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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 04 Jun 2019 04:20:21 PST

Seniors Say That Cannabis Positively Impacts Their Quality Of Life

Aurora, CO: Seniors who report having consumed cannabis within the past year say that it improves their overall quality of life, according to survey data published in the journal Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine surveyed 274 older respondents (mean age = 72.5 years) regarding their cannabis use patterns. Authors reported, "Past year marijuana users reported improved overall health, quality of life, day-to-day functioning, and improvement in pain."

Respondents were most likely to report using cannabis to treat symptoms associated with arthritis as well as back pain, anxiety, and depression. Respondents also frequently reported consuming various formulations of cannabis, such as edibles and topical products.

Authors concluded, "[S]urveyed older persons aged more than 60 who have legal access to recreational and medical marijuana described multiple patterns of use of marijuana in the past year, and the majority felt that marijuana use had an overall positive impact on their quality of life."

The findings are similar to those of prior surveys showing increasing rates of cannabis use among seniors, many of whom report that it provides significant improvements to their quality of life.

Full text of the study, "Patterns of marijuana use and health impact: A survey among older Coloradoans," appears in Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine.

Study: Presence Of THC In Blood Not Associated With Crash Culpability

Vancouver, Canada: Drivers testing positive for the presence of THC in blood do not possess a significantly increased risk of being responsible for a non-fatal motor vehicle accident, according to data published in the journal Addiction.

Investigators from the University of British Columbia compared the likelihood of crash responsibility in drivers testing positive for THC and/or other substances as compared to drug-free drivers over a six-year period (2010 to 2016).

Researchers reported, "In this multi-site observational study of non-fatally injured drivers, we found no increase in crash risk, after adjustment for age, sex, and use of other impairing substances, in drivers with THC<5ng/ml. For drivers with THC>5ngml there may be an increased risk of crash responsibility, but this result was statistically non-significant and further study is required. ... Our findings ... suggest that the impact of cannabis on road safety is relatively small at present time."

By contrast, authors reported, "There was a significantly increased risk for drivers who used alcohol, sedating medications, or recreational drugs others than cannabis." Drivers who tested positive for the concurrent use of cannabis and alcohol possessed a higher risk of accident as compared to drivers who tested positive for alcohol alone – a finding that is consistent with other studies.

Full text of the study, "Cannabis use as a risk factor for causing motor vehicle crashes: A prospective study," appears in Addiction. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, "Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance."

Survey: Majority Of Voters Support Sealing Records For Federal Marijuana Offenders

Washington, DC: Over 70 percent of registered voters support sealing the records of those convicted of violating federal marijuana laws, according to nationwide polling data compiled by the survey research firm GBA Strategies and commissioned by the Center for American Progress.

Seventy-one percent of respondents – including 80 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Independents, and 62 percent of Republicans – support "legislation to automatically seal the records of individuals convicted of marijuana [or] other non-violent drug offenses if the person has completed his/her sentence and has not committed another criminal offense."

Federal legislation is pending, HR 2348: The Clean Slate Act of 2019, to automatically seal non-violent, federal marijuana convictions one year following completion of the defendant's sentence.

Review: Oral Fluid Tests Not Sufficiently Accurate For Cannabis Detection

Ontario, Canada: Roadside oral fluid detection devices are ineffective at accurately identifying past cannabis exposure, according to a literature review published in the journal Public Health.

Canadian investigators performed a systematic review of published studies evaluating the performance of on-site oral fluid detection technologies. They reported that available devices do not meet acceptable standards of sensitivity and accuracy, that products lack standardization, and that there are no known "correlations between THC concentrations in OF (oral fluid) and the level of impairment."

Authors concluded, "[T]he methods for measuring OF at the roadside need to be improved."

In recent years, lawmakers in several states have suggested the idea of permitting police to administer roadside oral fluid tests as a potential means of determining prior cannabis exposure.

Full text of the study, "Are oral fluid testing devices effective for the roadside detection of recent cannabis use: A systemic review," appears in Public Health.

Colorado: Law Signed Permitting Doctors To Recommend Cannabis In Place Of Opioids

Denver, CO: Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed legislation into law expanding the pool of patients eligible to receive medical cannabis recommendations.

Senate Bill 13 permits physicians for the first time to recommend cannabis therapy for any condition for which he/she "could prescribe an opioid." The new law takes effect August 2, 2019.

Clinical trials have established cannabis to be efficacious in the treatment of chronic pain, particularly neuropathy. In jurisdictions where cannabis is legally accessible, patients frequently acknowledge reducing their use of conventional medications, specifically opioids and benzodiazepines, after initiating cannabis therapy.

Iowa: Governor Vetoes Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

Des Moines, IA: Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has vetoed legislation, House File 732, that would have amended the state's low-THC access program.

The proposal would have expanded the pool of health professionals eligible to recommend medical cannabis products and would have opened the program up to those with severe or chronic pain. It also removed the three percent THC cap on medical cannabis products.

Governor Reynolds said that she opposed changes to the law that would have allowed qualified patients to possess products with greater quantities of THC.

In her veto message, she stated: "Ultimately, I believe Iowa must proceed cautiously to ensure that any expansion of our medical CBD program is thoughtful and deliberate. ... So I look forward to working with the Legislature and the Medical Cannabidiol Board to find an evidence-based THC limit that we can work to enact along with the rest of the provisions in House File 732 that I support. The health and safety of Iowans is too important for us not to get this right."

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