Legalized marijuana threatens public health and safety impact report reveals

Reviewed by researchers from: University of Colorado at Denver, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, University of Connecticut, Yale University University of Kansas, and more.

EXECUTIVE HIGHLIGHTS

Today’s highly potent marijuana represents a growing and significant threat to public health and safety, a threat that is amplified by a new marijuana industry intent on profiting from heavy use. State laws allowing marijuana sales and consumption have permitted the marijuana industry to flourish, and in turn, the marijuana industry has influenced both policies and policy-makers. While the consequences of these policies will not be known for decades, early indicators are troubling. This report, reviewed by prominent scientists and researchers, serves as an evidence-based guide to what we currently observe in various states. We attempted to highlight studies from all the “legal” marijuana states (i.e., states that have legalized the non-medical use of marijuana). Unfortunately, data does not exist for several “legal” states, and so this document synthesizes the latest research on marijuana impacts in states where information is available.

Full Impact Report link HERE

How Legal Weed Shops Feed the Vaping Crisis

Source: Wall Street Journal

As marijuana use has become more socially accepted in the United States, those pushing for legalization should examine the recent harm that vaping has inflicted on thousands of people, many of whom were using marijuana products.

Dr. Kevin Sabet, Founder and President Smart Approaches to Marijuana, wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal laying out how the marijuana industry is to blame for more cases of this debilitating illness than was initially thought, using recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

As you know, the marijuana industry has been working non-stop to push the fact that its “regulated” products are not involved in the ongoing marijuana vaping crisis. But as more data are released, and the picture becomes clearer, it becomes clearer that our efforts have never been more crucial.

Proponents of the marijuana industry have dismissed the “pot vaping crisis,” with its deaths and lung injuries, as an aberration of the illicit market. Legal pot, they say, is regulated and thus not to blame for the recent spate of problems. Victims and families who came forward to warn about purchases made at state-licensed shops were lambasted by legalization advocates. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against using all marijuana vaping products, industry insiders questioned their motives and called the warnings conspiracy theories.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Wall Street Journal article and video link HERE

Dagga industry is successfully hooking our kids on today’s high potency dagga

New state-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), finds that marijuana use in “legal” states among youth, young adults, and the general population continued its climb. 

Dagga use rates in “legal” states continue to drastically outnumber the use of marijuana/dagga in states that have not legalized the drug. Highlights include:

  • Past-month marijuana use among young people aged 18-25 in “legal” states has increased 8 percent in the last year (30.94% versus 28.62%). Use in this age group is 50 percent higher in “legal” states than in non-legal states (30.94% versus 20.66%).
     
  • Past-month youth use (aged 12-17) in states with commercial sales continued its recent upward trend. Since last year, “legal” Washington experienced the largest surge in past month youth use with an 11 percent increase (9.94% versus 8.96%). Colorado experienced a four percent increase (9.39% versus 9.02%). 
     
  • Massachusetts overtook Colorado as the top-ranking state for overall first-time use, which is now number two.
     
  • Past-month youth use in “legal” states is 40% higher than in non-legal states (8.92% versus 6.26%). Past-year youth use in “legal” states is roughly 30% higher than in non-legal states (15.82% versus 12.10%).
     
  • First-time youth use in “legal” states is 30% higher than non-legal states (6.96% versus 5.38%)

“This data shows that the marijuana industry is achieving its goal of hooking our kids on today’s highly potent marijuana,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “As we learned just this week from the Monitoring the Future survey, the number of young people who perceive marijuana as being harmful is at a historic low. Given the recent data linking high potency marijuana with serious mental health issues, addiction, and future substance abuse, this is extremely concerning.

Download PDF version of the state-level data

Source Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt23236/NSDUHsaeShortTermCHG2018_1/NSDUHsaeShortTermCHG2018.pdf

Marijuana Vaping Outbreak — Not Just a Black Market Issue

By Colton Grace

• 86 percent of the cases of illness and at least 2 deaths in this marijuana vaping outbreak have been connected to THC oils.

• At a time when we are investigating the causes of this rash of deaths and illnesses connected to marijuana oils and vapes, all marijuana legalization efforts and THC vaping oil sales should pause.

• This is not a black-market issue, it is the result of allowing Big Marijuana – an addiction- for-profit drug industry backed by Big Tobacco and companies like Juul – to mass produce these oils and vapes, along with candies, gummies, and other dangerously potent forms of the drug.

• Big Tobacco, E-Cigarette and Vaping Companies and the Marijuana industry share many of the same investors. The industries are connected by billions in investments.

FAQs:

Is the Vaping Crisis a reason to legalize marijuana?

No. Many “licensed, regulated” pot shops are selling the vapes at the center of this crisis, such as a confirmed case in Delaware and a death in Oregon. This crisis is an indication that a legalized marijuana industry will be just as difficult to regulate and as detrimental to public health as the tobacco industry (which is now invested in marijuana). All legalization efforts should pause given this crisis only 6 years into recreational legalization in Colorado and Washington State.

What’s more, researchers are still quite unclear as to the culprit responsible for the illness and death. The only unifying factor in the majority of cases is the presence of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. As such, no amount of “regulation” or “testing” can guarantee these devices are safe to use. The CDC and the FDA seem to agree, as they have urged Americans to avoid using any marijuana vaping device

Is the vaping crisis exclusively a black-market problem?

No. The CDC and FDA are asking the public to stop using all THC vapes, whether from the black market or “licensed” pot shops. Many “licensed, regulated” pot shops are selling the vapes at the center of this crisis, such as a confirmed case in Delaware and a death in Oregon. A recent study out of Colorado found that in cheap marijuana vaping devices, a soldering material may leak harmful heavy metals into vaping liquids when heated. This backs up a recent study by the Mayo Clinic finding several lung tissue samples from victims of the illness feature what resemble chemical burns, similar to the effects of mustard gas.

Logically, cheap vaping devices make greater targets for diversion to the black market, given the possibility of a greater profit margin. We have long known that the legal market fuels the illegal market and it was recently discovered that a marijuana vaping device producer in Californiawas supplying devices that couldn’t pass inspections to the black market.

Facts:

• At least 37 people have died from severe respiratory complications associated with vaping. At least 1,888 cases have been reported across the United States.i

• 84 percent of the deaths investigated have been associated with THC.ii

• Two of the deaths have been connected to marijuana products, one of which was associated with marijuana oil purchased at a legal dispensary in Oregon.iii No other states have released information about the kinds of vapes that were linked to the deaths.

• Reports link marijuana vapes to 86 percent of the lung illnesses being reported in the wake of the vaping epidemic.iv

• Though the marijuana industry blames illicit vaporizers exclusively for using Vitamin E acetate, one source working within the industry, Andrew Jones of Mr. Extractor, has said that 60 to 70 percent of all vapes contain Vitamin E acetate. Even still, no health official has pointed to any individual cause.v

• New York state has issued subpoenas to several vape companies as the investigation mounts.vi

• Medical marijuana users in Maryland have reported symptoms consistent with the lung illnesses resulting from vaping.vii

• According to the CDC, 36 percent of the victims of the vaping-related illnesses are 20 years old or younger.viii

• A recent study showed adolescents who vaped were 3.5 times as likely to smoke marijuana.ix

• Since Monitoring the Future (MTF) first began recording vaping trends among young people in 2017, the survey has demonstrated significant increases among key demographics. In 2017, 1.6 percent of 8th graders, 4.3 percent of 10th graders, and 4.9 percent of 12th graders reported past-month marijuana vaping use. In 2018 the numbers increased to 2.6 percent, 7 percent, and 7.5 percent respectively.x

• The MTF notes that “the doubling from 5.2% in 2017 to 10.9% in 2018 of 30-day prevalence of vaping marijuana among college students is among the largest one-year proportion increases for any substance” in 40 years.xi

• In Arizona, a survey of 50,000 10th and 12th graders found that one quarter (25%) of teens were using has used highly potent marijuana concentrates at least once.

PDF version of this article: https://learnaboutsam.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/11-01TP.pdf

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p1028-first-analysis-lung-injury-deaths.html

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2019/09/05/vaping-death-oregon-man-dies-thc-vape-%20dispensary/2218501001/

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1911614

https://www.inverse.com/article/59207-vitamin-e-acetate-thc-vapes

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2748383

http://www.monitoringthefuture.org//pubs/monographs/mtf-vol2_2018.pdf

https://www.livescience.com/marijuana-concentrates-teen-use.html

DFL joins current Con Court Dagga battle amid FDA cracking down on Cancer curing claims

Media Release Embargo: Immediate release Enquiries: Doctors For Life Int. Telephone: 032 481 5550 Date: 07 November 2017 On Tuesday the 7th of November 2017 Doctors For Life International (DFL) as Amicus Curiae (Friend of The Court) and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development (together with other South African Government Departments), will argue to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg that the Western Cape’s High Court’s judgement earlier this year legalising the use and cultivation of dagga (marijuana) in the privacy of one’s home, was the result of numerous errors. DFL will emphasise the harms and implications that legalising dagga use will have, even if it is used in a private home. The submissions will also concern the rights and protection (the best interests) of the child. The respondents include Mr Gareth Prince whom DFL assisted the state in opposing in his 2002 bid to legalise dagga in South Africa, arguing then that it was his religious right to smoke dagga. The Constitutional Court judgement in that case was in favour of the position that the state has a legitimate interest in prohibiting dagga. Mr Prince is joined by various other parties who also seek to convince the 11 judges that a whole host of their human rights are being infringed by the prohibition of dagga. Even though the High Court did not find so, one of the parties, Mr Acton, who started the political dagga party, will still try to argue that dagga is even medically beneficial. “Medical marijuana” has been touted as one of the main reasons for the legalisation of marijuana around the globe by the pro cannabis lobbying groups, using it as the thin edge of the wedge to get it legalised for recreational purposes. Yet these assertions are so very often motivated by financial gain and not by reliable science. CNN released an article on the 2nd of November 2017 highlighting the fact that the American Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) is currently cracking down on companies that are making unsubstantiated claims that pot products made from marijuana can cure cancer. The agency responsible for policing the American food and drug market issued warning letters to four companies that are “illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes.” It said in a statement, “The illegally sold products allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the marijuana plant that is not FDA approved in any drug product for any indication.” Federally marijuana is still illegal in the USA even though public voting processes have seen cannabis being decriminalised and even legalised in some individual states. Sadly South Africans are already being targeted by numerous unscrupulous and nefarious companies selling all sorts of cannabis oil concoctions while claiming they have medical benefits. These dodgy dagga products are sold with zero indication of the actual composition and quantity of the active ingredients. DFL’s medical members have had to deal with case upon case of elderly patients who have wasted thousands of rand’s on dagga oils and numerous other dagga products without experiencing any improvement or relief. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the statement, “We don’t let companies’ market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer and we’re not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products.” The FDA said the 25-plus products that are part of this crackdown include oil drops, capsules, syrups, teas, topical lotions and creams. “Patients should always consult a health care professional about proper prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.” Although claims vary from product to product, the FDA says fraudulent cancer products “often use a particular vocabulary.” The agency identified these phrases as the most common red flags:

  • Treats all forms of cancer
  • Miraculously kills cancer cells and tumours
  • Shrinks malignant tumours
  • Selectively kills cancer cells
  • More effective than chemotherapy
  • Attacks cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact
  • Cures cancer
“The overarching point is that these products are untested, and some of the ingredients may present direct risk to the consumer’s health or interact with any medications they might be taking,” Jason Humbert, a regulatory operations officer in the F.D.A.’s Office of Regulatory Affairs said. He told CNN “They’re not a substitute for appropriate treatment, and using these products can not only endanger consumers’ health but waste their money and waste their time, as well.” DFL would like to caution the South African public against these and other false claims as well. Eleven judges will now decide upon the very fate our youth and the future of dagga in this country. Judgement is only expected to be handed down between 6 to12 months from now. The court case is expected to last for one or two days while listening to the submissions by the respondents, interveners, the state and DFL. Doctors for Life International represent 1500 medical doctors and specialists, three-quarters of whom practice in South Africa. Since 1991 DFL has been actively promoting sound science in the medical profession and health care that is safe and efficient for all South Africans. For more information visit: http://www.doctorsforlife.co.za]]>

Dagga Court Case is Not the "Trial of the Plant"

DFL's legal team DFL’s legal team: Helene Davidtz (Attorney from Univ. Pta law clinic), Christo van Eeden (DFL legal counsel), Adv. J Harwood, Senior Adv. Reg Willis, Adv. Mpati Qofa and Adv. Tererai Mafukidze[/caption]

The public should not lose sight of the fact that the ‘dagga couple’ were arrested for posession of 1.87 kg of dagga worth roughly R500 000. The crux of the matter is that on their own version they are drug dealers. The courtcase is not in fact the “trial of the plant”.  It is about the plantiff’s trying to escape the consequenses of the law by having dagga removed from the list of dangerous and undesirable addictive substances, regardless of the destructive consequences of this psycho active drug. The ‘dagga couple’ is not acting in the best interest of South African society and particularly not our youth, the disavantaged, downtrodden and the socio-economically oppressed rural communities where dagga is rife.

Latest:

Two news agencies, CNN and Times Live have reported on a significant new article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) about the effectiveness of Cannabis (Dagga) for the treatment of pain and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Press Releases 16 Aug 2017:  New England Journal of Medicine: Evidence is lacking that Dagga helps for chronic pain or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 15 Aug 2017: Drinking something sweet or eating condensed milk may be insufficient for treating unintentional cannabis intoxication 13 Aug 2017: Schoolgirl Admitted to ICU: South Africans Brace Yourselves Should Dagga Be Legalised 12 Aug 2017: Fields of Green for All (FOGFA) expert witness repeatedly tries to trash top notch expert 1 Aug 2017: Dagga Courtcase postponed as DFL and the State oppose livestreaming by FOGFA 31 July 2017: The legalisation of dagga is not a matter of popular opinion but needs a scientific approach
  [caption id="attachment_3592" align="alignnone" width="605"] This morning early preparing documents and seats for the court[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3590" align="alignnone" width="605"] DFL and its legal team are in the row on the right[/caption]]]>

Dagga Courtcase postponed as DFL and the State oppose livestreaming by FOGFA

Media Release

Embargo: Immediate release Enquiries: Doctors For Life Int.
Date: 1 August 2017 Telephone: 032 481 5550
On the first day of the Dagga Court Case, the trial was postponed to Tuesday the 1st of August 2017 for the defendents who are the State government departments and Doctors For Life International (DFL) to obtain the reasons for Judge Natvarlal Ranchod’s decision on Friday 28 July 2017 to allow Fields of green for All (FOGFA) to control the livestream broadcast of the trial. FOGFA is the alter-ego of the first and second plaintiffs, Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clark, the so-called ‘dagga couple’. The judge made his decision, which has far reaching implications for the State and the trial, without a formal substantive application by FOGFA, which they had always said they would bring. The Judge made his decision on the basis of correspondance only. Neither the State nor DFL are opposed to the mainstream media filming or broadcasting the trial, but insist that FOGFA is not a media entity regulated as the mainstream media are and that FOGFA is not bona fide. DFL has experienced hate speech by the ‘dagga couple’ and on FOGFA’s website. The State and DFL suggested that the trial proceed today, but without broadcasting until the issues can be addressed and the Judge consider the matter with all the facts before him. However, the ‘dagga couple’ did not want the trial to start today because they want it broadcast from day one. The public should not lose sight of the fact that the ‘dagga couple’ were arrested for posession of 1.87 kg of dagga worth roughly R500 000. The crux of the matter is that the presumption is on their own version they are drug dealers. The courtcase is not in fact the “trial of the plant”. It is about the plantiff’s trying to escape the consequenses of the law by having dagga removed from the list of dangerous and undesirable addictive substances, regardless of the destructive consequences of this psycho active drug. The ‘dagga couple’ is not acting in the best interest of South African society and particularly not our youth, the disavantaged, downtrodden and the socio-economically oppressed rural communities where dagga is rife. Doctors for Life International represents 1500 medical doctors and specialists, three-quarters of whom practice in South Africa. Since 1991 DFL has been actively promoting sound science in the medical profession and health care that is safe and efficient for all South Africans. For more information visit: http://www.doctorsforlife.co.za]]>

The legalisation of dagga is not a matter of popular opinion but needs a scientific approach

Media Release

Embargo: Immediate release Enquiries: Doctors For Life Int.
Date: 31 July 2017 Telephone: 032 481 5550
The cannabis court case, or so-called “trial of the plant” that starts today in the Pretoria High Court, is about the total legalisation of cannabis (dagga). The use of dagga for medicinal purposes is however being misused across the world as the thin edge of the wedge to get dagga legalised. In the World Drug Report of 2017, Executive Summary, Conclusion and Policy Implications, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime officially holds the same position that Doctors For Life International (DFL) has taken for the purposes of this court case: “Medical use of cannabis needs a scientific approach” “Research has shown that, notwithstanding the usefulness of some cannabinoids in the management of specific medical conditions, their use, particularly in the botanical form of herbal cannabis with unknown content and dosage, can be detrimental to health. To protect human health, it is therefore necessary that the principles of safety, quality and efficacy and the rigorous scientific testing and regulatory systems that apply to established medicines be applied also to cannabis-based medicines.” In light of the above mentioned rigorous principles for allowing dagga for medical use, we cannot see how South Africa can consider legalising dagga for recreational use. Doctors for Life International represents 1500 medical doctors and specialists, three-quarters of whom practice in South Africa. Since 1991 DFL has been actively promoting sound science in the medical profession and health care that is safe and efficient for all South Africans. For more information visit: http://www.doctorsforlife.co.za]]>