Ireland: Normalizing Weed is Destroying Our Kids.

Child cannabis addiction has nearly doubled in last decade

Normalising marijuana ‘is danger to teenagers’

In 2018, 621 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 received treatment in Ireland for addiction to cannabis – making up 85pc of the problem drugs for the adolescents (stock photo)

March 01 2020

The number of child cannabis addicts has nearly doubled in Ireland as the drug has become more fashionable.

Addiction has soared among teenagers in Ireland in the past 10 years while cocaine accounts for only a small fraction of addiction cases.

In 2018, 621 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 received treatment in Ireland for addiction to cannabis – making up 85pc of the problem drugs for the adolescents.

While cocaine generates headlines, it accounted for only 5pc of cases of teenage addiction in 2018 or 39 cases, ecstasy accounted for 2pc, benzodiazepines account for 5pc and heroin had zero cases.

Cannabis is seen as much less harmful than hard drugs like heroin and cocaine but consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at the HSE’s Adolescent Addiction Service, Dr Bobby Smyth, said it is by far the single biggest addictive drug for Irish children.

“We seem to have a blind spot for cannabis in society. Cocaine is nudging upwards but it’s well behind cannabis.”

While cannabis can increase the risk of psychosis among adolescents, it is most often a classic addiction issue.

“It consumes their lives. I knew many young people who get away with it but there is a significant minority who have their lives devastated by it.”

Marijuana normalisation has snowballed with US states including California legalising recreational use of cannabis.

Dr Smyth believes positive messages around cannabis are driving the treatment rates for addiction to the drug, which have gone from 348 child cases in 2008 to 621 cases in 2018 in Ireland.

He said: “There is a really highly organised and sophisticated campaign driving the legalisation of cannabis agenda.

“The harms and risks are being lost. We need some counter messaging. A lot of young people are rather thoughtlessly walking in to using cannabis.

“Teenagers know it’s not good to be drinking from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. But they are smoking cannabis the way they smoke cigarettes and that’s a disaster.

For complete article https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/child-cannabis-addiction-has-nearly-doubled-in-last-decade-39002922.html

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GLOBAL: COVID-19 and WEED! Stoner Advice Dangerous!

Dear Community Member,

The marijuana industry has taken the extraordinary step of exploiting the current COVID-19 crisis for its own ends. We felt compelled to set the record straight and, in cooperation with health authorities, release the following guidance on COVID-19 and marijuana.

SAM STATEMENT ON COVID-19

COVID-19 has rapidly spread throughout the world and though there is some confusion about the details of the disease and its spread, one thing is certain: there are populations within the United States that are particularly vulnerable. Among these vulnerable populations, reports the National Institutes on Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), are individuals who smoke or vape marijuana, or have a history of smoking or vaping marijuana.

Underlying respiratory issues are a serious risk factor for negative outcomes from COVID-19. NIDA reports that “Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes  COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape:”

  • A report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed data from China and found that the case fatality rate for COVID-19 was 6.3 percent for people with chronic respiratory disease, compared with 2.3 percent overall (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020).
  • Deaths and serious illness from COVID-19 have been concentrated among vulnerable populations. NIDA reports, that it “is therefore reasonable to be concerned that compromised lung function or lung disease related to smoking history, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), could put people at risk for serious complications of COVID-19.”
  • NIDA also reports that vaping can harm lung health just as smoking can, and as such, people who vape can be exposed to increased risk from COVID-19.
  • In 2019, the country experienced a vaping crisis in which as many as 2,739 people were hospitalized and 68 people died (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The more than 2,700 people who were hospitalized and suffer from residual complications associated with vaping-related lung illness are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19.

NIDA concludes: “We can make educated guesses based on past experience that people with compromised health due to smoking or vaping and people with opioid, methamphetamine, cannabis, and other substance use disorders could find themselves at increased risk of COVID-19 and its more serious complications-for multiple physiological and social/environmental reasons. The research community should thus be alert to associations between COVID-19 case severity/mortality and substance use, smoking or vaping history, and smoking- or vaping-related lung disease.”

Unfortunately, the marijuana industry has taken advantage of the situation. According to LegiStorm, “the first lobbyist to explicitly register on coronavirus-related issues is Jack Burkman – a right-wing trickster and conspiracy theorist…who has recently called for the president to ban coronavirus testing.” Burkman is working on behalf of marijuana industry executive Richard Goulding and registered effective Feb. 27 for work on unspecified coronavirus “issues” and “treatments.”

Furthermore, the Federal Trade Commission warned “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat/cure #coronavirus (#COVID19). Coronavirus-related ad claims will be subject to exacting scrutiny.” More on this can be found here: https://go.usa.gov/xdFCP

Stay safe,

SAM Team

P.S. Think for a minute: If SAM didn’t release this, who would? Please consider donating to support our mission.

Your support will ensure science – not commercial interests and greed – drives health policies across the country.

 

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UK: Treatment and Demand Reduction of Drug Use Empowering Models is Key!

UK Government ‘not willing to consider’ decriminalisation of drugs, says drug summit chair

Ahead of a second drug summit in Glasgow, Kit Malthouse also said that safe consumption rooms are “a bit of a distraction”

The MP chairing the UK Government’s drug deaths summit in Glasgow has said that the UK Government is “not willing to consider” decriminalisation as a possible means for reducing harm caused by drugs.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, the UK Government Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service Kit Malthouse said that more had to be done to expand treatment and crack down on drug distribution before the government “even contemplates something like (decriminalisation)”.

On safe drug consumption rooms, Malthouse said that drug consumption rooms are “a bit of a distraction” from other means of preventing drugs deaths.

He said: “If you look around the world and look at the research, the numbers that are affected are quite small. Actually the bulk of people who are dying from drug consumption need treatment, they need education and help and support over a long period.”

Pressed by presenter Gary Robertson that safe consumption rooms may help prevent deaths in the immediate term, Malthouse said that he believes politicians tend to “reach for a simple solution” and that there is no “silver bullet” to stop drug deaths.

He said: “It would take us some time to get them in place, they’re quite small scale and the scale of the problem, certainly in Scotland and elsewhere int the UK, demands a much more assertive approach.”

The UK Government drug deaths summit in Glasgow takes place one day after a similar event was held by the Scottish Government.

Writing in the Daily Record, Malthouse said that harm reduction measures such as heroin-assisted treatment and the use of Naloxone, an anti-overdose injected drug, was important.

But he said that cracking down harshly on criminal gangs and drug dealers was still an important part of the UK Governments approach.

“I am passionate about tackling the ruthless, organised crime gangs who are supplying drugs to vulnerable people.

“These criminals do not care about the harm they do to individuals and communities – their actions drive greater drug use and related offending.

“We must relentlessly pursue the organised criminals that are behind this evil trade.”

For complete article go to https://www.holyrood.com/news/view,uk-government-not-willing-to-consider-decriminalisation-of-drugs-says-drug-_15174.htm

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USA: Vaping Marijuana Bad, Bad News!

Vaping oils that have proven deadly flooding across Arizona border: ‘Everyone should be concerned’

Illegal crude oil marijuana floods into Arizona from border

Arizona Sheriff’s Deputies are struggling to keep up with the amount of illegal marijuana coming across the border. Things have gotten even harder as Mexican cartels are now smuggling what’s called ‘crude oil’ marijuana. It’s one of the strongest forms of THC vaping and it’s proving to be deadly. The vaping cartridges sell for about $50. They’re not only being sold on the black market, but on social media too. Detectives were able to track down a dealer near Phoenix, right from his home operation.

PHOENIX, Ariz. — A dangerous form of marijuana is flooding across the Arizona border and quickly spreading across the U.S.

It’s called “crude oil,” a highly potent, concentrated form of liquid marijuana that’s used for vaping or edibles. It’s something Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies in Arizona are seeing more and more of.

“Our Seizures are up, our arrests are up, the dangers for our deputies has increased dramatically,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone.

It’s one of the strongest forms of THC vaping and it’s proven to be deadly.

“This is a social issue that is going to lead to the loss of lives, we know we’ve seen things such as suicides, we’ve seen young adults die from the implications of the chemicals themselves, we’ve seen mental health challenges from this drug itself, therefore, everyone should be concerned,” said Sheriff Penzone.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies recovered 25 gallons of crude oil marijuana and about 10,000 cartridges of vaping liquid from one operation east of Phoenix.

Detectives say legal marijuana vaping cartridges contain at most 30 percent of the high inducing THC, but this new ‘crude oil’ version contains up to 80 percent THC.

Detective Matthew Shay with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said once the black crude oil marijuana is brought into the U.S., it’s then brought to illegal processing labs where it can be distilled or cleaned, ready for vaping. Sheriff Penzone said it’s hard to put a number on just how many illegal labs are around Phoenix — but he estimated there are at least dozens.

“I started law enforcement in 1988. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a time where the complexities of illegal drug distribution and the adverse impact it has on our community has been more severe than what we are seeing right now,” Penzone said.

The vaping cartridges sell for about $50. They’re not only sold on the black market but on social media, too. Detectives were able to track down a dealer near Phoenix who started trying to peddle cartridges on his social media accounts, police said.

“So 25 gallons of crude and we recovered about 10,000 cartridges total off of that one guy…We located him through advertising to his various clients through social media….he had his own warehouse where he had a large lab set up there,” Shay said.

Detectives said making the crude oil is dangerous. Marijuana leaves are washed with harmful chemicals like propane or butane, which extracts the high inducing THC. It’s then mixed with ethanol and distilled several times to make it more translucent, ready for vaping.

For complete story go to Vaping bad! Vaping and Weed – disastrous!

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Global: CBD – The Untested Hype Has a Hidden Side!

Worried About CBD Hurting Your Liver? Here’s What the Experts Have to Say

  • A new study shows evidence that extremely high doses of CBD can be damaging to the liver.
  • But experts say this research, which was done in mice, is still in the early stages, and more information is needed.
  • CBD isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but the agency has been cracking down on companies claiming certain health benefits from taking CBD.

The market for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) — the non-psychoactive, pain-relieving chemical in cannabis — has exploded in recent years, but the product is still relatively understudied.

That’s drawn scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulators as manufacturers make claims on their CBD products that aren’t necessarily backed by science.

Now, a recent mouse study has been making headlines for the findings that taking too much CBD might lead to liver damage in high enough quantities.

Should you be worried? We took a look at the study and talked to experts about what this mouse study can mean for human fans of CBD.

What the study says 

Citing a “lack of comprehensive toxicological studies devoted to CBD safety that are critical for further marketing of CBD and CBD-containing products,” researchers from the University of Arkansas investigated the effects of treatments of various doses of CBD on a group of 8-week-old mice.

While the mice largely tolerated the CBD, those given the highest doses — a human equivalent to 200 milligrams (mg) of CBD — showed clear signs of liver toxicity, the researchers found.

In addition, repeated doses of a smaller amount of CBD — the human equivalent of around 50 mg — also showed signs of liver swelling and damage.

“Although (a dose of) 200 mg is not applicable to most real-life scenarios, it does provide critical information regarding the potential consequences of CBD overdose as well as for doses needed for further subchronic and chronic toxicity studies,” the authors, publishing in the journal Molecules, wrote.

For complete article https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-cbd-hurt-your-liver-what-to-know-about-a-new-study

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Netherlands: Pot Paradise Losing Lustre, Even More!

Amsterdam looks to bar foreign visitors from buying cannabis

Mayor cites survey of tourists in the Wallen and Singel as she looks to clean up overcrowded red-light areas

Daniel Boffey in Brussels and Jon Henley Fri 14 Feb 2020

The survey of foreign visitors to the Singel area found 34% would come less often to Amsterdam if they were not allowed to buy cannabis from the coffee shops. Photograph: Alamy

The mayor of Amsterdam has sought to win political backing for her cleanup of overcrowded red-light areas by revealing that a third of foreign tourists and nearly half of Britons would be less likely to visit the city again if they were barred from buying cannabis in the coffee shops.

Home to 1.1 million people, the city attracts more than 17 million visitors a year. The municipality is particularly keen to dissuade foreign visitors from taking advantage of gedoogbeleid, “policy of tolerance”, towards cannabis.

The survey by Amsterdam’s research, information and statistics office suggests that 34% of all those who visit the Wallen and Singel areas – which have a concentration of red-light activities and coffee shops – would come less often to the city if foreigners were not allowed to buy cannabis from the coffee shops, while 11% would never come again.

Of the British visitors surveyed, 42% said they would return to Amsterdam less often.

Among respondents of all nationalities, 40% said they would no longer use “hashish or weed” on their visits if such a ban was enforced.

The 100 visitors to the Wallen and nearby Singel surveyed were aged between 18 and 35, the majority of whom (57%) said they counted coffee shops as playing an important role in their choice to come to Amsterdam.

Beyond the city’s canal district becoming overly populated by tourists, and permeated by what is seen as an increasingly seedy culture, Halsema is seeking to deal with the paradox of the Dutch tolerance policy.

While licensed coffee shops are allowed to sell cannabis from their premises, production of the drug is illegal. The result is that the coffee shops often deal at the “back door” with organised crime gangs.

Separately on Thursday, Amsterdam city hall said group tours of the main Wallen red-light district and other areas of the capital containing sex workers’ windows would be formally banned from 1 April, while guided tours elsewhere in the centre would require a permit.

Victor Everhardt, deputy mayor for economic affairs, said red-light district tours had been outlawed because it was “disrespectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction”. Other tours must “adhere to new, stricter rules to prevent disruption for residents and businesses”.
For complete story go to https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/13/amsterdam-looks-to-bar-foreign-visitors-from-buying-cannabis-mayor-tourists-red-light-district

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Global: So Much for the ‘Progressive Agenda’! Repeat the Past Because Hubris Drives New Analgesic Culture!.

What an 1890s opioid epidemic can teach us about ending addiction today

By HAIDER J. WARRAICH FEBRUARY 11, 2020

In the ’90s, chronic pain was rampant in America. Opioids, which had previously been taboo, were suddenly being prescribed by doctors. A supposedly safer opioid had been developed which, as a physician wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, was “not a hypnotic” and carried no “danger of acquiring the habit.”

This movement created a monster, addicting millions of Americans to opioids. Global overproduction fueled even more demand and, as authorities clamped down, many of those addicted to these medicines turned to more potent ones, making an overdose only a minor miscalculation away.

I’m referring, of course, to the eighteen nineties, which eerily echo how the modern opioid epidemic emerged a century later.

The 1890s and 1990s were both characterized by unopposed amplification of the benefits of opioids, the transformation of physicians into unabashed cheerleaders, and the central role of China — first as a global consumer of opium and later as a manufacturer of fentanyl. In the 1890s, the compound marketed by Bayer to supposedly treat morphine addiction was heroin, while in the 1990s, the drug made by Purdue Pharmaceuticals and marketed as a painkiller with low potential for abuse and addiction was OxyContin For more go to … We Have Been Here Before – Are We That Stupid, or Just…..?

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GLOBAL: Flakka! For Cheap and Utterly Devastating Psychosis!

We should legalize all drugs and regulate them, right? Yeah – good plan!!!

#recovery #demandreduction

Murderous rampages, superhuman strength, and a high more potent than crystal meth: As deadly drug claims its first British victim, RICHARD PENDLEBURY investigates the insanity of taking flakka

By RICHARD PENDLEBURY FOR THE DAILY MAIL  8 February 2020

In March 2018, police were called to Balla’s home in Royal Palm Beach. There, they found the 32-year-old covered in blood, with large cuts to her fingers and palms. In the property’s garage they came across her mother Francisca, lying dead in a pool of blood.

  • Factory worker Andrea Horvathova, 23, died after taking flakka with a cocktail of other illegal substances in the UK 
  • Camille Balla, 32, allegedly smoked a flakka-laced marijuana joint before killing her mother at their home in Royal Palm Beach, Florida

Her eyes had been gouged out, seemingly by some of the shards of broken glass which lay around her…apparently by her own daughter.

Francisca’s eyeballs had been placed on a cardboard box a few yards from her corpse. While officers were contemplating this horror, Balla reportedly veered between icy calm and shrieking hysteria. When formally arrested she allegedly began to chant, ‘I’m a murderer’!

Later she is said to have told police that before she killed her mother she had been smoking marijuana, which she believed had been laced with the designer drug flakka.

This will have surprised no one in the Sunshine State, because in the last half dozen years Florida has been hit by a flakka epidemic. It has manifested itself in dozens of overdose deaths and suicides, as well as a number of disturbing public incidents

Flakka gets its street name from the Spanish slang phrase la Flaca. This loosely translates as ‘a slim attractive woman’. But there is nothing beautiful about the effects of the drug or the circumstances of those who abuse it. They are often poor, if not desperate, individuals.

In the UK a hit of flakka can be purchased for as little as £2.30 — and it is said to be more potent and addictive than crystal meth.

Alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone is flakka’s scientific name, or more simply alpha-PVP. It is a synthetic version of the natural chemical cathinone, the active ingredient in khat leaves that are chewed for their stimulating effects in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

But other side-effects are grim, even deadly. Flakka can cause paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, aggression and psychotic behaviour, leading some abusers to think they have superhuman powers, such as flying or prodigious strength.

Sweating and dilated pupils are common indicators. Heart attacks and strokes are a risk under its influence. First-time users are said to take three to four days to return to a normal state of mind. Repeat users can take more than two weeks to be restored to equilibrium.

In 2017, Derren Morrison was sentenced to life imprisonment for beating to death Louise Clinton on her 83rd birthday. He told police he believed the grandmother, a total stranger, was a blood-covered demon who had been trying to kill him. He had been smoking flakka before the assault, he said.

Last year, another alleged flakka user gouged out his own eyes and attempted to chop off his penis. The 35-year-old medical student from Brazil had been depressed after splitting from his girlfriend.

Flakka use by people with existing mental health issues can have explosive consequences. But such is the drug’s reputation for inducing spectacular psychosis that it has been blamed for shocking crimes without solid proof of a connection.

for complete story https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7979693/As-deadly-drug-claims-British-victim-RICHARD-PENDLEBURY-investigates-flakka.html

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UK: Latest Terrorist Yet Another Weed Warrior!

‘When I grow up I’m going to be a terrorist’: As a dope-smoking boy in the suburbs, Sudesh Amman fantasised about killing police and had an ISIS flag in his room… on Sunday he went on knife rampage (after a final mutton biryani from mum)

  • Sudesh Amman, 20, was shot dead as he embarked on Streatham knife rampage
  • He wrote that he wanted to ‘die as a martyr’ under a list of goals found by police
  • Amman boasted that he wanted to play war game Call Of Duty ‘in real life’
  • Former classmates talked of a ‘weird’ loner who was obsessed with knives
  • Mother Haleema Khan described him as a ‘polite boy’ who was ‘always smiling’ 

By SAM GREENHILL CHIEF REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL  4 February 2020

As a schoolboy, he struck gangster-style poses and vowed to classmates: ‘When I grow up I am going to be a terrorist.’

They thought Sudesh Amman was joking, but he meant it.

On Sunday, the 20-year-old was shot dead as he embarked on the Streatham knife rampage – days after asking his mother to cook his favourite mutton biryani.

It had been Amman’s twisted ambition to ‘die as a martyr’, as he once wrote under the heading Goals In Life, in a notebook found by police.

He was an obsessive online gamer who loved playing violent shoot-’em-ups such as Call Of Duty – even boasting he wanted to play the war game ‘in real life’.

Former classmates in the London suburbs talked of a ‘weird’ loner who was obsessed with knives, constantly smoked marijuana and even claimed that he was carrying around grenades.

Amman spent the days leading up to the stabbing frenzy alone and praying in a bail hostel, having been released early from a terrorism sentence at Belmarsh prison.

For complete story https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7963185/Sudesh-Amman-fantasised-killing-police-Sunday-went-knife-rampage.html

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Canada: Pothead Policy and the Playground! Drug FREE Lives Matter!!

Cake with THC served to Canadian school kids

Canadian school kids fell sick on Friday after eating cake containing THC. Photo credit: Getty Images
Canadian school kids fell sick on Friday after eating cake containing THC. Photo credit: Getty Images

A cake containing cannabis that was served at a school function in Nova Scotia put one adult in hospital and made several children sick last week.

The cake contained edible marijuana with THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

Just under ten people fell ill after eating the cake provided by a caterer at the Eskasoni Immersion School’s ‘mid-winter feast’.

“We don’t know how it happened and obviously we’re looking into whether it was intentional,” Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said.

Mother Kate Augustine said her eight-year-old daughter who tested positive for THC came home from school sweating and pale.

“I was really angry and I’m hurt that that happened to her. I’m just happy she didn’t have a really bad anxiety attack or a heart attack,” she said.

“I asked her what was wrong and she just kept telling me she was tired and her eyes were sore.”

Ms Augustine said the school did not contact her directly about the incident.

A Facebook post by the Eskasoni School Board said “edible marijuana may have inadvertently been placed in a dessert cake served”.

The number of Canadian children needing medical care after accidentally consuming cannabis is rising, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society.

For complete story go to NewsHubNZ

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