#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 15 Oct 2019 04:20:21 PST

Study: No Uptick in Violent Crime Following Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization

Pullman, WA: The enactment of statewide legislation permitting adult cannabis possession and sales is not associated with any significant or long-term uptick in criminal activity, according to data published in the journal Justice Quarterly.

Investigators affiliated with the Department of Justice and Criminology at Washington State University assessed trends in monthly average crime rates in Colorado and Washington following legalization compared to various control states. Researchers specifically examined trends in violent crime, property crime, aggravated assault, auto theft, burglary, larceny, and robbery rates.

They reported, "[M]arijuana legalization and sales have had minimal to no effect on major crimes in Colorado or Washington. We observed no statistically significant long-term effects of recreational cannabis laws or the initiation of retail sales on violent or property crime rates in these states."

Consistent with the results of prior studies, the authors concluded, "[T]he results related to serious crime are quite clear: the legalization of marijuana has not resulted in a significant upward trend in crime rates. ... Our results from Colorado and Washington suggest that legalization has not had major detrimental effects on public safety."

Full text of the study, "The cannabis effect on crime: Time-series analysis of crime in Colorado and Washington State," appears in Justice Quarterly.

Survey: Marijuana Legalization in Canada "Has Not Had a Noticeable Impact on the Workplace"

Toronto, Canada: The enactment of nationwide legislation in Canada legalizing the use of cannabis has had little perceived impact on workplace safety or employees' performance, according to survey data compiled by the Ipsos market research firm and commissioned the human resources group ADP Canada.

The survey reported: "[R]ecreational cannabis had a smaller-than-expected impact on workplace performance. Most Canadians believe recreational cannabis has had no impact at work in terms of health and safety incidents (75 percent), productivity (74 percent) absenteeism (71 percent) or quality of work (70 percent)."

The findings are in contrast to the perceptions held by Canadians prior to legalization when nearly half presumed that the policy change would be associated with a decline in work quality and productivity and a rise in occupational accidents.

Commenting on the survey results, an ADP Canada representative said, "There was a lot of uncertainty and hype leading up to cannabis legalization last year, but so far, cannabis has not had a noticeable impact on the workplace or on workplace performance."

According to a 2017 literature review by the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, "There is no or insufficient evidence to support ... a statistical association between cannabis use and ... occupational accidents or injuries."

Study: Long-Term Cannabis Use Associated with Clinical Improvements in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Tel Aviv, Israel: The long-term use of whole-plant cannabis is associated with both symptom improvement and the reduced use of prescription medications in patients with treatment-resistant inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to clinical data in The European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Israeli researchers assessed the long-term effects of daily cannabis use in 127 patients diagnosed with intractable IBD. Most of the subjects in the study suffered from either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Just under 70 percent of the study's subjects consumed herbal preparations of cannabis.

Investigators reported that patients' overall symptoms improved significantly over a median period of 44 months and that subjects typically consumed 30 grams of cannabis per month to achieve a therapeutic benefit.

They reported: "We found that most of the patients were satisfied with medical cannabis treatment and experienced prolonged improvement in disease-related symptoms, specifically abdominal pain and number of bowel movements per day. Improvement was also supported by the significant decrease in the clinically based Harvey-Bradshaw disease activity index."

Researchers further reported that cannabis therapy was associated with a significant reduction in patients' consumption of prescription medications, as well as weight gain and the increased likelihood of full-time employment.

"Our findings ... demonstrate that the clinical improvement achieved with medical cannabis treatment was also associated with improvements in patients' daily functioning," they concluded. "In summary, this study presents a real-life cohort of long-term cannabis users with IBD. In this cohort, cannabis resulted in improvements in symptoms and general functioning. Long-term side-effects were mild, and optimal doses were defined. ... [C]annabis is used by many IBD patients, and our real-life data provide us with important information which can guide the management of these patients until more information is available."

Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease: Real-life experience of mode of consumption and assessment of side effects," appears in The European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Lab Results Contradict Labelling of Some Commercially Available CBD Products

Chicago, IL: Some commercially available CBD-infused products contain percentages of cannabidiol and THC that vary from what is advertised on the products' label, according to a pair of recent news investigations.

In the first investigation, reporters affiliated with Channel 7/ABC News in Chicago selected eight randomly chosen CBD-infused products to third-party testing. The products were obtained either online or at gas stations, not in state-regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.

Of the eight products tested by investigators, two contained percentages of CBD and THC that were higher than the amount indicated on the label. Two products contained far less CBD than advertised. One product tested negative for any quantity of cannabidiol.

In the second investigation, reporters with CBS News analyzed the contents of nine randomly selected CBD-infused oil products purchased from unregulated markets around the country. While none of the products tested positive for elevated levels of either heavy metals or THC, four of the samples contained percentages of CBD that were inconsistent with the products' labeling.

Currently, commercially marketed CBD products are not subject to explicit federal regulations. As a result, third-party lab testing has frequently revealed inconsistencies between the percentage of CBD advertised and the amount contained in some of these products. In many cases – such as those reported here, here, here, here, and here – actual quantities of CBD in the product are far lower than advertised. In other cases, lab testing has identified the presence of psychoactive additives – such as synthetic cannabinoid agonists or dextromethorphan – in various products. Some commercially available CBD products have also been identified to contain elevated levels of heavy metals and solvents.

In May, NORML provided written testimony to the US Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to move expeditiously to provide regulatory guidelines governing CBD-infused products, including best practices for their manufacturing, standardization, and purity.

The full text of NORML's written testimony to the FDA is online.

Case Report: Cannabis Mitigates Symptoms in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Familial Mediterranean Fever

Haifa, Israel: Medical cannabis treatment is associated with significant improvements in patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant familial Mediterranean fever, according to a pair of case studies published in The American Journal of Case Reports. Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a genetic disorder that causes recurring episodes of high fever as well as abdominal, chest, and joint pain.

Israeli investigators reported on the efficacy of medical cannabis treatment in two patients, a 30-year-old male and a 23-year-old male. In the first subject, herbal cannabis administration was associated with "remarkable improvement in the severity of the attacks [of fever] and quality of life, including decreased abdominal, joint, and chest pain." In the second subject, cannabis inhalation was associated with "significant improvement" in chest pain and fever frequency.

Authors concluded that medical cannabis administration attenuated the severity of FMF attacks and also decreased their frequency. "Cannabis is a therapeutic option for treating the most complex patients with FMF," they determined.

Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis in treatment of resistant familial Mediterranean fever," appears in The American Journal of Case Reports.

Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Risk of Intestinal Infection

Worchester, MA: The use of cannabis is associated with a significantly reduced risk of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), according to clinical data published in the journal Anaerobe. CDI is a bacterial infection often acquired in hospitals. It can cause life-threatening damage to the colon. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, "within a month of diagnosis, one in 11 people over age 65 dies of a health-care associated CDI."

Investigators with the University of Massachusetts assessed the prevalence of CDI in nearly 30,000 cannabis consumers as compared to an equal number of non-using controls. They reported that those who consumed cannabis occasionally were 23 percent less likely than abstainers to acquire CDI during hospitalization, while habitual consumers were 80 percent less likely.

Authors concluded that a history of cannabis exposure "was associated with a decreased risk of CDI amongst hospitalized patients. Prospective and molecular mechanistic studies are required to elucidate how cannabis and its contents impacts CDI."

Full text of the study, "Cannabis use and risk of Clostridioides difficile infection: Analysis of 59,824 hospitalizations," appears in Anaerobe.

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