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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 01 Jan 2019 04:20:21 PST

Study: Cannabis Use Not Independently Associated With Psychosis In Young People

LogroƱo, Spain: Adolescents' cannabis use history is not an independent predictor of an elevated risk of psychosis, according to data published in the journal Adicciones.

Investigators affiliated with the University of La Rioja in Spain explored the relationship between psychotic-like experiences and cannabis use in a representative sample of over 1,500 Spanish adolescents.

They reported that initially identified associations between cannabis use and psychosis were no longer present once researchers controlled for confounding variables, such as socioeconomic status, alcohol use, tobacco smoking, and comorbid psychopathology.

Authors concluded, "In this study, it was found that after controlling for the effect of the multiple relevant co-variables, the use of cannabis was not related to the frequency and distress associated with psychotic experiences reported by adolescents. ... These results suggest that the relationships established between psychotic-like experiences and cannabis are complex and mediated by relevant variables."

Full text of the study, "Psychotic-like experiences and cannabis use in adolescents from the general population," appears in Adicciones. Additional information is available in the NORML white paper, "Cannabis, Mental Health, and Context."

Hawaii: Lawmakers Pass Legislation Decriminalizing Low-Level Possession Offenses

Honolulu, HI: House and Senate lawmakers on Tuesday finalized and passed legislation, House Bill 1383, decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession offenses and vacating past convictions. The legislation now awaits action from Democratic Gov. David Ige.

The measure reduces penalties involving the possession of up to three grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and a criminal record, to a non-criminal violation -- punishable by a $130 fine.

It also provides a mechanism for the courts to grant an expungement order for those previously convicted of a marijuana possession offense involving no more than three grams.

The measure also establishes a task force to review cannabis policy and to make recommendations to the legislature by 2021.

If signed, the new law takes effect on January 11, 2020.

To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized (eliminated the possibility of jail time) the adult possession and personal use of marijuana.

North Dakota: Lawmakers Pass Language Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties

Bismarck, ND: House and Senate lawmakers have passed legislation, House Bill 1050, reducing marijuana possession penalties. The measure now awaits action from Republican Gov. Doug Burgum.

Under the proposal, the possession of up to one-half ounce (14.175 grams) of cannabis or marijuana-related paraphernalia for a first-time offender is reclassified from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, to an infraction -- punishable by a fine but no possibility of jail time. Those charged with subsequent infractions over the course of a calendar year may face the possibility of misdemeanor charges.

In 2016, North Dakota ranked sixth in the nation in per capita marijuana possession arrests.

Separate provisions in the measure reduce penalties for the possession of up to 500 grams of cannabis from a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to a class B misdemeanor. Penalties for the possession of greater amounts are amended from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

If signed into law, the new penalties will take effect on August 1, 2019.

Case Reports: Patients With Fragile X Syndrome Show Functional Benefits Following CBD Dosing

Aurora, CO: Patients diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a rare genetic disorder that is associated with learning disabilities and delayed development, show functional improvements following the daily use of cannabidiol, according to a case series published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

A team of investigators from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the University of California at Davis reported on three separate cases of subjects demonstrating clinical symptom improvement following the use of oral formulations of CBD. Patients experienced reduced anxiety and less frequent panic attacks as well as improvements in sleep, motor coordination, and sensory processing. FXS symptoms returned in two of the three patients after CBD treatment was discontinued, but then improved following the reintroduction of CBD therapy.

"The present findings, coupled with the available preclinical data, highlight the potential for CBD as an intervention for individuals with FXS," authors concluded. They cautioned, however, "Until rigorous clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of CBD treatment for FXS, current treatments for the many behavioral problems associated with FXS should be utilized before off-label use of CBD products."

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Treatment of Fragile X syndrome with cannabidiol: A case series study and brief review of the literature," appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Iowa: Lawmakers Approve Medical Cannabis Expansion Legislation

Des Moines, IA: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House File 732, to expand the state's medical cannabis access program. The measure now awaits action from Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Under existing law, licensed dispensaries may only provide qualified patients with plant-derived extracts possessing CBD and no more than three percent THC. House File 732 eliminates the THC cap. It also permits physician assistants and/or advanced registered nurses to make medical cannabis recommendations, and expands the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy to include those with "severe or chronic" pain.

The new measure imposes restrictions regarding the total amount of THC a patient may possess in a 90-day period (25 grams). However, this limit may be waived at the advice of a health practitioner.

About 1,000 Iowans are currently authorized to access low-THC cannabis oils.

Michigan: Supreme Court Rules Police Search Of Passenger's Personal Property Is Unconstitutional

Lansing, MI: The warrantless search of a passenger's personal property during a traffic stop is unconstitutional, according to a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court. The judgement overturns a 2007 decision that barred passengers from challenging similar searches by members of law enforcement.

Justices unanimously opined that a driver's voluntary consent to allow the police to search her vehicle did not extend to the passenger's personal belongings. They determined: "In this case, defendant had a legitimate expectation of privacy in his backpack. Defendant asserted a clear possessory interest in his backpack by clutching it in his lap, and the officer believed that the backpack belonged to defendant because of the way defendant was holding it. Therefore, although defendant had no (and claimed no) legitimate expectation of privacy in the interior of the driver's vehicle, he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in his backpack that society is willing to recognize as reasonable."

Justices concluded, "A passenger's personal property is not subsumed by the vehicle that carries it for Fourth Amendment purposes."

The defendant's backpack held marijuana and methamphetamine. He had already served nearly three years in prison for the offenses prior to this week's verdict.

The case is People v. Mead.

Georgia: Governor Signs Law Licensing Low-THC Oil Production

Atlanta, GA: Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation into law to facilitate the licensed production and distribution of oils and other products containing limited amounts of plant-derived THC.

House Bill 324 (aka Georgia's Hope Act) establishes a regulatory commission to oversee the eventual "production, manufacturing, and dispensing" of products possessing specified quantities of plant-derived THC to qualified patients. The law allows for the licensing of up to six privately owned cultivation operations, and also seeks collaboration with the University of Georgia in the manufacturing of THC-infused extracts and oils.

Under a 2015 state law, qualified patients are exempt from criminal prosecution for the possession of oil extracts containing not more than 5 percent THC and an amount of CBD equal to or greater than the amount of THC. However, the law failed to provide any mechanism for patients to obtain low-THC products from a state-regulated producer or provider.

Approximately 9,500 patients are currently registered with the state to possess medical cannabis products.

It is anticipated that it may take up to two years before any state-licensed facilities are up and running.

Washington: Governor Signs Legislation Permitting Medical Cannabis Use On School Grounds

Olympia, WA: Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation, House Bill 1095, permitting qualified patients access to cannabis-infused products while on school grounds.

The new law explicitly permits parents or guardians "to administer marijuana-infused products to the student while the student is on school grounds." It also mandates that school districts "permit a student [who is a qualified medical cannabis patient] to consume marijuana-infused products ... on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event."

The new law goes into effect on July 27, 2019.

Study: Synthetic Cannabis Use Associated With Greater Risk Of Mental Health Issues

Utretch, the Netherlands: Adults who frequently consume illicitly-produced synthetic cannabinoid agonists (e.g., JWH-018) are significantly more likely to report experiencing mental health issues than are similarly matched controls who only use cannabis, according to data published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

A team of European researchers surveyed consumers of both natural cannabis and illicitly produced synthetic cannabinoid analogues. They reported that those who consumed synthetic cannabinoids were significantly more likely to self-report psychopathological symptoms, such as paranoid ideation, psychosis, anxiety, hostility, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Nonetheless, authors acknowledged that causality could not be determined by the study. "[W]e do not know if SC (synthetic cannabis) leads to increased mental health problems, or if mental health problems instigate SC use," they said.

Investigators concluded: "Our study demonstrates that there are significant mental health problems in this population of SC users, which should be cause for concern for treatment and prevention professionals. Use of SCs is associated with a probability for mental health risks up to over five times greater than NC (natural cannabis) use, which is in line with previous results assembled in clinical and preclinical studies with SCs which showed a much more potent mechanism of action than NC."

Full text of the study, "Psychopathological symptoms associated with synthetic cannabinoid use: A comparison with natural cannabis," appears in Psychopharmacology.

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