All posts tagged: Cannabis

Park Rangers destroying one of 6 Marijuana fields found in North Cascades National Park Complex Photo: Park Ranger/Flickr

The second big winner in the US presidential election

There were two big winners in the American election held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Donald Trump was of course elected president in what was clearly a surprising outcome. Maybe not so surprising, the other big winner was marijuana. Three states that voted in favor of Hillary Clinton for president — Massachusetts, California and Nevada — also legalized the use of recreational Marijuana through referendum votes. Another Clinton state, Maine, also appears to have made a similar move in its initiative ballot. Though marijuana activists have declared victory, there were only a few thousand votes separating the ‘no’ and ‘yes’ sides on the ballot which has not yet been fully counted. They join five other jurisdictions that have already legalized recreational marijuana — Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia, Arizona which voted for Trump rejected a similar initiative with 52% of the people voting against legalizing recreational use. In addition three states approved marijuana for medical use — North Dakota, Arkansas and Florida. Currently the federal government prohibits the recreational use of …

Repeated studies are revealing the profound impact Marijuana has on the human brain. Photo Marijuana field in India Richard McMullen/Flickr

The ‘Stoner Jesus’ Bible study group?

A group in Colorado are taking that state’s decision to legalize Marijuana on January 1, 2014 to a new level. According to a an article by Jennifer LeClaire with Charisma News, they started  a group to study the Bible while smoking weed. The group calls itself  ‘Stoner Jesus.” It was started by Deb Button, a recent divorcee in her forties. Button apparently had never considered using Cannabis until the Colorado government legalized it and did so at the urging of a friend. According to Button, taking the drug helped her get closer to God and this led to her forming a Bible Study group which she advertised on Craigslist. She has people of different faiths in attendance including an atheist and a Mormon. Button invited one woman who said when she showed up, the host was so spaced out she didn’t remember inviting her. While Colorado is at the forefront of the move to legalize Marijuana in the US, the Daily Mail reports that researchers from the School of Medicine at Connecticut’s Yale University concluded …

Park Rangers destroying one of 6 Marijuana fields found in North Cascades National Park Complex Photo: Park Ranger/Flickr

Two studies show increased health risks associated with Marijuana usage

As governments race ahead to see who can be the most progressive by legalizing Marijuana use, two more recently released studies are showing the negative risks associated with using Cannabis. Perhaps the biggest problem with the legalization push is the growing perception that it is a safe drug leading many young people to use the drug. According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry by researchers from New York’s Columbia University, the rates of Marijuana substance abuse among Americans has doubled between 2001 and 2013. In their study reported by Reuters, they compared two adult surveys on Marijuana usage involving 40,000 adults in 2001/2002 with a 36,000 adult survey in 2012/2013. Between these two periods they discovered: Marijuana usage doubled. The increase was particularly noticeable among blacks, Hispanics, women, middle age and older people and southerners. Abuse or dependence problems had doubled with three out of 10 people (7 million Americans) reported being diagnosed with an addiction disorder associated with Marijuana usage compared to only 1.5 out 10 in the earlier survey. The increase was …

Will Marijuana usage make teenage boys shorter?

[by Dean Smith] Researchers at Pakistan’s Pir Mehr Ali Shaw Agriculture University concluded that teenage boys who regularly smoke marijuana could have their growth stunted by as much as four inches. The research team studied select hormones in two groups of boys — 217 who regularly smoked Cannabis and 220 boys who didn’t. Using blood tests, they specifically focused on hormones that affect puberty and growth. They discovered that boys who regularly used Marijuana had higher levels of testosterone and luteinising — both hormones related to puberty. Thought these hormone levels spiked, they noted that this group also had lower levels of growth hormones.

Marijuana’s mind games

[by Dean Smith] Dutch University Professor Olivier Marie and Ulf Zolitz of IZA recently released a study on the impact of marijuana usage at Holland’s Maastricht University. They discovered that students with easy access to marijuana had lower grades than those that didn’t. Holland legalized marijuana in 1976. Since people are only allowed to possess small quantities of the drug, this led to the rise of Cannabis cafes, where people could buy and partake. Holland has a 5 ounce possession limit compared to Colorado which allows over five times that amount. In 2011, Maastricht University introduced a curious law on campus where it only allowed Dutch, Belgian and German nationals to buy cannabis at the campus’ 13 cafes that sell the drug. It put the provision in place due to growing concerns about drug tourism.

Study blames 25% of new mental disorders on Marijuana, the so-called ‘safe’ drug

[by Dean Smith] Researchers from the Psychiatry Institute at London, England’s King’s College say Marijuana is to blame for 25% of the new mental disorders affecting young people today. This includes delusions, hallucinations and hearing voices, symptoms often associated with bipolar and schizophrenia. They blame the problem on the new super-charged Marijuana, called skunk, which is much more powerful than other, often older strains, of Cannabis. In their study reported in the Mail Online, the group says young people need to be warned “about the risks of high-potency cannabis amid a world-wide trend towards relaxing drug laws.”

Study shows Marijuana usage can lead to delusional behavior and hearing voices

A study on Marijuana usage published in the Journal of Affective Disorders concluded there is a “significant link” between Cannabis usage and having delusions, aggressive behavior, hearing voices, hyperactivity and sleeping disorders — all symptoms of bipolar. In the study, lead researcher Dr. Steven Marwaha was particularly concerned about the impact the drug had on adolescents adding that “Cannabis is the most prevalent drug used by under-18s.”

Study shows teens using marijuana regularly 60% less likely to finish school

[by Dean Smith] Researchers from Australia’s University of South Wales have concluded if a person starts smoking marijuana before age 17, they are 60% less likely to finish college than their counterparts who do not use the drug. They were also more likely to drop out of high school. While activists try to paint Cannabis as a safe drug to have it legalized, study, after study, after study, and after study are showing that marijuana is anything but safe. The results of Australian study published in The Lancet Psychiatry showed similar dangerous results. Compared to non users, teens who used Cannabis regularly were:

New study shows the addicting power of marijuana

Marijuana is one of the most used drugs in the world. Nearly 80 million Europeans have used the drug and in the US, marijuana usage has been steadily increasing since 2007. Many blame its growing popularity on activists promoting marijuana as a safe drug. This message has been reinforced by two states, Washington and Colorado, that have legalized the drug for recreational use. But a recent study by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) shows that significant number of Marijuana users are actually addicted to the drug — meaning they are dependent on the drug.

Record number of youth addicted to Marijuana due to a significant increase in its potency

Newly released stats by Public Health England show that there are 13,500 youth under the age of 18 in that country being treated for Marijuana addiction. This includes 200 under the age of 12. This represents a 50% increase in addiction among this age group over the past seven years. Experts are attributing this rise to the arrival of a new “super-strength” Marijuana which is several times stronger than older varieties.

Smoking Marijuana as a teen can negatively affect intelligence for life: Report

As the perception strengthens that marijuana is a safe drug, there have been a rash of studies suggesting cannibis is anything but safe, particularly for teens as their brains are still developing. Researchers at the US-based National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) just released a report stating marijuana usage not only effects a teen’s brain function, particularly in the important areas of “critical thinking” and memory, but that the affects are long-lasting. Translated: these effects do not reverse even if the person quits using the drug later in life.

Regular marijuana usage causes brain abnormalities and memory loss in teens

According to research out of the U.S., teens who smoke marijuana daily can have brain abnormalities similar to people with schizophrenia. With the push towards legalization of marijuana, researchers from Illinois’ Northwest University wanted a clearer picture of the drug’s impact on a person’s brain.  The results were published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin. This is an important study as marijuana is proving a popular drug among teens. Surveys show 40% of English teens have used marijuana.  In the U.S., it is the most popular drug among young adults.

Study shows Marijuana usage by teens may increase risk of schizophrenia and psychiatric problems

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine concluded regular use of Marijuana by teens could lead to psychiatric problems and increased risk of schizophrenia. According to an article in the National Post, researchers came to this conclusion after studying the effects of marijuana on lab mice. After subjecting young lab mice to low doses of marijuana for a 20 day period, they discovered their test mice had significant damage to their “cortical oscillations” which impaired brain functions. The researchers said,