Marijuana guard dogs strain animal shelter as illegal pot grows rise in Sacramento

The canine soldiers in Sacramento’s booming marijuana wars snarl and yap inside their kennels at the Front Street Animal Shelter.

They are “guard dogs,” seized from illegal pot operations, and they are filling up the already overburdened shelter.

Within the past week, at least 10 dogs guarding properties that police have identified as marijuana “grow houses” have been transferred to Front Street. Eight are German shepherds or shepherd mixes, which authorities said seem to be a favored breed among illegal pot growers.

This year, the city began collecting data on dogs brought to the shelter from suspected unlicensed pot houses, said chief animal control officer Jace Huggins. During the first six months, animal control officers have picked up about 70 dogs that police said were tied to those operations, he said.

 

Illegal grow house operators use large, strong dogs to protect their wares, Huggins said. The animals are not treated as pets.

“Most of these houses are not lived in,” he said. “The product is grown in them, and the dogs are used as security. They live outside and get the bare minimum of food and water, and they usually are not socialized. They can be very aggressive.”

“Some of them are beautiful animals and good dogs,” she said. But because of their backgrounds and temperaments, they may never make it out of the shelter alive.

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The Sacramento Bee. “Marijuana guard dogs strain animal shelter as illegal pot grows rise in Sacramento” http://www.sacbee.com. 27 June 2018. Web. 10 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.

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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.

Greenfield parents worry growing marijuana industry will impact kids

The smell is undeniable even here at Mary Chapa Academy a few blocks away from the marijuana cultivation facility. Parents are concerned about the effect it might have on their kids. Greenfield residents say the smell of marijuana is so strong, it gives them headaches and nausea. Some worry, having it grown so close to the school is not good for their kids. The new industry brought hundreds of jobs to the small town and promised an economic boost but the mayor says the revenue is falling short of what they expected.

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KSBW 8. “Greenfield parents worry growing marijuana industry will impact kids” http://www.ksbw.com. 30 May 2018. Web. 3 July 2018.

Smoking marijuana and driving: 33% of teens think it’s legal. Some think it isn’t dangerous

A third of teens think smoking marijuana and driving is legal, according to a new study.

Out of 2,800 teens surveyed, 33% said driving under the influence of marijuana is legal in states where it’s recreational. More than 20% of teens reported it’s common among their friends. Parent perceptions (1,000 were surveyed) were similar: 27% said it’s legal and 14% said it’s common among friends.

While survey data showed 88% of teens think driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, just 68% said driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous.

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FDL Reporter. “Smoking marijuana and driving: 33% of teens think it’s legal. Some think it isn’t dangerous” http://www.fdlreporter.com. 12 October 2017. Web. 28 June 2018.

Coalition Places Baby Bibs On Marijuana Dispensary Doors

Volunteers from the Marijuana Accountability Coalition (MAC) spent the day placing bibs on the doors of dispensaries across the Denver metro area.

Shelly Cross is a mother and volunteer for MAC. “I love children. They’re innocent, and I think it’s our job to protect them,” Cross said.

She was concerned when she heard the results of a Denver Health study published earlier this month. Nearly 70 percent of licensed Colorado dispensaries contacted as part of the study recommended marijuana to pregnant moms to help with morning sickness.

“When you’re pregnant, you also have to think of your baby, and it does harm children, no matter what the marijuana industry says,” Cross said.

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CBS Denver 4. “Coalition Places Baby Bibs On Marijuana Dispensary Doors” http://www.denver.cbslocal.com. 30 May 2018. Web. 26 June 2018.

Marijuana and Cocaine Use in Young MI Patients Linked to Mortality Risks

A new statewide study examines cocaine and marijuana use in patients presenting with MI [Myocardial infarction]. One in 10 patients age 50 or younger at the time of first MI have a recent history of cocaine and/or marijuana use, and individuals with this history have worse long-term survival than nonusers, new data show. Given the increasing legalization and use of marijuana, the researchers say more efforts are needed to identify users and convey the seriousness of the cardiovascular risks involved.

“There’s been a lot of data for a long time that cocaine is bad for the heart in various ways and that it is associated with increased mortality, but there is much less data available about marijuana despite its increasing use in the population,” said Ersilia M. DeFilippis, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA).

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tctMD. “Marijuana and Cocaine Use in Young MI Patients Linked to Mortality Risks” http://www.tctmd.com. 4 June 2018. Web. 21 June 2018.

Drugged Driving—What You Should Know

In 2016, 44 percent of drivers in fatal car crashes (with known results) tested positive for drugs, according to the recent report entitled “Drug-Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States” by the Governors Highway Safety Association. This is up from 28 percent in 2006. See a graphic from the link below for more information about drugged driving and marijuana and opioids.

What happens when you use drugs and drive? Marijuana can decrease a person’s ability to drive a car. It slows reaction time, impairs a driver’s concentration and attention, and reduces hand-eye coordination. It is dangerous to drive after mixing alcohol and marijuana. Driving after using prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, such as cough suppressants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, and anti-anxiety medications may impair driving ability.

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Get Smart About Drugs. “Drugged Driving—What You Should Know” http://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov. 1 June 2018. Web. 19 June 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.

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News Channel 20. “School resource officers report increase in marijuana usage in schools” http://www.newschannel20.com. 12 June 2018. Web. 14 June 2018.

In the new world of legal recreational marijuana, don’t flood teens with pot ads

Teens don’t get the risks of pot, and ads make them more likely to use it. We need guidelines and parental guidance in the recreational marijuana era.

The ads for recreational marijuana have gotten out ahead of regulations that could restrict where and how teens are exposed to advertising of the drug. Studies have already shown that the more teens are exposed to cigarette and alcohol ads, the greater the likelihood they will use those substances. That’s where advertising regulations come in.

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USA Today. “In the new world of legal recreational marijuana, don’t flood teens with pot ads” http://www.usatoday.com. 30 May 2018. Web. 12 June 2018.