Study: Fatal Accidents Involving Drivers High on Marijuana Soars
States that have legalized marijuana, like Washington, are seeing a spike in fatal accidents involving drivers who have used pot, according to a AAA study.
NBC News. “Study: Fatal Accidents Involving Drivers High on Marijuana Soars” http://www.nbcnews.com. 10 May 2018. Web. 12 July 2018.
Marijuana Addiction Is Growing And Teens Face The Highest Risk, Health Officials Say
As more states move to legalize its medicinal and recreational use, marijuana is becoming more addictive, public health officials warn, likely because of its rising potency, which has been engineered to placate habitual users and hook new ones.
Nearly 9 percent of marijuana users will become dependent on it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, increasing to about 17 percent in those who started using it in their teens.
David Smith, a physician who treats drug abuse, told The Washington Post that selective breeding of the cannabis plant can up its content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the psychoactive ingredient that gets users high—which could increase its addictive properties, particularly among young people.
“Back in the day when kids were sitting around smoking a joint, the THC levels found in marijuana averaged from 2 to 4 percent,” Smith told the Post. “That’s what most parents think is going on today. And that’s why society thinks marijuana is harmless.”
In 1995, the average potency of cannabis peaked at 4 percent, then 12 percent in 2014. THC levels have climbed sharply since. As of 2018, average potency hit 20 percent, but that’s not the limit: increasingly popular marijuana extracts, known as “dabs,” contain anywhere from 40 to 80 percent THC, a Drug Enforcement Administration report stated.
Newsweek. “Marijuana Addiction Is Growing And Teens Face The Highest Risk, Health Officials Say” http://www.newsweek.com. 25 June 2018. Web. 5 July 2018.
School resource officers report increase in marijuana usage in schools
A survey of school resource officers are giving a closer look at marijuana use by students.
30 percent of officers taking part in the survey said they have seen an increase of marijuana-related incidents in their schools.
The survey also showed 58 percent of drug incidents reported to the State Board of Education were marijuana-related.
News Channel 20. “School resource officers report increase in marijuana usage in schools” http://www.newschannel20.com. 12 June 2018. Web. 14 June 2018.
Exposure to Advertisements and Marijuana Use Among US Adolescents
A study in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found that exposure to marijuana advertisements is prevalent among adolescents. More than half of respondents in the 2014 and 2015 study reported some level of exposure to marijuana advertisements. Exposures were through a wide range of media channels, and the internet was the most common channel, followed by television, magazines or newspapers, radio, stores, and billboards, in that order. It is not surprising that adolescents reported the greatest exposure through the internet, because adolescents spend a substantial amount of time online. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center report, 92% of teenagers go online daily, including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly”. Digital media, including social media sites, were reported to be common sources for observing marijuana advertising. The marijuana industry might follow the similar strategy from tobacco industry to entice adolescents so that they might become regular users in the future. Federal and state regulations on marijuana advertisements are needed to prevent exposure among adolescents. Colorado passed rules to restrict retail marijuana establishments from using television, radio, print, and internet advertisements for adolescents under the age of 21.
Despite limitations, this study found that exposure to marijuana advertisements is prevalent among 8th-grade, 10th-grade, and 12-grade adolescents in the United States: 58.7% of respondents reported some level of exposure to marijuana advertisements in recent months. Exposure to marijuana advertisements was significantly associated with higher odds of marijuana use among adolescents. Regulations on marijuana advertisements and educational campaigns on harmfulness of illicit marijuana use are needed.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Exposure to Advertisements and Marijuana Use Among US Adolescents” www.ncbi.gov. 30 November 2017. Web. 31 May 2018.
Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally
Arrests in Colorado of black and Latino youth for marijuana possession have increased 58% and 29% respectively after legalization. MORE
Hunt, Jeff. “Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally.” usatoday.com. 7 August 2017. Web. 18 August 2017.
Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis: Forever Feared, Not Yet Found
Fentanyl is the synthetic opioid that delivers a high 100 times more powerful than morphine. “A few hundred micrograms–the weight of a single grain of salt–are enough to trigger heroin-like bliss,” writes the Globe and Mail. “But the line between euphoria and fatal overdose is frighteningly thin: An amount the size of two grains of salt can kill a healthy adult.” MORE
Leafly. “Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis: Forever Feared, Not Yet Found.” 420intel.com. 10 August 2017. Web. 10 August 2017.