Latest News

Prevalence of Marijuana Use Among U.S. Adults Doubles Over Past Decade

National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, NIH News, NIAAA News Release, October 21, 2015

Marijuana use by adults in the United States has soared, more doubling, over the past decade, 2001-2002 to 2012-2013. Surveys show 9.5 percent of Americans use marijuana; 30 percent of users meet criteria for a disorder.

Past year marijuana use rose from 4.1 percent to 9.5 percent of the U.S. adult population, while the prevalence of marijuana use disorder rose from 1.5 percent to 2.9 percent, according to national surveys conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Based on the results of our surveys, marijuana use in the United States has risen rapidly over the past decade, with about 3 in 10 people who use marijuana meeting the criteria for addiction. Given these increases, it is important that the scientific community convey information to the public about the potential harms,” said George Koob, Ph.D., director of NIAAA.

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Colorado Educators Concerned about Pot in Public Schools

Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, October 14, 2015

The Colorado School Safety Resource Center in Thornton, CO, held a Safe Schools Summit. Over 350 educators, first responders and school mental health professionals crowded into a conference room to learn about the impact marijuana legalization is having on the schools.

“It’s the No. 1 problem in schools right now,” said Lynn Riemer, president of ACT on Drugs, a nonprofit drug awareness and education organization.

Jeff Whitmore, from Bayfield School District, said, “At first, I thought it was similar to alcohol and that the kids would do it anyway and all that. But it’s like they’re disguising alcohol as Kool-Aid and marketing it to kids. These edibles are cookies and gummy bears, and they’re filled with high amounts of THC.”

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The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Volume 3, September 2015

Colorado’s annual report shows an increase in impaired driving, youth marijuana use, adult marijuana use, emergency room marijuana and hospital marijuana related admissions, and treatment admissions.

By the end of 2012, Colorado had over 108,000 medical marijuana cardholders. People often choose medical marijuana over recreational marijuana because taxes on medical marijuana are significantly lower.

Recreational marijuana use began in 2013; by 2014, in one year:

  • They found a 45 percent increase in marijuana positive toxicology reports for those primarily driving under the influence.
  • They found a 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths.
  • They found a 29 percent increase in the number of marijuana-related emergency room visits.
  • They found a 38 percent increase in the number of marijuana-related hospitalizations.

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Illinois doctor fights charges he misled patient about marijuana

Carla K. Johnson, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, September 8, 2015

Without examining a patient’s eyes, Dr. Joseph Starkman allegedly recommended medical marijuana for a 79-year-old patient who, at one time, had been diagnosed with glaucoma. The recommendation cost the patient $250.

Dr. Starkman, 36, could have his medical license suspended or revoked. Illinois’ medical marijuana law requires doctors to certify that a patient has an approved diagnosis and will likely benefit from marijuana.

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Poisoned By the Weed: Marijuana and Pretty Little Killers, Part 1

Parents Opposed to Pot, July 3, 2015

Writers from have reviewed the book, Pretty Little Killers, the story of 16-year-olds, Sheila Eddy and Rachel Shoaf, who killed Skylar Neese in a marijuana woven web, and they offer plausible explanations for the girl’s actions through current marijuana research.

The authors, Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller were given access to Skylar’s journals and writings.

A rupture in the friendship had developed 11 months earlier when Skylar saw Sheila and Rachel having sex at a sleepover. The book gives vague hints that Rachel and Shelia had wanted to get rid of Skylar for about 9 months before the murder happened, for fear she’d reveal the lesbian tryst. Although Skylar had at least two violent fights with Shelia Eddy before her friends killed her, she stayed away from them during most of the previous 6 months. But on that fatal night, the lure of sneaking out of her apartment to smoke weed broke her resolve.

The well-researched book explains that the three girls began smoking weed about 21 months before the murder, during fall of their freshman year. About 15 months earlier, the girls had been caught violating curfew, going out with older guys who had pot.

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Colorado rejects PTSD as ailment eligible for medical pot

Associated Press, July 15, 2015

Colorado’s Board of Health voted against adding PTSD to the existing list of 8 debilitating conditions that qualify for medical marijuana use. “We can’t have physicians counseling people in favor of it because we don’t have data to show it’s correct,” said Jill Hunsaker-Ryan, one of the board members who voted no.

Colorado allows adults over 21 to buy recreational pot, with no doctor’s recommendation needed. But medical pot is taxed at 2.9 percent, compared to at least 19 percent for recreational pot.

In addition, medical patients are allowed to possess twice as much marijuana – 2 ounces instead of 1 ounce.

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Effects of marijuana – with and without alcohol – on driving performance

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, Science Spotlight, June 23, 2015

New research released on June 23, 2015 by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), proves smoking low levels of marijuana, 2.9% vs 6.7% THC, causes impaired driving similar to those with 0.08 breath alcohol.

The research was done at the University of Iowa on a sophisticated driving simulator that measured weaving between the lanes.

Additionally, drivers drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana exacerbated their impairment. Those using both substances weaved within lanes even if their blood THC and alcohol concentrations were below the impairment thresholds for each substance alone.

It was found that low amounts of alcohol significantly increased peak THC concentrations.

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Pot used to be pretty harmless, but it’s plenty dangerous today

Dr. Grace M. McGorrian, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 2015

Old-fashioned natural marijuana had low or moderate amounts of THC, along with cannabidiol, a chemical that shields the brain against THC’s effects. Modern marijuana has been genetically modified to be more potent – six to 10 times higher THC. And it has very little cannabidiol, which means there is little protection against intense psychoactivity, including psychotic experiences.

High levels of THC can:
• Distort reality and consciousness.
• Cause poor balance.
• Compromise memory.
• Make it difficult to hold a job.
• If used regularly for any period, increase the odds of developing schizophrenia for those under 18.

Statistically, heavy marijuana smokers struggle more with staying sober than users of any other drug. Peers and family members simply don’t believe that weed can create such dependency, so they often provide little support.

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Colorado Campaigns Warn Residents About Dangers of Legalized Pot

Gabrielle Cintorino,, May 21, 2015

The state is finding the residents of Colorado to be ignorant of the dangers of smoking pot and are having to develop public health campaigns to educate them.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) has a campaign that warns of the serious consequences of driving under the influence.

“CDOT’s website lists a significant increase in drug-related accidents since 2008. In 2008, 10.1 percent of drivers involved in accidents were found to be drug-impaired. By 2013, that figure had risen to 14.2 percent.”

A Good To Know Campaign forewarns of the health risks marijuana poses to young people.

“An animated video featured on the ‘Good to Know Colorado’ website uses quips such as ‘For those underage, it’s just not okay. Their brains are still growing, so keep it away’ to relay the warning message that marijuana poses health risks to youngsters, particularly teenagers.”

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Marijuana Intoxication Blamed In More Deaths, Injuries

Brian Maass, CBS Denver, May 18, 2015

Daniel Juarez, an 18-year-old from Brighton, died September 26, 2012 after stabbing himself 20 times. In an autopsy report that had never been made public before, but was obtained by CBS4, his THC level – the active ingredient in marijuana- was measured at 38.2 namograms. In Colorado, anything over 5 nanograms is considered impaired for driving.

Juarez was nearly eight times the legal limit.

Police and witnesses then say Juarez literally ran wild, stripping off most of his clothing and running into his nearby apartment. There, he got a knife and stabbed himself 20 times, one of the stab wound piercing his heart. Juarez’s autopsy report lists his manner of death as suicide with ‘marijuana intoxication’ as a ‘significant condition.’

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Ohio woman accused of beheading 3-month-old was reportedly ‘speaking with demons’

Jason Law and Pat LaFleur,, March 17, 2015

Police charge College Hill woman with murder for beheading her 3-month-old infant. The woman was said to be high on marijuana and “speaking in tongues,” according to a police report.

The woman had said that she had started “speaking with demons…”

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4 Spruce Creek High School students hospitalized after eating hash oil brownies, deputies say

Gail Paschall-Brown,, March 16, 2015

At least four Spruce Creek High School students were hospitalized after eating hash oil laced brownies. Deputies arrested a 17-year old boy and charged him with four counts of sale and delivery of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and seven counts of culpable negligence.

“At least 10 students ate the laced brownies, which were sold to them by another student, investigators said.”

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Strong cannabis causes one in four cases of psychosis: Users three times more likely to have an episode than those who have never tried it

Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, February 15, 2015

Those using “super strength” marijuana every day are three times more likely to have a psychotic episode than others who had never tried “super strength” marijuana. The THC can be four-times stronger than what older generations smoked.

“Psychosis is defined as a form of mental illness where people experience delusions, hallucinations, or both at the same time. Associated with conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar, some victims are so badly affected that they end up committing suicide or seriously harming others because they believe they are being ordered to do so by voices in their heads.”

“As many as a quarter of new cases of psychotic mental illness can be blamed on super-strength strains of cannabis, scientists will warn …”

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Smoking cannabis can lead to manic behavior: Hyperactivity, aggression and delusions are all strongly linked with the drug, researchers warn

Madlen Davies, Daily Mail, February 11, 2015

Dr. Steven Marwaha, of Warwick University in the UK, studied over 2,000 people and found a ‘significant link’ between cannabis use and manic behavior: depression, anger, aggression, hyperactivity, difficulty sleeping, being delusional and hearing voices.

The research found that marijuana use “tended to precede or coincide with episodes of mania.”

The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, raises particular concerns about adolescents and the problems cannabis use can have on their development.

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Marijuana legalization poses challenges for employers

Brandon Klein,, February 9, 2015

A pro marijuana group in Ohio is attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use. If the amendment gets placed on the ballot and should it pass, employers fear that with more people using marijuana the pool of drug-free employees will decline and safety in the workplace will be compromised.

“’I’m absolutely opposed to [legalizing marijuana],’ said Don Crane, president of Western Reserve Building Trades, which represents more than 6,000 workers in the skilled trades.” Many trade jobs have dangerous components.

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One Year of Colorado’s Marijuana Law

John Walters & David Murray, Real Clear Politics, February 8, 2015

The unintended consequences of marijuana use go unabated.

  • Marijuana infused edibles are marketed to youth. The edibles account for nearly half of Colorado’s sales.
  • Daily use of marijuana is 35 percent higher than the national average.
  • Selling marijuana on the black market continues because there are no taxes.
  • Marijuana potency has climbed sharply.

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Colorado lawsuit alleges cannabis overdose from fairground candy

Keith Coffman, Reuters Denver, August 8, 2014

A man ends up in the hospital after overdosing on THC from a marijuana chocolate candy bar given to him by a County Fair vendor promoting the drug. The Denver County Fair had a “Pot Pavilion” where Jordan Coombs was offered the marijuana food product.

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Maureen Dowd on pot candy bar: ‘I became convinced that I had died’

Jessica Durando, USA TODAY Network, June 4, 2014

Maureen Dowd, a columnist for the New York Times, told a terrifying story of eating a marijuana-infused candy bar. She was in Denver, Colorado reporting on legalized marijuana.

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Toddler rushed to hospital after eating pot candy – Kid Hospitalized After Pot Candy

Jamie Chambers, Fox5KSWB, San Diego, CA, April 25, 2014

On April 19, 2014, Frances McQueen, found her daughter stumbling and unresponsive; she rushed the toddler to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. The toddler was moved to the pediatric intensive care unit where doctors were preparing to do a spinal tap when the results of a toxicology report came back showing THC in her system. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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Metro: Marijuana impairment rising among drivers

Joe Bartels, KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, NV, April 16, 2014 Updated: April 17, 2014

Eighteen-year-old, Jesse Hill, was killed while walking with his girlfriend by a driver, Christian Diaz, who had 7 times the legal amount of marijuana in his blood.

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Denver man accused of killing wife after eating marijuana candy formally charged with murder

ABC & News Denver, April 18, 2014

Kristine Kirk told a 911 operator that her husband, Richard Kirk, had “taken some marijuana” and was “hallucinating” and frightening their three children. Minutes later Richard shot and killed his wife. Richard was charged with first-degree murder.

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College Student Ate 6 Times Recommended Amount Of Pot Cookie Before Jumping To Death

Denver CBS 4, April 16, 2014

Levi Pongi, a college student, jumped to his death from a hotel balcony after eating one whole marijuana cookie that was intended to serve six people. It produced a type of psychosis.

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