Global: SKUNK and Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis users who start by smoking skunk up to five times as likely to become dependent, study suggests

The Independent   December 18, 2018 3:23 AM

Cannabis users whose first experience with the drug is with potent “skunk” strains are nearly five times more likely to go on to show signs of dependence, US researchers have said.

Researchers found higher concentration of THC, the molecule which causes its psychoactive “high”, increased the likelihood that users would develop cravings or risky drug use that disrupts their day-to-day life.

Despite medical or recreational cannabis use being legalised in a growing number of states and countries there is little regulation on potency – even though this is routine for drugs like alcohol which also cause impairment and dependence.

“THC has linearly increased over two decades,” said Dr Brook Arterberry, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University who led this research.

“Based on the results, states may want to think about the available potency levels of cannabis products, especially with the changing legal landscape of cannabis.”

Increases in THC content have been made possible because of modern growing techniques and in America average levels have risen from 3.5 per cent THC in 1994 to 12.3 per cent in 2012.

In the UK high-potency skunk has pushed out virtually all other types, and experts warn that mental health disorders like psychosis are more common in people who use these stronger strains.

For the study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Dr Arterberry and colleagues used data from a long-running health survey of young people age 11 to 26 who have family history of substance abuse.

In annual follow-ups, users who reported that they had started smoking skunk – with an average THC content of 12.3 per cent – were 4.8 times more likely to have one or more symptoms of cannabis use disorder when compared to those smoking a 4.9 per cent strain.

Cannabis is not typically thought of as addictive in the same way as heroin, cocaine, or even alcohol, where withdrawal can have serious physical health effects. However, it can cause irritability, sleep disruption and other effects that make heavy users dependent.

“This is the first step toward understanding the influence of potency,” Dr Arteberry said. “While more research is needed, the risk associated with higher potency highlights the need for early intervention and targeted prevention efforts.”

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Not only the US, but the entire planet owes SAM a great debt of gratitude – THANK YOU SAM!!!

Public Health’s Biggest Victories Over Big Pot in 2018

Public health and safety advocates, including Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action) and its state affiliates, are celebrating a year of victories against the growing marijuana industry as multiple marijuana legalization bills failed from coast-to-coast.


Healthy and Productive North Dakota, SAM Action’s affiliate in the Peace Garden State, and other supporters, worked hard and defeated Measure 3 by the second-highest margin in the recent history of such ballot measures. This proposition would have created one of the worst recreational marijuana laws in the country.

The truly grassroots, volunteer coalition there stopped Big Marijuana from taking root.


After promising to legalize pot within 100 days of taking office in 2017, New Jersey will enter 2019 with no recreational marijuana market, thanks to the hard work of parents and advocates across the state. SAM Action, New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (NJ-RAMP), and partners have successfully worked to slow down the effort. Murphy and company simply do not have the votes to legalize pot in the Garden State.


In Illinois, Healthy and Productive Illinois (HPIL) worked diligently in conjunction with local leaders, including students from Adlai Stephenson High School, to defeat a bill that would have put the question of marijuana commercialization on the ballot.

In April, HPIL, SAM, and Stephenson High School Students held a press conference highlighting a cost report that found marijuana legalization would cost the state of Illinois upwards of $670 million, far outweighing prospective tax revenues. After this, pro-pot politicians lost traction on their plan and the session ended with no legalization.


In Vermont, several legislators attempted a “Hail Mary” by trying to quickly move a bill to legalize retail sales late in the session. SAM Vermont stepped in and brought about a victory for public health as the bill was overwhelmingly voted down in the House of Representatives.


In June, the Delaware House of Representatives shot down a bill seeking to legalize marijuana in the First State. By a vote of 21-15, state lawmakers deflated the hopes of Big Marijuana at expanding into the state and stood strong in support of public health and safety.

Governor John Carney repeatedly stated that he was opposed to legalization and a large coalition of police groups, doctors, hospitals, and several of the state’s largest employers led by Keep Delaware Healthy and Safe, a SAM Affiliate, and AAA-Mid-Atlantic, rose to the occasion to defeat this reckless proposal.


In New Hampshire, the House voted to send a bill – which would have allowed possession of three quarters of an ounce and three plants – back to a study committee, which killed the bill for the remainder of the year. New Futures, a SAM partner, worked diligently within the state to urge legislators to heed the lessons of other states that made the mistake of legalizing marijuana.


Earlier in April, pro-pot advocates were ready to declare victory in Connecticut as a bill to legalize marijuana was passed out of committee. Fortunately, state lawmakers sided with science and health officials over the pot industry and refused to bring the bill to a vote in either chamber before the session expired. Earlier in the year, the Connecticut chapter of SAM (CT-SAM) released a comprehensive cost study finding that marijuana legalization would cost the state $216 million, well exceeding the projected revenue of $113 million.


In Rhode Island, our partners have been extremely successful in fighting back Big Marijuana’s attempts to expand into the state. Their tireless efforts have resulted in legalization bills being defeated in the legislature every year for the last seven years.

Additionally, they have defeated numerous attempts to expand the number of marijuana dispensaries and have succeeded in establishing local control over pot-related zoning ordinances in towns and cities. When the state was rushing to legalize pot, our partners were able to orchestrate the creation of a bi-partisan group to study the potential impacts of legalization on the state.

“While the pot industry wants folks to believe that commercialization and legalization is inevitable, the results we have seen in these states challenge that assertion,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, founder and president of SAM. “The wins in these states call for celebration, but we know Big Marijuana won’t give up easily – they have too much money on the line. We won’t ever give up either – we have the future of our country on the line.”


We’re not giving up on states like Michigan, where pro-pot interests panicked and poured millions of dollars in at the last minute. In fact, thanks to our inner-city outreach, we outperformed in Detroit and SAM Action’s partner, Healthy and Productive Michigan (HPMI), remains the state voice standing up against the industry. HPMI is now organizing local community “opt-outs” to reject pot shops.

Speaking of opt-outs, Massachusetts should also be mentioned: More than two years after voting in favor of pot, only a small handful of communities have shops up and running. A major opt-out effort has been successful throughout the state, with communities such as Concord, Burlington, Foxboro, and all of Cape Cod opting out of marijuana establishments.

Our efforts in California in helping local communities push back against the industry continue, also. Parents and educators across the state weighed in and kept marijuana out of school nurse office when the marijuana industry wanted it. The League of California Cities is leading efforts to maintain control as Big Pot tries to roll back regulations that prevent billboards and marijuana delivery services. Additionally, 85% of cities and towns in the state have opted out of commercialization.

This last year was one public health advocates can look back on with pride.

Advocates across the country all came together to push back on Big Marijuana’s attempts to further their addiction-for-profit scheme and together, we notched resounding victories. That said, we cannot rest on our laurels just yet. The industry will be back next year and will be looking for revenge. Let’s keep working together to keep our nation healthy.

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USA: Kids Caught In Cannabis Chaos – Crisis!

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CONTACT: Pat Brogan (703)-462-0530


Benchmark NIH Survey Finds Marijuana Use Significantly Higher Among 10th Graders, Vaping Also Significantly Increasing

Tenth grade marijuana use up 10% versus two years ago; vaping marijuana is up more than fifty percent among all age groups; edibles remain popular
(Alexandria, VA) - In the past few years, marijuana use is up significantly, by 10%, among 10th graders, and current vaping of marijuana is up 63% for eighth and tenth graders and 53% for twelfth graders, according to new numbers from the largest drug use survey in the United States. The 2018 Monitoring the Future survey, compiled by researchers at the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institutes of Health, is the benchmark for student drug use in the United States.
Over the past two years, marijuana use among tenth graders rose 10%, a significant increase.  Additionally, despite common belief that nicotine use among youth is down, nicotine vaping rose 87% on average across all age groups.
“The marijuana industry’s efforts to glamorize and normalize marijuana appears to be working. After a decline in use, marijuana use is on the rise again over the past few years, particularly among 10th  graders, and especially with respect to vaping,”  said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president and founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and a former three-time White House drug policy advisor. “And today’s marijuana isn’t what it used to be: THC levels can be 50 times higher than in the past, especially when vaped. We call on regulators to stop the sales of 99% THC vapes and edibles, the two most likely modes of administration after smoking, and to press pause on further proposals to commercialize THC.”
In addition, the study found that the percentage of youth who say they would use marijuana if it was legal has increased, and that 12th graders admitting to driving after using marijuana is significantly higher. Marijuana use has been known to more than double the chance of being in a car crash.
“The commercialization of the marijuana industry and its partnership with groups such as Juul and other Big Tobacco organizations like Altria is now cultivating youth-friendly methods of use, as evidenced by the huge increases in marijuana vaping rates. Legalization today is about enriching Big Tobacco, plain and simple.”
Today’s marijuana is especially harmful to adolescents and is known to have a whole host of damaging effects on developing brains. Adolescent marijuana use severely impacts the ability of our youth to learn, greatly increases the risk of serious mental illness, impairs memory, and can even result in a loss of up to eight IQ points.
About SAM:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades -  is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.
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USA: Oregon ‘legal weed’ makes further waste of lives!


The availability of substances became rampant in the wake of legalization, and yes it was affecting our oldest son Trevor, now 16.

The Slippery Slope

Trevor moved beyond marijuana and got involved in so much more:

  • Dealing/trading other drugs, pills and alcohol
  • Stealing from friends and family
  • Driving without a license or even a permit
  • Skipping school, lying and promiscuity

The effects of drugs on the teen brain are horrific.   Many adults don’t even know, and many kids have no idea what they are doing to their brains when they’re doing pot. One must live through it in their own home, with their own child, to understand the dynamic and heartache this behavior brings.  In our situation, the county juvenile services became imperative.  We were forced to turn our own son over to authorities.   Without the police and the county services, Trevor would not have progressed so far in the right direction.

For Complete story go to DON’T-Legalize-DRUGS



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Global: Big Tobacco 2.0 – Predicted, Posturing and now Producing

Potential Big Tobacco Acquisition Causes Cannabis Company’s Stock to Soar

Stagnant cigarette sales have forced Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA to consider acquiring cannabis companies. 2003 file photo: Nell Redmond/Bloomberg NewsBLOOMBERG NEWS

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)’s legalization opponent Kevin Sabetmay be right: like it or not Big Tobacco is invading cannabis. Altria, the company that invited unwitting consumers for decades to come to where the cancer is –Marlboro Country– may be looking to shore up stagnant cigarette sales by purchasing Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group.

Cronos Group’s stock surged by 25% yesterday after Reuters reported the company might be an acquisition target for Altria.

Cronos confirmed in a statement that it was discussing a potential investment by Altria, but Cronos said an agreement has not yet been reached between both companies, nor does Cronos admit to agreeing to be acquired. However, acquisition talks between the two companies are expected

For complete article go to Who Will Pay the Price for WEED?


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USA: Weed in Washington is a WORRY!

Don’t worry, just munch, blaze and bong on!!!!

Pot laced chocolate chip cookies — and other products…..

State and National Contexts in Evaluating Cannabis Laws – A Case Study in Washington State

Cannabis Use Among Patients at a Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Washington State

VARIATION IN CANNABIS POTENCY & PRICES IN A NEWLYLEGAL MARKET – Evidence from 30 million cannabis sales in Washington State

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UK: Weed for Epilepsy NO Cure – But Propoganda Prevails

Doctors tell parents cannabis will NOT cure their children of epilepsy as demand for drug continues to soar

  • Doctors say they are seeing massive upsurge in demand for cannabis medicine
  • Medics put it down to high profile Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell cases
  • Law was changed earlier this year to legalise medicinal use of the substance


Paediatricians are seeing a ‘massive upsurge’ in the number of parents demanding that psychoactive cannabis medicine be prescribed for their epileptic children.

Hundreds of parents are reported to have contacted doctors after the high-profile cases of epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley, six, and Billy Caldwell, 12, prompted Ministers to change the law on giving children the drug for medical reasons.

Both youngsters were treated with cannabis containing the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD), as well as small amounts of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is responsible for the ‘high’ experienced by recreational users of cannabis but can also trigger psychosis. Dr Symonds said some patients now mistakenly believed cannabis is a cure-all

In the UK, there are 20,000 children who suffer epilepsy that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments. But leading paediatricians say they are horrified that many parents now see cannabis as a panacea for their child’s fits.

Dr Joseph Symonds, a paediatrician at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children and research fellow in paediatric epilepsy genetics at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘We have seen a massive upsurge in the number of parents asking for cannabis, and specifically cannabis with THC, because of the media interest around the children who have responded well to it.

‘But the fact remains that while CBD products have medical benefits, there is just not enough evidence to say that THC cannabis will help a child’s epilepsy.’

For complete story

New and perhaps BETTER OPTION for Epilepsy Sufferers?

Stiripentol Decreases Seizure Frequency in Dravet Syndrome (non-cannabis based medication with better results than the new cannabis derived ‘medications’)


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GLOBAL: BIG TOBACCO Take over the Vape Pen Market!

Is a Tobacco Giant Trying to Take Over the Vape Pen Market?

CHRIS ROBERTS December 11, 2018

Altria, the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris whose $1.8 billion investment in a cannabis company was announced Friday, has over the past five years quietly patented dozens of devices that could be used to consume marijuana, a review of public documents at the US Patent and Trademark Office shows.

Altria’s patents and patent applications carry one of several generic descriptions, including “electronic cigarette,” “electronic smoking article,” “e-vaping” device, and “electronic vaping device.”

“They see a downturn in the tobacco industry, and they see this humongous upside in the cannabis industry.”

Michael Cohen, intellectual property lawyer

Many of them bear striking similarities to vape pens and other devices used to consume cannabis that are already on the market, according to patent attorneys and an independent product manufacturer who reviewed the patent filings at the request of Leafly News.

Exactly what Altria plans to do with its new intellectual property is uncertain. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. But intellectual property experts noted that the number and breadth of the patents involved mean Altria could conceivably seek to charge competitors licensing fees or knock them out of the market entirely.

“What’s clear is that they’re making a play at the vaporizer market,” said Larry Sandell, a Washington, DC–based patent attorney. “This will be a good way to achieve dominance in that market.”

As early as the late 1960s and early 1970s, Philip Morris executives have eyed marijuana as a potential growth opportunity. In a confidential 1969 letter to Philip Morris’s research laboratories, Alfred Berger, a professor overseeing the Phillip Morris Fellowship in Chemistry at the University of Virginia, wrote: “The company that will bring out the first marihuana smoking devices, be a cigarette or some other form, will capture the market and be in a better position than its competitors to satisfy the legal public demand for such products.”

For complete article



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Global: Journey of a BudTender: A Little Dab Will Do!


DECEMBER 11, 2018 by Cannabis Activist

Part 3 of 5 parts of Journey of a Budtender.  Read Part 1 Part 2: Burn thru it

Our Corporation’s buds were harsh and unappealing. Plus, I had seen the mold on marijuana buds in both the cultivation center and in the dispensary.  When the Colorado ex-CEO, now a “consultant,” announced that the dispensary would be selling high potency THC concentrates, I immediately switched exclusively to concentrates. People call the concentrates wax, shatter, BHO or dabs.  A little dab went a long way.   Dabs promised to be a far “cleaner” product, and they were a “a more ‘medicinal’ way to medicate.”

I’m embarrassed to admit that I believed it would be a much safer and palatable way to ingest my Corporation’s marijuana. So gullible was I!   I believed what our “Consultant” said and did not conduct any online research whatsoever.

hard, moldy marijuanaI bought one of the dispensary’s side-car dab rigs, a butane torch, and shatter testing at over 94% THC.  Though I had consumed our dispensary’s high THC flower, doing a dab was a sensation that I had never attained with marijuana before in my entire life, or from any drug for that matter, including cocaine.  It was extremely powerful.  The phrase is “a little dab will do you,” but that’s not the mindset when one is consuming a drug that instantaneously floods your dopamine receptors in split-second, napalm upon the brain.


How a little dab works

A little dab won’t do you.  In fact “a little dab” is quite addicting and it will do you in.

I became a great fan of high potency THC concentrates and recommended them, especially if patients told me that the flower was harsh or causing adverse effects.  To this day, I feel such guilt and shame for having sold concentrates to individuals under 18 years old.  They would come in with their parents or guardians, who would have to calm them down at my counter. I should have realized from how overexcited they became at the prospects of getting more wax or shatter, that something was wrong.

What I did may have been legal, but that didn’t make it right. I was promoting addiction.  (Read previous poppot articles about dabbing,)


We have always been told marijuana should have a calming, peaceful, happy effect on people.  However, my patients and co-workers were describing being ill, they were looking unhappy and angry.  I noticed that patients who consumed dabs would be prone to IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) outbursts in the dispensary.  As for me, as my concentrate usage continued and escalated, my physical and mental health declined.

My physical symptoms worsened to nausea, abdominal bloating, pain in my abdomen and GI tract and urinary incontinence.  I started to experience extremely painful spasms in my calves, up to 10 times a night.  Then came the onset of constant electrical sensation and twitches in my calves. Though these symptoms were alarming, I thought that they were due to dehydration and pre-menopause and would subside.

Getting into a dark place before the light

I could perceive that my psyche had changed in a very bad way.  I was no longer desiring to do activities that once provided pleasure and joy, such as mountain biking.  My mind was hijacked. I could feel nothing whatsoever unless I was dabbing, doing it more and more but powerless to stop.  My friends detected that something was really wrong with me, later telling me “that dab had a hold of you.” But no one knew how  dark and disturbed my thoughts had become.


I had started to experience escalating thoughts of committing violent actions.  First I was vividly daydreaming about vandalizing cars, then beating people with a baseball bat, then shooting people with a gun.  After dabbing for 9 months, I felt completely devoid of spirit, truly despising myself and on the brink of suicide.  Non-violent person by nature and a yoga practitioner for 20 years, I would rather end my life than take another.

So close was I to falling off the cliff of sanity.  I was teetering on the precipice of a psychotic break or suicide until that fateful day in the dispensary, when I watched a co-worker.  I saw the look of sheer worry and concern in her eyes when interacting with patients describing adverse effects from products. At long last it woke me up that something was really wrong.   A little dab will never satisfy you, as you want and crave more.  When you dab, you’re incapable of perceiving its great harm upon your body, mind and spirit.

(To read how the story continues, see Part 4  and Part 5).

(We have two other testimonies specifically about dabbing, My  16-year-old son died from marijuana  and  Dabbing is addictive.)


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Global: Cannabis and the Environment…BAD mix!

We must study marijuana’s impact on the environment before it’s too late

While all admirable and necessary warnings, this focus on human health has highlighted the notable lack of public or governmental discussion on the potential impact of cannabis on the environment, and in particular on North America’s abundant supplies of fresh water.

Often featuring in the lower rungs of priority when it comes to determining the safety of a drug, the impact of a pharmaceutical on the freshwater environment can be significant on the health of lakes, rivers and those who reside nearby.

The gamut is wide and worrying – from limpets in the UK no longer able to cling on to rocks for survival as they “bathe in a soup” of antidepressants to Canadian male fish growing eggs in their testes after being exposed to the synthetic estrogen found in birth control pills.

‘When it comes to marijuana, a lot of the research and legislation is patchy and regionally specific.’ Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters

These examples should serve as a reminder that when deeming a drug fit for market, we should research and factor in its impact on the environment and water systems.

As the tide of marijuana legalization seems to be steadily sweeping North America, it also highlights how the USA and Canada, with our shared watersheds and borderless water movement, need to put our heads together on this issue.

When it comes to marijuana, a lot of the research and legislation is patchy and regionally specific. In Canada, some legislation exists to limit the use of more than 95 pesticides that can be used by licensed cannabis producers. There is also guidance to prevent these compounds from leeching into nearby water bodies and reaching its flora and fauna.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of fresh water to North America’s economy and peoples. The five mammoth Great Lakes alone account for 21% of the globe’s freshwater supplies and no fewer than 35 million Americans and Canadians depend on them for their drinking water.

For complete article Toxic Cannabis in ALL Food Chains!


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