Why Cannabis Is A Medication That’s Worth Legalizing

Chronic pain is a large problem.  Not only does 1/3 America suffer from it, but because the pain is both subjective and personal, it has been very difficult to treat. In fact, until the 1990s, it went largely under treated until opioid prescriptions began to rapidly increase.

Today, we have an epidemic. But, while marijuana has a complicated history stemming from its criminalization in the United States in 1937, the infographic below shows why medical marijuana is a very effective alternative to opioid prescriptions.

Source: http://www.torontodefencelawyers.com/infographic/


New DEA Chief: ‘Heroin Is Clearly More Dangerous Than Marijuana’

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The new Drug Enforcement Administration chief has finally made it clear: Marijuana is safer than heroin.

DEA head Chuck Rosenberg told reporters Wednesday morning at the administration’s headquarters that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana,” clarifying a less definitive statement he made last week, when he said marijuana is “probably not” as dangerous as heroin. Rosenberg said cannabis is still “harmful and dangerous,” but that his original remarks should have been clearer.

Cameras were not allowed at the press briefing, but DEA spokesman Joseph Moses confirmed Rosenberg’s remarks to The Huffington Post.

The statement lines up with the science that has long been clear on the plant being one of the least dangerous recreationally used drugs. And while Rosenberg’s comments may initially seem benign, they represent a significant shift in the point of view of an agency that continues to classify marijuana as one of the “most dangerous” drugs, alongside heroin and LSD.


Alcohol or Marijuana? A Pediatrician Faces the Question

Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He blogs on health research and policy at The Incidental Economist, and you can follow him on Twitter at @aaronecarroll.

NEW YORK:  As my children, and my friends’ children, are getting older, a question that comes up again and again from friends is this: Which would I rather my children use — alcohol or marijuana?

The immediate answer, of course, is “neither.” But no parent accepts that. It’s assumed, and not incorrectly, that the vast majority of adolescents will try one or the other, especially when they go to college. So they press me further.

The easy answer is to demonize marijuana. It’s illegal, after all. Moreover, its potential downsides are well known. Scans show that marijuana use is associated with potential changes in the brain. It’s associated with increases in the risk of psychosis. It may be associated with changes in lung function or long-term cancer risk, even though a growing body of evidence says that seems unlikely. It can harm memory, it’s associated with lower academic achievement, and its use is linked to less success later in life.

But these are all associations, not known causal pathways. It may be, for instance, that people predisposed to psychosis are more likely to use pot. We don’t know. Moreover, all of these potential dangers seem scary only when viewed in isolation. Put them next to alcohol, and everything looks different

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.