Canada: Cannabis Consumption Up with Permission Model in Place! Who Knew?

Cannabis Consumption on the Rise With Canadians Since Legalization

March, 2019

Vancouver, BC – According to a new study called “The Future of Cannabis in Canada” conducted by Insights West for Resonance Consultancy in partnership with Valens GroWorks, there has been a Canadian-wide increase in Cannabis consumption since legalization and strong future demand for edibles. However, the black and grey market for buying still dominates legal cannabis economy, at least for the time being.

According to our research, the market has grown considerably for cannabis consumption overall given the number of existing users who have increased their consumption levels and the number of new users coming on steam since legalization. Nearly one quarter (23%) of the general Canadian adult 19+ population has consumed cannabis in any shape or form since legalization, a full 16% of cannabis users report an increase in consumption since that day, and 5% are new cannabis users. A smaller percentage (9%) report lower consumption and about 70% of cannabis users report no difference in consumption levels.

Cannabis is currently being consumed in a variety of ways and situations for Canadians. Although the most prevalent form of cannabis consumed by cannabis users is still smoking it in a joint, we also see growing trends of consuming cannabis through newer methods such as edibles, vaping, oils, and in drinks. More than two-thirds (68%) of past-year cannabis users consume cannabis by smoking a joint, with 36% of them stating it is their regular choice of consumption, followed by 32% who say “occasionally”. Despite not being legal yet, edibles are next highest on the list, with 36% using this method of consumption on a regular/occasional basis. Vaping and oils are lower on the list at 30% and 27% respectively.  A further 10% say they consume cannabis in drinkables on a regular/occasional basis.

There are a wide variety of consumption scenarios for cannabis users across the country.  Most cannabis users regularly or occasionally consume cannabis in their own home (72%), and 67% of cannabis users consume it with friends. Interestingly, cannabis consumers are more likely to consume while alone (63% stated regularly or occasionally) compared to at a party (56% regularly or occasionally). Worryingly, 16% of cannabis users have consumed cannabis while driving or while in a motor vehicle, with 9% stating regularly or occasionally.

For complete article go to Insights West

 

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Global: UK Study Confirms – yet again – Link between Weed and Psychosis!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2019 CONTACT: Colton Grace Colton@learnaboutsam.org
(864)-492-6719

Groundbreaking New UK Study Confirms Link Between Daily, High Potency Marijuana Use and Psychosis
New study is the first to show the impact of marijuana use on population rates of psychosis; Daily marijuana users three times more likely to have a diagnosis of first episode psychosis; rises to five times more likely with high potency marijuana

(Alexandria, VA) - Today, a landmark study published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry Journal finds that daily use of high potency marijuana is linked to greater rates of psychosis in Europe. According to the study, an estimated five in ten new cases of psychosis in Amsterdam and three in ten new cases in London are linked with high potency marijuana use.

“This study is groundbreaking,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president ofSmart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former Obama Administration drug policy advisor. “It is the first to show how marijuana impacts population rates of psychosis – and it’s results are chilling. For years we have known that low potency marijuana was damaging to mental health. Now the scientific literature is catching up with the rapidly increasing THC potency we are seeing on the market today.”
Numerous studies have shown a causal link between marijuana use and onset of severe mental health issues, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, but this is the first study to showcase the link at a population level. The study finds that daily, average potency marijuana users were three times more likely to be diagnosed with first episode psychosis compared to non-users. With daily use of high potency marijuana, this number increased to five times more likely.
“Our findings are consistent with previous studies showing that the
use of cannabis with a high concentration of THC has more harmful effects on mental health than the use of weaker forms. They also indicate for the first time how cannabis use affects the incidence
of psychotic disorder at a population level,” said Dr Marta Di Forti, lead author from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London, UK. “As the legal status of cannabis changes in many countries and states, and as we consider the medicinal properties of some types of cannabis, it is of vital public health importance that we also consider the potential adverse effects that are associated with daily cannabis use, especially high potency varieties.”
Moreover, the study found that instances of first time psychosis in London would be cut by a third if high potency marijuana products were no longer available.

Sabet continued, “Lawmakers considering marijuana legalization are not learning about studies such as this from the well-heeled marijuana industry lobbyists. We will get this study, and others like it, in front of lawmakers at all levels of government to educate them on the real impact of allowing the commercialization of high potency marijuana to spread.”
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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, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.

 

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COLORADO: Cannabis Chaos Creating Even More Casualties of Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2019
CONTACT: Colton Grace Colton@learnaboutsam.org (864)-492-6719

 

BREAKING: New Study Highlights Skyrocketing ER Visits in Colorado

(Alexandria, VA) - A new study released yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the rise in marijuana use in Colorado since the state legalized the drug has led to increased emergency room visits. The study found that 9,973 marijuana-related emergency room visits occurred from 2012-2016, more than triple the number that occurred prior to legalization. Additionally, the study found that 10.7% of visits at UCHealth were due to the ingestion of high potency marijuana edibles.
“Evidence continues to build the case that marijuana legalization results in harmful impacts on public health and safety,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “Marijuana is no longer the weed of Woodstock. The industry is churning out new, highly potent candies, gummies, sodas, and ice creams as well as concentrates and vape pens that contain up to 99% THC. These kid-friendly products are regularly getting into the hands of children, whose developing brains are incredibly susceptible to permanent damage from this highly potent pot.”
The study found that 17% of emergency room visits were due to uncontrolled vomiting that was associated with the smoked form of the drug. Previous research has labeled this phenomenon as “scromiting,” or Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. 12% of the visits were for acute psychosis and this was associated with high potency edibles. 8% of visits were associated with cardiovascular issues such as irregular heartbeat or even heart attacks after ingestion of edibles.
Another recent study found that the use of high potency edibles was directly linked with increases in severe mental illness, such as psychosis, and stated that if higher potency concentrates and edibles were removed from the market, instances of psychosis would be reduced by a third.
“Lawmakers rushing to legalize marijuana need to slow down and consider the implications it could bring upon their state,” continued Dr. Sabet. “They are certainly not receiving information such as this from the pot industry’s army of lobbyists. This is why organizations such as SAM are so important. We work tirelessly to combat the industry narrative that marijuana is harmless.
###
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, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.
Marijuana is not a harmless drug. View the stories of its victims here

For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit www.learnaboutsam.org
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UK: Quackery Sourced Weed a Worry!

Medicinal cannabis has opened a ‘Pandora’s box’, Chief Medical Officer says

The introduction of medicinal cannabis has “opened a Pandora’s box”, with patients believing the drug can cure multiple conditions, the Chief Medical Officer has said.

Dame Sally Davies told MPs that despite being recently legalised for medical use, there is currently insufficient evidence to prove the products are both effective and safe.

She also expressed “concerns” about the safety of the drugs for some patients, warning that until widespread trials had been completed medicinal cannabis should only be prescribed as a “last resort”.

Last week The Telegraph reported a widespread refusal to prescribe the drugs by NHS doctors, despite the change to the law.

Dame Sally recommended relaxing the strict rules on medicinal cannabis, but believes the evidence base for its use is woefully lacking

“I think we have opened a Pandora’s box and there is a belief that it words for many conditions,” she said, adding: “I do have concerns about safety.”

She went on: “THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) we know has an impact on the brain and causes depression, schizophrenia, brain development problems in young and adolescents.

“If a pregnant mother was taking it i’d be very worried. “So we need more data on that.”

“I really hope we can do the [randomised control] trials, because without these how can we help the patients?” she said.

For complete story go to https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/19/medicinal-cannabis-has-opened-pandoras-box-chief-medical-officer/

 

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USA: Weed and Work – Don’t Mix, But Who Cares?

1 in 4 marijuana users get high at work in states with legal weed, survey says

Originally published March 13, 2019 at 4:20 am Updated March 13, 2019 at 10:38 am

(Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times)

A survey of 900 pot consumers in Washington, Oregon and Colorado reveal some of the habits of marijuana users.

By  Gene Balk / FYI Guy Seattle Times columnist

It’s probably not a good idea — and it can’t be great for productivity — but that’s not stopping a lot of Washingtonians from doing it.

I’m talking about getting high at work.

One in four marijuana users who are employed admit to doing this within the past year, according to a new survey of cannabis consumers in Washington, Oregon and Colorado, three states where recreational weed is legal.

One in four also said they’ve gotten high before work — I’m guessing it’s the same one in four, but the survey doesn’t specify.

While the survey shows that getting stoned at work is a fairly commonplace activity, so is drug testing. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they’ve been subjected to a drug test that checked for cannabis within the past year. And just about the same number said they stopped getting high for a while in order to pass the test.

It worked for most. Nine percent indicated that they still failed the test.

For complete article https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/1-in-4-marijuana-users-with-a-job-get-stoned-at-work-survey-says/

 

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California: Ah, the new bureaucracy and it’s costly mechanisms?

10,000 Legal California Marijuana Growers in Jeopardy as State Faces Pot “Extinction Event”

Phil’s Stock World  March 17, 2019

The cannabis industry in California could be heading for an “extinction event” if a new law granting extensions on temporary licenses doesn’t pass, according to a Sacramento Bee article. This would (obviously) contrast with the optimistic outlook for the potential multibillion industry that has been so widely reported on and followed over the last few years, as the rest of the nation watches California for cues on marijuana legislation.

Jackie McGowan, whose firm K Street Consulting represents the cannabis industry in California, said:

“We’ve named these ‘extinction events. This bill is a bill that the industry is very anxious to see passed.”

Terra Carver, executive director for the Humboldt County Growers Alliance commented: “If nothing is done, there will be dire consequences such as imminent market collapse of hundreds of businesses in the region and through the state.”

https://va.news-republic.com/a/6669285688623497734?app_id=1239&gid=6669285688623497734&impr_id=6669584957452585221&language=en&region=au&user_id=6551522476692897801&c=sys

 

 

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Global: Who Needs Weed, When we have Liverwort!

Lowly Moss-Like Plant Seems to Copy Cannabis

Meet the new weed on the block, perhaps one better suited to medical rather than recreational use

By Emily Willingham on October 24, 2018 (Moss that acts like cannabis could help to relieve pain – interesting paper reported in The Times, March 12th 2019)

The recent discovery of another source of a cannabinoid comes from a plant that is a relative of the mosses called liverwort. One genus of the plant, Radula, boasts a handful of species that produce a chemical that is a lot like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from Cannabis sativa, or marijuana.

Why a liverwort, which lives and reproduces quite differently from a plant like Cannabis, would make this molecule remains a mystery. What we now know, however, is the cannabinoid from liverwort and the one in Cannabis are almost exactly the same and have quite similar effects in the mammalian brain.

Publishing October 24 in Science Advances, the researchers show through a variety of tests that PET from these Radula species looks and acts a lot like THC from Cannabis.  “Curiosity-driven research can lead to interesting results,” says Daniele Piomelli, professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the study. “This is solid work, very credible, showing that this type of liverwort contains compounds that are akin both in structure and pharmaceutical activity to psychoactive cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.”

The team then examined how PET and THC compare in potency, and found PET to be less potent. They also discovered THC-like effects when PET was administered to mice—the animals responded similarly to both treatments, including moving more slowly and having lower body temperatures.

When the researchers evaluated the effects of PET compared with THC on inflammation pathways in mouse brains, they finally found a difference. Although PET’s psychoactive effects were less potent, it reduced certain molecules associated with inflammation, says study author Michael Schafroth, currently a postdoctoral researcher at The Scripps Research Institute.

In contrast, THC did not tamp down levels of these inflammation-related molecules, called prostaglandins. “These prostaglandins are involved in many processes (such as) memory loss, neuroinflammation, hair loss and vasoconstriction,” he says. That means PET is “highly interesting for medicinal applications, as we can expect fewer adverse effects while still having pharmacologically important effects.” The reduced potency of PET also might put a damper on any interest in the liverwort for recreational use, especially in an era of increasingly loosened cannabis regulation.

With a synthetic means to make this compound now established, the next step will be to investigate it in animal models of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Gertsch says, directly comparing it with the activity of THC.

For complete article https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lowly-moss-like-plant-seems-to-copy-cannabis/

 

 

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UK: Reefer Madness & Knife Crime…Myth or New Mindset?

The real cause of knife crime? It’s hidden in a fog of cannabis smoke

By PETER HITCHENS FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY PUBLISHED: 10 March 2019

Does any powerful person in this country ever think? It has been quite astonishing watching the alleged debate about knife crime over the past few days. Not a single thought took place.

There is a very good reason why people generally don’t stab each other. Normal, sane humans recoil from the very idea of plunging a sharp blade into a fellow creature, let alone driving it so deep that it is bound to kill.

The crime has been rare because nobody wanted to commit it. Yet now we have a significant minority who do not recoil. So what has changed?

Here is the problem. We are told that stabbings are at their worst since 1945. This is itself untrue. The year 1945 is chosen because that was when figures on stabbings began to be collected. In reality, they are the worst figures since this became a civilised country under the Victorians, really the worst figures since an unpoliced London was roamed by armed footpads, and highwaymen haunted the country roads.

In a way, they are even worse than then. This is, by comparison with those times, a rich and settled society. But in an important way, we are worse. We have drugs. These drugs do not just intoxicate, as alcohol does. They make their users mentally ill, irrational, uninhibited, careless of the consequences of what they do.

No, not every marijuana smoker goes out and kills. So what? Not every boozer gets into fights, or commits rape, or kills people with drunken driving. Not every cigarette smoker gets cancer or heart disease. But we act against these things because of the significant minority who do cause or experience these tragic outcomes.

And almost all of those who go out and kill someone with a blade will turn out, once the investigation is over, to be a long-term user of marijuana, no longer wholly sane or wholly civilised. Its widespread use is the only significant social change in this country that correlates with the rise in homicidal violence.

It is a problem which a lot of people don’t want to discuss. Who are they? There is the billionaire lobby, of businessmen and politicians, who want to legalise marijuana, who hate every mention of the increasingly obvious connection between use of that drug and severe violence. It could rob them of big profits and big tax receipts.

It could upset the well-funded lobbies for appeasing drug abuse by so-called ‘harm reduction’, such as the Government’s own increasingly shameful ‘Talk to Frank’ website, which matily assumes that those who visit it will take drugs anyway. A fat lot of harm that will reduce. There are the lobbies for more money for the police, who have only one simple-minded, thought-free answer to everything. There are the police themselves, who found that it was difficult to enforce the laws against marijuana possession, and so largely gave up doing so. They obviously don’t want to start again now. Diddums, I say.

And there are people who see the trees, but not the wood. Immediately after the knifing horrors of the weekend, a Government Minister, Victoria Atkins, blurted out the truth, namely: ‘Drugs is the main driver as far as we are concerned of this serious violence’, and then added a flat lie, ‘which is why we are very keen to ensure that the laws in relation to illegal drugs remain as tough as they are’.

They are not tough, Minister, because they are not enforced. They just look tough. Everyone in the world knows they are not tough, except for the Government.

Please, please, please try actually thinking. For complete article go to https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6791067/PETER-HITCHENS-real-cause-knife-crime-hidden-fog-cannabis-smoke.html (March 2019)

 

 

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USA: Cannabis Carnage Not Considered?

Car crashes, psychosis, suicide: Is the drive to legalize marijuana ignoring major risks?

March 2019

(USA Today, March 6) As marijuana laws continue to change in states across the nation, experts are worried some may forget about the drug’s risks.

States that have legalized marijuana — Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Oregon – saw a 6 percent increase in car crashes between 2012 to 2017, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. This was a higher increase than in states that didn’t legalize marijuana during that same time period.

“It makes me very nervous about highway safety as many more are considering legalizing it for recreational use,” Matt Moore, president at the Institute said.

In addition, schizophrenia is correlated with heavy marijuana use, according to 2017 findings from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

For complete article go to GET SMART ABOUT DRUGS

 

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Canada: Trudeau didn’t take on tobacco – But Let Weed off the Leash!!

Trudeau didn’t take on tobacco!

In its March 1 judgment, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Quebec Superior Court in the class-action against three major tobacco companies, who now must pay $17 billion to $18 billion to the Quebec government. With this spectacular victory, it is likely other provinces and territories will win legal battles against Big Tobacco.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to champion legalization of smoked marijuana products instead of taking on tobacco. Under his leadership, this country’s top anti-tobacco agencies have had to close their doors, fire staff and stop their important work due to a lack of federal funding while tobacco products remain the No. 1 cause of preventable, premature death and the biggest single cost to our health care system.

Tackling tobacco is a worthy and important cause that should be supported by all levels of government. The federal government is sitting on the sidelines of what is the biggest victory against the tobacco industry in Canadian history and Quebec deserved all the glory.

Pamela McColl, Vancouver

https://theprovince.com/opinion/letters/letters-march-6-jody-wilson-raybould-should-be-prime-minister-reader-says

 

In its M

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