Did This Federal Study Just Imply That Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol?

Not many issues can fully harness the attention of the American public at the moment, but marijuana might just be one of them.

In just two decades the United States has gone from having zero states in which marijuana was legal for medical purposes and recreational use, to 23 states (as well as Washington, D.C.) passing legislation for medical marijuana and four states (plus Washington, D.C.) enacting laws to allow the drug to be sold for adult recreational use. This is truly remarkable considering that the federal government and the Drug Enforcement Administration still hold marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug. By definition, Schedule 1 drugs have no medically defined benefit and are considered illicit.

This bifurcation between the federal government and 23 states — and even between jurisdictions within states that have legalized marijuana across the board, such as Colorado — have made for a dicey clash between supporters and opponents of marijuana’s expansion.

How Much Does Marijuana Impact Your Driving?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A rigorous federal research study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse offers new data on the effects of marijuana on driving performance.

The exact impact of marijuana on driving ability is a controversial subject—and it’s become more important states continue to loosen their drug laws. And, while drunk driving is on the decline in the U.S., driving after having smoked or otherwise consumer marijuana has become more common. According to the most recent national roadside survey from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.3 percent had some alcohol in their system and 12.6 percent tested positive for THC—up from 8.6 percent in 2007.

It is illegal in all states to drive under the influence of anything, but years of work went in to establishing the .08 breathe alcohol limit that exists in most states. The question is whether we can establish a similar threshold for pot.

Colorado Gov Now Says Legalizing Marijuana Helps State’s Fiscal Health

COLORADO: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper seems to be softening his anti-pot stance.

The Democratic governor recently told Fox Business Network that the issue is “not as vexing” as he feared it would be, and partly ties Colorado’s strong fiscal health to the popularity and economic opportunities connected with the legal pot industry.

“It’s all those young people coming and they look at marijuana and say, ‘hey, we can drink whiskey, why can’t we have a legalized system with marijuana?’” he said on FBN.

He added, “If you look back, it has turned out to be not as vexing as some of the people like myself” initially anticipated it would be.

 

Comparing Adverse Effects of Marijuana, Alcohol

NEW YORK: The emerging debate about whether marijuana is “safer” than other substances has led to a new study documenting how alcohol and marijuana use impacts the psychosocial well-being of high school seniors.

Researchers affiliated with New York University published the study online ahead of print in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Investigators analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of high school seniors in the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study.   MTF is a nation-wide ongoing annual study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students.

Students were asked to indicate whether they experienced various adverse psychosocial outcomes resulting from use of each substance. The authors analyzed data from 7,437 students (modal age: 18) from cohorts assessed from 2007 through 2011 who reported using alcohol or marijuana in their lifetime.

“The paucity of research is of particular public health concern as alcohol and marijuana are the two most commonly used psychoactive substances among adolescents,” said Joseph J. Palamar, Ph.D., M.P.H.

These 5 Pro-Marijuana Billboards Are Set To Surround The Super Bowl

NEW JERSEY:  The freeways surrounding MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. are about to be plastered with five billboards advocating the use of marijuana, and, in some cases, attacking football just miles from the game’s biggest stage.

Washington and Colorado are the only two states to have legalized marijuana, so the Marijuana Policy Project, an organization based in Washington D.C., decided this year’s Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos would be an opportune time to get their message out. [Read more…]

In New Zealand, Cannabis Trumps Booze

NEW ZEALAND: Many New Zealanders are turning to cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, which might explain why we are among the highest users in the world, a medical anthropologist says.

According to the Ministry of Health’s most recent New Zealand Alcohol and Drug Use Survey, one in seven New Zealand adults will have used cannabis in the past year.

The survey found 46.4 per cent of all adults had used cannabis in their lifetime. [Read more…]

In New Zealand, Cannabis Trumps Booze

NEW ZEALAND: Many New Zealanders are turning to cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, which might explain why we are among the highest users in the world, a medical anthropologist says.

According to the Ministry of Health’s most recent New Zealand Alcohol and Drug Use Survey, one in seven New Zealand adults will have used cannabis in the past year.

The survey found 46.4 per cent of all adults had used cannabis in their lifetime. [Read more…]

Pot-Smoking Moms Tired Of Being Judged By Wine Drinkers

Every night, Margaret’s two boys fly into the house after sports practice and flip on the TV, while she races to the kitchen to get dinner cooking. “It’s that tedious witching hour when I feel incredibly frazzled,” says the Tennessee singer/songwriter mom of a 6- and an 8-year-old. But instead of pouring herself a glass or two of merlot, she heads to the standalone garage next to their house for a few puffs of Humboldt Kush, one of the four strains of pot she smokes seven days a week. [Read more…]