Science

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Oregon: Task Force Says State Should Should Fund Marijuana Research Institute

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon should pay for an independent cannabis institute to study the herb's medicinal and public health benefits, according to a task force including state officials, scientists and leading doctors.

Tax dollars from recreational marijuana sales would supplement private funding to underwrite the semi-public Oregon Institute for Cannabis Research, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

Research scientists and staff would be hired to navigate the complexities of getting marijuana studies federally approved, according to the report, prepared by the Oregon Health Authority.

The recommendation was included in a report submitted to the Oregon Legislature on Monday. Among the proposals is that the institute itself would grow and handle cannabis for research purposes.

"This institute will position Oregon as a leader in cannabis research and serve as an international hub for what will soon be a rapidly accelerating scientific field," according to the report. "No other single initiative could do as much to strengthen the Oregon cannabis industry and to support the needs of Oregon medical marijuana patients."

While the federal government allows research on marijuana, the approval process is tortuously complicated, and must use cannabis grow at a federal facility at The University of Mississippi.

U.K.: Major Study Finds Marijuana Does Not Reduce IQ In Teens

TeenLightsMarijuanaJoint[ChuckGrimmett-Flickr]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Reefer Madness has been debunked yet again, as a large study conducted in the United Kingdom failed to find any evidence of a link between cannabis use and lower intelligence among teenagers.

The study was published online January 6 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, and it found that any statistical association between marijuana use and decreased intellectual performance vanished when researchers took other variables into account, reports Eric W. Dolan at The Raw Story.

The study looked at 2,235 teenagers who participated in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a longterm study following children born in the Bristol area in 1991 and 1992. The kids had their IQ tested at the age of 8, and again at the age of 15. Nearly a quarter of the participants reported having tried marijuana at least once, and 3.3 percent had used it at least 50 times.

"The notion that cannabis use itself is causally related to lower IQ and poorer educational performance was not supported in this large teenager sample," werote lead resercher Claire Mokrysz of the University College London and her colleagues.

Israel: Documentary Examines Professor Mechoulam's Pioneering Work With Cannabis

RaphaelMechoulam[PotNetwork.com]

The Scientist, a documentary released by filmmaker Zach Klein which aims to promote the work of Professor Raphael Mechoulam, is available online for free viewing.

Filmmaker Zach Klein first met Professor Mechoulam when researching the ways in which cannabis reduced the symptoms of chemotherapy that his mother was experiencing while being treated for breast cancer. The resulting documentary follows Professor Mechoulam's attempt to answer the potent question: Are we missing something?

While the work of Dr. Mechoulam in the cannabis field started way back in 1960, he maintained a humble attitude when it comes to the diffusion to the general public of the incredible discoveries he was able to publish. Only a few years ago Dr. Mechoulam agreed to grant an exclusive right to Zach Klein to produce a documentary about his lifetime achievements, to help spread the word and reach out to patients that suffer from medical conditions that can be treated with cannabinoids.

"Here we have a group of compounds, an endogenous system of major importance, it is not being used as much as it should be in the clinic, it is of great promise in the clinic," explained Dr. Mechoulam. "Let's try to push it forward and maybe this film can push it forward a bit."

The Scientist was produced, over period of four years, in association with Fundación CANNA, a non-profit research foundation focusing on the study of Cannabis and its compounds.

The Scientist is free to watch online through

U.S.: Survey Of Teens Finds No Change In Marijuana Usage Rates For Past 5 Years

TeenMarijuanaUse[SmokingPanda]

The results of an annual survey of U.S. middle and high school students released Wednesday refute claims that reforming marijuana laws and debating legalization will lead to increased marijuana use among teens.

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

· Rates of daily marijuana use by 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders, as well as monthly use by 12th-graders, did not change from 2014 to 2015 and have remained unchanged since 2010.

· The rate of monthly marijuana use by 8th-graders did not change in the past year, but has dropped significantly since 2010.

· The rate of monthly marijuana use by 10th-graders appears to have dropped significantly from 2014 (and 2010) to 2015.

The survey also found a decline in the number of teens who perceive "great risk" in marijuana use, negating the theory that softening perceptions of harm will result in more teens using marijuana.

“Many young people recognize that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and other drugs," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "But they also understand that it is not okay for them to use it.

"For decades, teens had an artificially high perception of risk that stemmed from exaggerations and scare tactics," Tvert said. "Now that there is more information out there and it's not limited to horror stories and propaganda, they are developing a more realistic view.

Vermont: Medical School Delves Into Cannabis Science

MedicalMarijuanaTextbook[LisaRathke]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The University of Vermont is offering a course in the science of cannabis, but the professors say they are hobbled by a lack of research on what has long been a taboo topic.

While other institutions have offered classes in marijuana law and policy, the university's medical school is possibly the first in the nation to offer a full course on medical cannabis, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, reports the Associated Press. Other medical schools have touched on the topic.

"What we're trying to do with this course is to sort of demystify this whole subject matter, to try to treat this like any other drug, like alcohol or amphetamines or opioids," said Vermont pharmacology professor Wolfgang Dostmann. "Just demystify the whole thing and say what it is, what is going on with it, how does it work."

The Massachusetts Medical Society is offering online medical marijuana courses including one on pharmacology, but those courses are also limited because of the lack of research on the topic.

Nearly 90 graduate and undergraduate students have signed up for the Vermont class, which is to start in the spring, forcing the professors to expand the classroom twice. The class is also open to the general public, allowing members of the Legislature, or those in law enforcement or medicine, to attend.

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