Science

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Study: Marijuana Use -- Even Heavy Use -- Doesn't Lower IQ

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new study from the University College of London of 2,612 children in the United Kingdom examined children's IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found "no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15. Even heavy cannabis use had no associated with reduced IQ scores.

But alcohol was a different story. "In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline," the study's author's wrote, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. "No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change."

"This is a potentially important public health message -- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviors," noted the study's lead author, Claire Mokrysz.

"The current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors," agreed reviewer Guy Goodwin of Oxford University. "These may be as or more important than cannabis itself."

A 2012 Duke University study of just 38 subjects had made world headlines when it claimed to find a link between heavy marijuana use and IQ decline among teens. Columbia University's Carl Hart noted the very small sample of heavy users in the study led him to question how relevant were the results.

Colorado: Moms, Cops, Nurses and Docs Stand Together To Reform Marijuana Laws

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Groups Come Together to End Marijuana Prohibition, Increase Cannabis Research and Promote a Compassionate Health Care Response to Drug Use and Addiction

Moms, Cops, Nurses & Docs Present a Panel Discussion at the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado on Sept. 11

Moms United to End the War on Drugs is bringing together a coalition of family members, health care professionals and criminal justice professionals to end cannabis prohibition that has been so destructive to our families and communities.

Moms, Cops, Nurses & Docs will be holding a panel discussion at the Sherman Street Event Center in Denver, Colorado (1770 Sherman Street) on Thursday, September 11, at the Exhibit Hall Stage at 12:30 pm. Speakers include Mary Lynn Mathre from American Cannabis Nurses Association; Dr. Jeff Hergenrather from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians; Theresa Daniello from Moms United to End the War on Drugs; and Leonard Frieling from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

In 1937, laws were put into place prohibiting the use of cannabis in the United States. In the past decade, more than six million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges. For several decades, people who use drugs and people with addictive illness have been banished to the criminal justice system.

Nearly half of all prisoners in state prisons are locked up for a non-violent offense. Every year 750,000 people are arrested for marijuana, wasting law enforcement resources and throwing non-violent offenders into the criminal justice system.

U.S.: DEA Wants More Than 30x The Amount of Research Marijuana It Originally Requested

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Monday said it needs hundreds of pounds of marijuana for research this year, more than 30 times the amount of cannabis it originally ordered for 2014.

The DEA accordingly adjusted its annual production quota of marijuana for the U.S. government, which is grown on The University of Mississippi's campus at Oxford, reports Pete Kasperowicz at The Blaze.

Ole Miss pot is used exclusively by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to conduct research on marijuana, but don't expect any studies on the medicinal benefits of cannabis. The NIDA, by definition, refuses to fund any studies looking for medical uses, but instead will only authorize studies which look for the harms of marijuana.

Despite what The Blaze reported -- that the NIDA pot was for "medical marijuana research" -- the agency "does not fund research focused on the potential medical benefits of marijuana," an NIDA spokesperson told The New York Times in 2010. "As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use," NIDA spokeswoman told the Times.

Study: Legalizing Medical Marijuana Doesn't Increase Use Among Adolescents

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

One common refrain from those opposed to medical marijuana is that its legalization would increase use among adolescents, but a new study indicates that's just not true.

According to the study from Rhode Island Hospital, which compared 20 years of data from states with and without medical marijuana laws, legalizing cannabis for medicinal use did not lead to any increased use among adolescents, reports ScienceDaily. The study is published online and will be in the upcoming print issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

"Any time a state considers legalizing medical marijuana, there are concerns from the public about an increase in drug use among teens," said Esther Choo, M.D., attending physician in the department of emergency medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. "In this study, we examined 20 years' worth of data, comparing trends in self-reported adolescent marijuana use between states with medical marijuana laws and neighboring states without the laws, and found no increase in marijuana use that could be attributed to the law."

"This adds to a growing body of literature published over the past three years that is remarkably consistent in demonstrating that state medical marijuana policies do not have a downstream effect on adolescent drug use, and we feared they might," Choo said.

Canada: Marijuana-Smoking Students Do Better At School Than Tobacco-Smoking Classmates

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Students who smoke only marijuana do better at school than classmates who smoke only tobacco, or who smoke both tobacco and marijuana, according to a new study which tracked substance use among teens over a 30-year period.

Scientists at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health looked at data from a survey given to nearly 39,000 Ontario students between 1981 and 2011, reports Andrea Janus at CTV News. Students in Grades 7, 9 and 11 were asked by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health about their tobacco and marijuana use, and about their academic performance.

Cannabis-only users did better at school than their peers who smoked only tobacco or who smoked both tobacco and cannabis. The findings reflect the fact that fewer students smoke tobacco now than was the case 30 years ago, and those who do make up a "marginalized, vulnerable" population, according to the study's lead author, Michael Chaiton, assistant professor of epidemiology and public health policy.

Almost all the tobacco users -- 92 percent -- also use cannabis, according to the study. However, only one in four marijuana smokers (25 percent) also used tobacco.

"It's better relatively," Chaiton said of marijuana smokers' academic performance. However, marijuana users didn't outperform non-users, Chaiton said -- but neither did non-users outperform marijuana users.

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