We’re learning more and more about the effects of cannabis use but as this story explains, there’s still a lot we need to learn. “… it’s hard to conduct research on marijuana right now. The report says that’s largely because of regulatory barriers, including marijuana’s Schedule I classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the fact that researchers often can’t access the same sorts of marijuana that people actually use. Even in states where it’s legal to buy marijuana, federal regulations prevent researchers from using that same product.” Read the surprising findings here.
In his great Forbes magazine article, author Jacob Sullum lists the contradictions inherent in current marijuana legislation:
“The comparison of alcohol and marijuana presents an obvious challenge to anyone who thinks the government bans drugs because they are unacceptably dangerous. If anything, that rationale suggests marijuana should be legal while alcohol should be banned, rather than the reverse. Judging from this example, the distinctions drawn by our drug laws have little, if anything, to do with what science tells us about the relative hazards of different intoxicants.”
Well worth reading the entire article here.
The decision to declassify marijuana as a schedule 1 drug has been supposedly held up due to a lack of good data regarding the health implications. (Of course for years the federal government did not allow marijuana to be grown so any testing has been difficult.) But a recent 20-year study in New Zealand may give our government the data it needs: “After controlling for a number of factors, including tobacco use, childhood health, and childhood socioeconomic status, researchers’ 20-year study came to an interesting conclusion — namely, that marijuana use only had a statistically significant adverse impact on periodontal health. In other words, marijuana had no negative impact on a dozen other health factors, including lung function, systemic inflammation, BMI, or metabolic health. ” Read the whole story here.
Writer Tom Huth gives a beautiful, bittersweet, honest account of life as a caregiver, and how cannabis helps:
“For 20 years my wife, Anne, has struggled gallantly against the physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual depredations of Parkinson’s disease. For the first 15, I took care of her myself. Now I have lots of help. Either way, enjoying a hit or two on the pipe every couple of hours has granted me tens of thousands of sweet clemencies that keep me from burning out as a caregiver.”
Read the entire NY Times essay here.
“The stoner culture is kind of offensive to those of us who have held a pipe up to a shaking Parkinson’s patient, and seen how [with] one hit out of the pipe, his shakes can go away, and he can actually get up and make tea and act like a normal person.” Read about the “sisters” who aren’t nuns and their spiritual quest to legalize medical marijuana.
“Every year between 2005 and 2010, nearly 800,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges, most of them for possessing small amounts of marijuana. That was a threefold increase since the early 1990s. Those arrested and incarcerated were overwhelmingly black or Hispanic, and poor. By 2012, the United States imprisoned a greater percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. Louisiana’s rate of incarceration is five times as large as Iran’s.” So begins the Seattle Times’ review of WEED THE PEOPLE: THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LEGAL MARIJUANA by Bruce Barcott. Read the entire review here.