State legislative sessions are kicking off around the nation. Medical and Recreational Cannabis use for adults is an urgent issue in many states. If you’re new to this policy battle, please remember sophisticated and woke players use the term “cannabis” rather than racist, xenophobic label “marijuana.” For history, see Institutional Racism of Marijuana.
There have been over 500,000+ American deaths due to opioid-related overdose epidemic since 2010. There have been ZERO OD deaths ever related to Medical Cannabis. ZERO!
Cannabis Use Does Not Reduce IQ
For years, anti-cannabis groups have argued pakalolo / weed / cannabis makes the user dumb. Their claim regular cannabis use can lower intelligence is fairly common—and even supported by preliminary scientific research. A new study looking at twins debunks this old myth with stronger evidence.
Scientific support behind the “myth” can be traced to a 2012 longitudinal study that suggested cannabis use in adolescence lowered IQ and cognitive functioning scores in young adulthood. This conclusion suffers a common statistical misunderstanding: correlation vs. causation.
Something other than cannabis is causing these IQ changes. Factors like lower socioeconomic status, tobacco use, and even simply being in pain are good suspects, as they are correlated with both cannabis use and lowered cognitive scores. To better understand the complexities, researchers looked at twins.
“A co-twin control study is uniquely designed to examine causal relationships,” explained Dr. Jessica Megan Ross, University of Colorado Boulder. “Identical twins share 100% of their genes and shared environmental factors (e.g., grew up in the same household). Thus, comparing within twin pairs allows us to control for genetics and numerous environmental factors.”
Tracking twins who differed in cannabis use, Ross and team were able to determine whether cannabis use caused changes within the twin pairs. If cannabis led to neurotoxic effects on the teenage brain, as proposed by authors in the 2012 study, “cannabis-using” twins should have lower scores on cognitive function than non-cannabis using counterparts. This isn’t what they found.
Instead, they discovered in cases where one twin used cannabis, both twins were more likely to suffer drops in IQ.
“Our study refutes the results from these studies which suggest that cannabis use is associated with poorer cognitive function. Our study did find significant associations between cannabis use and cognition phenotypically. However, when we controlled for genetics, shared environmental factors between twins, and other substance use, these significant associations disappeared.”
Dr. Jessica Megan Ross, University of Colorado Boulder
Importantly, abstaining from cannabis use offered no protection from cognitive decline for the non-cannabis using twins. [source]
Australia: Beginning January 31, 2020, adults 18 and over in Australia’s capital of Canberra, as well as all Australian Capital Territory (ACT) that has nearly 400,000 residents, will be legally able to possess up to 50 grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants per household.
Australia legalized Medical Cannabis in 2016, but all recreational use remains prohibited under federal law — similar to the conflict in U.S. federal prohibition and over 33+ states that have legalized medical cannabis and over 11+ U.S. states that have authorized recreational cannabis.
Haifa, Israel: Israeli investigators conducted original research to examine the association between Medical Cannabis and insomnia in older adults with chronic pain. They applied a cross-sectional methodology to study sleep problems and cannabis use in older (50+ years of age) chronic pain patients. Total of 128 patients were enrolled in the study. Of them, 66 used medical cannabis for at least one-year. Sixty-two were non-users.
The Israeli research team reported use of plant-derived cannabis was associated with an overall “positive effect on maintaining sleep throughout the night.” Data is published in journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.
Results: After adjusting for age, sex, pain level and use of sleep and anti-depressant medications, Medical Cannabis (MC) use was associated with reduced problems waking up at night compared with non-MC use. No group differences were found for problems falling asleep or waking up early without managing to fall back asleep.
Nevada leads the nation in reform after Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 132 making it illegal for employers to refuse to hire job applicants based on results of a cannabis drug screen. The law went into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Protections apply only to “non-safety-sensitive” employees and not to employees considered for firefighter and public safety positions, including emergency medical technicians or other positions that “in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect the safety of others.”
“As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans. That’s why I was proud to sign AB 132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals.”
Gov. Steve Sisolak
New Mexico is off to an excellent start. Without Republican support, Senate Democrats passed a historic recreational cannabis bill through the Public Affairs committee Tuesday (1.28.20). Senate Bill 115 would create and regulate the recreational sale of cannabis to people 21 years old and over.
“I think we can identify here today those issues that truly drive violent crime and truly drive our public safety issues, cannabis is not among them, not chief among them at least.”
Democratic Senator Jacob Candelaria
Hawai’i: the Aloha state decriminalized cannabis January 11, 2020. Act 273, which made the change possible, does not consider possession of three (3) grams or less cannabis as a criminal act. Act 273 did impose a monetary fine of $130. The Act also allows individuals with a prior drug criminal conviction to expunge the record if they were apprehended in possession of three grams or less cannabis only.
The legislature will consider a number of important measures during their 2020 session. Appreciate the efforts of Malie Cannabis Clinic, LLC for their dedication assisting and protecting legal medical cannabis patients.
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