrawal symptoms."

Full text of the study, "Management of chronic pain with Jalaprakshalana (water-wash) Shodhita (processed) Bhanga (cannabis sativa L.) in cancer patients with deprived quality of life: An open-label single arm clinical trial," appears in Ayu.

South Dakota: Voters to Decide on Medical Cannabis Access in 2020

South Dakota: Voters to Decide on Medical Cannabis Access in 2020

Pierre, SD: Voters will decide in November on a statewide ballot initiative to legalize medical cannabis access.

The South Dakota Secretary of State's Office affirmed that petitioners had gathered a sufficient number of signatures to place Measure 26 on the ballot. The initiative permits qualified patients to possess and home-cultivate cannabis for medical purposes and establishes a state-regulated retail system for medical marijuana sales.

"For many years, we have asked the legislature to address the issue of medical marijuana," said Melissa Mentele, director of New Approach South Dakota and sponsor of the medical marijuana ballot initiative. "Despite the fact that a strong majority of South Dakotans support allowing legal, regulated, and safe access to medical marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions, elected officials have failed to take action. Patients cannot afford to wait any longer, and this ballot initiative is our only recourse."

South Dakota is one of only three states that has not enacted any legislation providing some form of medical cannabis or CBD access.

Additional information about the South Dakota initiatives is available from South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws.

Study: Among Teens, Age of First Cannabis Exposure Trending Older

Salt Lake City, UT: High-schoolers, on average, are waiting longer before trying cannabis for the first time, according to data published in the journal Health Education & Behavior.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of Utah assessed trends in high-schoolers' first exposure to cannabis for the years between 1991 and 2017. Investigators reported "an increasing trend from 1991 to 1997 in the prevalence of marijuana use before the age of 15." By contrast, authors reported a downturn in this trend from 1997 through 2017.

Authors concluded that overall, "the mean age of first marijuana use increased significantly between 1991 and 2017." Specifically, "the prevalence of marijuana use before the age of 15 years has decreased since 1999 in the whole population. The decreasing prevalence of marijuana before the age of 15 years is potentially beneficial for public health given that early exposure to marijuana is associated with a number of negative outcomes."

Full text of the study, "A trend analysis of age of first marijuana use among high school students in the United States from 1991 to 2017," appears in Health Education & Behavior.

Case Series: Inhaled Cannabis Reduces Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Bordeaux, France: Cannabis inhalation is associated with subjective relief from symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), according to a series of case reports published in the journal Sleep and Breathing.

French researchers reported on the use of inhaled cannabis in 12 patients with refractory RLS. All but one of the patients "admitted total relief of symptoms following cannabis smoking." Among patients who acknowledged both smoking cannabis and taking sublingual extracts of CBD, inhaling cannabis was reported to be the more effective treatment option.

A previous case series of six patients similarly reported that cannabis provides subjective relief of RLS symptoms.

Authors concluded, "Altogether, these findings may open a new conceptual framework to understand the role of coordinated endocannabinoid signaling in the central nervous system, which may be relevant for the understanding of cannabis efficacy in RLS."

Full text of the study, "More evidence of cannabis efficacy in restless legs syndrome," appears in Sleep and Breath.

Annual Youth Survey Data Shows Little Change in Self-Reported Cannabis Use Trends

Ann Arbor, MI: Annual survey data finds that self-reported marijuana use by young people has remained stable since 2012 when the first two states enacted adult-use cannabis legalization.

According to the Monitoring the Future report published in 2019, the percentage of young people reporting lifetime cannabis use, annual use, and use within the past 30 days has changed little since 2012 and remains well below 1999 levels. However, among those adolescents who report using cannabis, a greater percentage than ever before are vaping it.

Teens' self-reported use of alcohol and several other controlled substances continues to be at record or near-record lows.

By contrast, the percentage of 8th and 10th graders nationwide reporting having consumed cannabis daily has risen since 2012, particularly among 10th graders.

In July, an assessment of data compiled by the Youth Behavior Risk Survey reported that there has been an overall decline in self-reported marijuana use by young people residing in states that have regulated the substance for either medical or recreational purposes.

Additional information on marijuana regulation and adolescent use patterns is available from the NORML fact-sheet, "Marijuana Regulation and Teen Use Rates."

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