Law Forum : THE LEGALIZATION OF POT

Kemetstry

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Kemetstry

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There Is Now a Breathalyzer for Weed
Philip Ellis

A team of researchers in Pittsburgh have invented a small, boxlike device which fulfils the same function as a breathalyzer, except for pot instead of alcohol. It works by detecting THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, on the user's breath.
© Getty
"Nanotechnology sensors can detect THC at levels comparable to or better than mass spectrometry, which is considered the gold standard for THC detection," reads the official release from Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

The engineers behind the project started to develop the device in 2016, as use of weed was becoming legal in an increasing number of states — presumably with the intention of it then being used by law enforcement to ensure safe and moderate consumption. "If we have a suitable industrial partner, then the device by itself would be quite ready in a few months," Alexander Star, a chemistry professor and the head of the Star Lab at Swanson, told NPR.
However, the accuracy of such a device remains untested, partly because marijuana DUIs are still relatively new, legally speaking (it took lawmakers decades to formalize drink-driving limits). Additionally, computer engineering professor Ervin Sejdic, who worked on the device with Star, says that at present, the correlation between THC levels in a user's blood and how stoned they actually are is "basically missing, from a scientific point of view."
Sejdic adds that further scientific inquiry in this area is required in order to help courts determine what constitutes an "unsafe" level of pot use, but that study is also subject to the permission of the DEA, the acquisition of which isn't exactly easy.
"It's a kind of both ethical and legal issue," he says. "Given that the marijuana is still a Schedule I substance, it's difficult to actually carry out any research related to this substance... I think there will be some push even for the federal government to actually allow researchers to look and correlate these levels of smoking and impairment."




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Kemetstry

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'This ain't your mother's marijuana': Surgeon General warns pregnant women and youth about pot risks
CNN Digital Expansion 2016 Jacqueline Howard
By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

Updated 4:33 PM ET, Thu August 29, 2019

Your brain on marijuana 01:39
(CNN)US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has a warning for pregnant women and teens when it comes to weed.
More pregnant women in the US are using pot, study finds

More pregnant women in the US are using pot, study finds


"No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is safe," Adams said during a press conference Thursday in Washington to announce an advisory on the risks of marijuana use among adolescents and pregnant women.
Adams sounded the alarm about increasing marijuana use among those groups in recent years.




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Kemetstry

going above and beyond
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Kemetstry

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Neurological Health
Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain
Senior mice treated with THC improved on learning and memory tests


Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain

Credit: Christina Hempfling Getty Images

Picture the stereotypical pot smoker: young, dazed and confused. Marijuana has long been known for its psychoactive effects, which can include cognitive impairment. But new research published in June in Nature Medicine suggests the drug might affect older users very differently than young ones—at least in mice. Instead of impairing learning and memory, as it does in young people, the drug appears to reverse age-related declines in the cognitive performance of elderly mice.
Researchers led by Andreas Zimmer of the University of Bonn in Germany gave low doses of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana’s main active ingredient, to young, mature and aged mice. As expected, young mice treated with THC performed slightly worse on behavioral tests of memory and learning. For example, after receiving THC, young mice took longer to learn where a safe platform was hidden in a water maze, and they had a harder time recognizing another mouse to which they had previously been exposed. Without the drug, mature and aged mice performed worse on the tests than young ones did. But after the elderly animals were given THC, their performances improved to the point that they resembled those of young, untreated mice. “The effects were very robust, very profound,” Zimmer says.
Other experts praised the study but cautioned against extrapolating the findings to humans. “This well-designed set of experiments shows that chronic THC pretreatment appears to restore a significant level of diminished cognitive performance in older mice, while corroborating the opposite effect among young mice,” wrote Susan Weiss, director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who was not involved in the study, in an e-mail. Nevertheless, she added, “while it would be tempting to presume the relevance of these findings [extends] to aging humans ... further research will be critically needed.

When the researchers examined the brains of the treated elderly mice for an explanation, they noticed that neurons in the hippocampus—a brain area critical for learning and memory—had sprouted more synaptic spines, the points of contact for communication between neurons. Even more striking, the gene-expression pattern in the hippocampi of THC-treated aged mice was radically different from that of untreated elderly mice. “That is something we absolutely did not expect: the old animals [that received] THC looked most similar to the young untreated control mice,” Zimmer says.
The findings raise the intriguing possibility that THC and other “cannabinoids” might act as antiaging molecules in the brain. Cannabinoids include dozens of biologically active compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. THC, the most highly studied type, is largely responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. The plant compounds mimic our brain’s own marijuanalike molecules, called endogenous cannabinoids, which activate specific receptors in the brain capable of modulating neural activity. “We know the endogenous cannabinoid system is very dynamic; it goes through changes over the life span,” says Ryan McLaughlin, a researcher who studies cannabis and stress at Washington State University and was not involved in the current work. Research has shown that the cannabinoid system develops gradually during childhood, “and then it blows up in adolescence—you see increased activity of its enzymes and receptors,” McLaughlin says. “Then as we age, it’s on a steady decline.”

That decline in the endogenous cannabinoid system with age fits with previous work by Zimmer and others showing that cannabinoid-associated molecules become more scant in the brains of aged animals. “The idea is that as animals grow old, similar to in humans, the activity of the endogenous cannabinoid system goes down—and that coincides with signs of aging in the brain,” Zimmer says. “So we thought, ‘What if we stimulate the system by supplying [externally produced] cannabinoids?’ ”
That idea does not seem so outlandish, considering the role of cannabinoids in maintaining the body’s natural balance, says Mark Ware, a clinical researcher at McGill University, who was not part of the study. “To anyone who studies the endocannabinoid system, the findings are not necessarily surprising, because the system has homeostatic properties everywhere we look,” meaning its effects may vary depending on the situation. For example, a little marijuana may alleviate anxiety, but too much can bring on paranoid delusions. Likewise, cannabis can spark an appetite in cancer patients but in other people may produce nausea. Thus, the detrimental effects seen in young brains, in which cannabinoids are already plentiful, may turn out to be beneficial in older brains that have a dearth of them.

These chemicals also work to maintain order at the cellular level, McLaughlin says. “We know the endogenous cannabinoid system’s primary function is to try to preserve homeostasis within a given brain circuit. It works like an internal regulator; when there’s too much [neuronal] activity, cannabinoids suppress activity to prevent neurotoxicity.” Restoring that protection might help safeguard the brain against cellular stress that contributes to aging. “A critical takeaway of this study is that they used low doses,” Ware says, considering that different doses could have entirely different effects. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to translate the dose they used in mice to a human equivalent, “but it’s clear we’re not talking about vast amounts. We don’t know what would happen with higher doses.”

Scientists do not know exactly how marijuana affects older adults, in part because they have been focused squarely on younger people, who are thought to be at greatest risk. “Because of the public health concern, research has had a very strong focus on marijuana’s effects in adolescence,” Ware says. But although young people make up the largest group of cannabis users, their rate of use has remained relatively stable over the past decade even as the drug has become increasingly available. Meanwhile use among seniors has skyrocketed as the drug’s stigma has faded. A March study showed that in people aged 50 to 64, marijuana use increased nearly 60 percent between 2006 and 2013. And among adults older than 65, the drug’s use jumped by 250 percent.
The researchers do not suggest seniors should rush out and start using marijuana. “I don’t want to encourage anyone to use cannabis in any form based on this study,” Zimmer says.
Older adults looking to medical cannabis to relieve chronic pain and other ailments are concerned about its side effects, Ware says: “They want to know, Does this cause damage to my brain? Will it impair my memory? If these data hold up in humans, it may suggest that [THC] isn’t likely to have a negative impact if you’re using the right dose. Now the challenge is thrown down to clinical researchers to study that in people
Zimmer and his colleagues plan to do just that. They have secured funding from the German government, and after clearing regulatory hurdles, they will begin testing the effects of THC in elderly adults with mild cognitive impairments.



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Kemetstry

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Heavy weed use linked to higher risk of stroke in young people, says new study

Rachel Grumman Bender
Beauty and Style Editor
Yahoo LifestyleNovember 12, 2019


A new study has found a link between weed use and a higher risk of stroke in young people. (Photo: Getty Images)

A new study has found a link between weed use and a higher risk of stroke in young people. (Photo: Getty Images)
More
Young people who use marijuana may have a higher risk of stroke, according to a new study published in the journal Stroke.
In the study, researchers looked at 43,000 adults ages 18 to 44 who had used marijuana within the last 30 days — finding “significantly higher odds of stroke” in young cannabis users as compared with nonusers. The risk was even higher in frequent users: Those who reported using weed more than 10 days a month were 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke than nonusers.
Additional forms of smoking, including vaping, only appear to make things worse: Young people who both used marijuana frequently and used e-cigarettes or smoked cigarettes were three times more likely to suffer a stroke compared to nonusers.
The research also found that people diagnosed with cannabis use disorder — a form of dependence on marijuana — were more likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm problems known as arrhythmias.
Tarang Parekh, the lead author of the study and a health policy researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., tells Yahoo Lifestyle that there are several possible theories as to why cannabis use may up stroke risk. One is a condition called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction — a sudden constriction of the vessels that supply blood to the brain — that may be triggered by cannabis use, leading to stroke, says Parkekh.
Another possible cause is an increase in the potential clotting effect of cannabis. Parekh explains that THC (the chemical behind marijuana’s psychological effects) can lead to “platelet aggregation, which is a significant risk factor for stroke and is relatively more important in younger stroke patients.” In addition, Parekh notes that cannabis has been linked to oxidative stress, which plays a role in stroke.
Parekh says it’s possible that other habits, such as using cigarettes and drinking alcohol while also using cannabis, could “potentially contribute to stroke risk.” However, he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “in our study, frequent marijuana use had an independent association with stroke as we controlled for cigarette, e-cigarette and alcohol use in addition to comorbid risk factors.”
With daily marijuana use on the rise in young adults, the risk of stroke is a growing concern. “Marijuana may not be as harmful as other illegal substances like cocaine or meth, but its frequent consumption with other substances critically increases the risk of stroke at a younger age,” explains Parekh.
He recommends that young cannabis users — particularly those who also use cigarettes or e-cigarettes and have other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, should be aware that using marijuana may raise the risk of stroke at a young age. "Physicians should ask patients if they use cannabis,” Parekh told EurekAlert, “and counsel them about its potential stroke risk as part of regular doctor visits."


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sekou kasimu

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Heavy weed use linked to higher risk of stroke in young people, says new study

Rachel Grumman Bender
Beauty and Style Editor
Yahoo LifestyleNovember 12, 2019


A new study has found a link between weed use and a higher risk of stroke in young people. (Photo: Getty Images)

A new study has found a link between weed use and a higher risk of stroke in young people. (Photo: Getty Images)
More
Young people who use marijuana may have a higher risk of stroke, according to a new study published in the journal Stroke.
In the study, researchers looked at 43,000 adults ages 18 to 44 who had used marijuana within the last 30 days — finding “significantly higher odds of stroke” in young cannabis users as compared with nonusers. The risk was even higher in frequent users: Those who reported using weed more than 10 days a month were 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke than nonusers.
Additional forms of smoking, including vaping, only appear to make things worse: Young people who both used marijuana frequently and used e-cigarettes or smoked cigarettes were three times more likely to suffer a stroke compared to nonusers.
The research also found that people diagnosed with cannabis use disorder — a form of dependence on marijuana — were more likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm problems known as arrhythmias.
Tarang Parekh, the lead author of the study and a health policy researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., tells Yahoo Lifestyle that there are several possible theories as to why cannabis use may up stroke risk. One is a condition called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction — a sudden constriction of the vessels that supply blood to the brain — that may be triggered by cannabis use, leading to stroke, says Parkekh.
Another possible cause is an increase in the potential clotting effect of cannabis. Parekh explains that THC (the chemical behind marijuana’s psychological effects) can lead to “platelet aggregation, which is a significant risk factor for stroke and is relatively more important in younger stroke patients.” In addition, Parekh notes that cannabis has been linked to oxidative stress, which plays a role in stroke.
Parekh says it’s possible that other habits, such as using cigarettes and drinking alcohol while also using cannabis, could “potentially contribute to stroke risk.” However, he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “in our study, frequent marijuana use had an independent association with stroke as we controlled for cigarette, e-cigarette and alcohol use in addition to comorbid risk factors.”
With daily marijuana use on the rise in young adults, the risk of stroke is a growing concern. “Marijuana may not be as harmful as other illegal substances like cocaine or meth, but its frequent consumption with other substances critically increases the risk of stroke at a younger age,” explains Parekh.
He recommends that young cannabis users — particularly those who also use cigarettes or e-cigarettes and have other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, should be aware that using marijuana may raise the risk of stroke at a young age. "Physicians should ask patients if they use cannabis,” Parekh told EurekAlert, “and counsel them about its potential stroke risk as part of regular doctor visits."



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Band recreational marijuana!!!
 

ogoun

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Jun 14, 2018
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Band recreational marijuana!!!
Yeh sure why not, it's worked out so well in the past with the only down sides being the creation of murderous narco states and a whole generation of lost brothers and sisters to the carceral state.
 

sekou kasimu

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Yeh sure why not, it's worked out so well in the past with the only down sides being the creation of murderous narco states and a whole generation of lost brothers and sisters to the carceral state.
I am more concerned about law abiding folks getting killed by psychos, under the influence of alcohol and drugs while driving!
 

ogoun

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MEMBER
Jun 14, 2018
991
361
I am more concerned about law abiding folks getting killed by psychos, under the influence of alcohol and drugs while driving!
Driving while under the influence IS banned and actually carries heavy penalties for being caught doing it.
Banning the action hasn't stopped it from happening.

I think the questions we should be asking is, what is it in this culture that produces so many that feel the need to self medicate themselves into an oblivion to get beyond their everyday lives.
 

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