Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

[Canniseur: The tactic used in this ad hasn’t worked before. Why should it work now? Michigan is am=n adult-use legal state. And if so, why is the state stooping to this level to try to curb teen use cannabis? Kind of a dumb way to spend tax dollars in the state.]

A new anti-cannabis ad approved by the state of Michigan supposedly shows the effects of adolescent marijuana use by showing a teenager talking to his “ten years in the future” self. The ad is drawing criticism for not only using scare-tactics to mislead people about the effects of marijuana, it specifically implies that marijuana use will lead to massive weight gain.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign about the well-documented harmful effects of youth use of marijuana in December 2019. It is directed at ages 14-21 and is slated to run on social media, popular online video and audio channels and video streaming services,” the state said in response to the backlash.

“An article in the American Medical Association states that those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38; an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence.”

Single, cherry-picked study that has been rebutted by others aside, that still doesn’t explain why the person ten years into the future in the ad has gained more than 150 pounds. If I had to guess, I would assume this is an implied reference to marijuana supposedly making someone sit on the couch and eat all day. This is despite the fact that some studies have even shown that cannabis use can aid in weight loss.

In other words, the ad is a collection of dumb, debunked stereotypes, designed to scare teenagers away from marijuana use.

And as Robin Schneider, the Executive Director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, pointed out, the obese guy being the negative “after” portion of the ad is not something that will be helpful to teens suffering from body issues.

“I really think we need to be careful when using examples that we don’t make kids feel bad for being overweight,” she said. “This is serious and we need to work together to protect our youth, but this is just not the way to go about doing it and it was done in very poor taste.”

There are so many things that teens can do that are more dangerous than using marijuana, it almost seems bizarre that this is what many are still focusing on when it comes to protecting kids. Be honest with your kids and be as knowledgeable as possible about marijuana for when it comes up, but wasting time scaring teens about cannabis could very well drive them to something far worse.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

Driving and Marijuana Impairment

Driving and Marijuana Impairment

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Driving and Marijuana Impairment

[Canniseur: Mr. Klare has rightfully called out CNN on this. Obviously, the person at CNN who wrote the story either didn’t know or understand that cannabis is cannabis whether it’s medical or adult use. Strange that CNN would even do this story as it’s filled with so many inaccuracies and innuendos that it barely qualifies as news. I thought we were past these sensationalist kinds of stories, but apparently, I’m wrong. The editors at CNN should be ashamed.]

As many of you know, much of my day is spent perusing news related to cannabis. Much of what I opine on and analyze is pretty straightforward news, but sometimes I will use this space to rebut an opinion piece I disagree with.

But there are rare occasions where something is so weirdly constructed and misleading that I feel compelled to point it out.

Today’s installment is an article from CNN entitled “Weed impairs driving skills long after the high is gone.” My first thought was that since THC content in blood can in no way point to impairment, this will be some sort of attempt to claim that THC in blood is accurate after all, since you are still “impaired” long after you are no longer high.

The study in question used a driving simulator and looked at “heavy users”, which was “defined by daily or near daily use, a minimum of four or five times a week, with a lifetime exposure of 1,500 times.” After 12 hours of non-use for users who were “based on urine tests…not intoxicated on THC”, whatever that means, it was shown that heavy users still drive much worse than non-users, the worst results coming from heavy users who started before the age of 16.

Staci Gruber, director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program at McLean Hospital, opines that early marijuana use negatively affects the part of the brain responsible for cognitive performance and impulse control. The discussion of impulse control is immediately followed by this little nugget:

Does this same concern apply to users of medicinal marijuana? Not at all, Gruber says.

“In our medical cannabis patients we don’t see that at all. We actually see improvements,” she said.

I have to admit, I’m stumped here. Is she saying that people having what they deem as medical problems means that marijuana helps with impulse control? After all, recreational and medical marijuana users are consuming the same marijuana. The marijuana isn’t different depending on the reason the person who is consuming it says they need it or whether or not their stated ailment happens to be a qualifying condition in the state they live in.

How could the same marijuana have a completely different effect, depending on whether or not the user lands in the very subjective “medical” category? And what if a different state deems other conditions as qualifying? Would someone going from state to state have the cannabis affect them differently depending on their medical status in the eyes of the law?

In the end, we are talking about one study versus many others that have shown that cannabis has minimal effects on driving. Even the study authors caution – as they all do – that more research needs to be done.

Of course, no one is advocating for people to get high and drive. But we also can’t be hysterical about it and must look for ways to minimize whatever risk there may be.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Driving and Marijuana Impairment

Talking to Your Children About Marijuana

Talking to Your Children About Marijuana

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Talking to Your Children About Marijuana

[Canniseur: This has important information for parents and talking to your children about cannabis. Not mentioned though is to call it cannabis and not marijuana. Marijuana is a pejorative term invented by racists in the early 20th century. The plant is cannabis. You should talk sensibly about cannabis with your children and not bring up all the old saws about its evils. This is important to think about.]

If you read enough cannabis-related articles online, you will eventually come across the “talking to your kids about pot” guide. They have been written by many people and contain various nuggets of advice, but what most of them have in common is trying to communicate ways to parents to communicate to their children that marijuana is something they should stay away from.

There’s obviously nothing wrong with that, but there are a couple risks parents run: 1) lying to your children can erode their trust in other things you have told them and 2) lying to your children about marijuana could inadvertently drive them to experiment with some other, more dangerous behavior.

A recent “talking to kids” guide appeared in a Chicago newspaper to coincide with the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Illinois. As one could expect, it is riddled with conjecture based on cherry-picked research (increased risk of mental illness, increased risk of suicide) and even mentions the gateway theory as something viable and something parents need to be worried about instead of the much-debunked piece of garbage that it is.

While legalization and a system where sellers have incentives to make sure they don’t sell to underage customers goes a look way toward keeping kids away from cannabis, it must be acknowledged that marijuana is still available and legalization doesn’t mean parents can abdicate their responsibilities.

It must also be acknowledged that marijuana is among the safest substances a teenager could experiment with. With so many things out their capable of doing real harm and even killing our kids, it’s important not to focus on marijuana as something that can destroy their life. Make your feelings about it clear, but don’t neglect teaching your kids about the myriad of hard and even legal drugs that can wreak total havoc on their future as human beings.

Fortunately, parents don’t have to rely on lies and fear-mongering anymore when it comes to what to tell their kids about cannabis. There is a mountain of true information and resources available to them on the Internet.

I wouldn’t recommend badgering your kids with information from studies that are contradicted by information from other studies; more intelligent youngsters can see right through that, especially with how easy it is to find things out these days.

Make a reasonable case for what you want them to do, but also trust that you have raised them to make good decisions. And if they do try marijuana, at least they are not trying any of the dozens of things that could kill them tonight.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Talking to Your Children About Marijuana

Of Course Marijuana Use is Up

Of Course Marijuana Use is Up

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Of Course Marijuana Use is Up

[Canniseur: While there are no surprises here, you’ll get an interesting perspective on why we’re smoking cannabis more and thoroughly enjoying it.]

If cannabis were a person, we’d say they’d had a long, strange trip. Thirty years ago, most people genuinely believed that marijuana use caused cancer, killed brain cells and led more times than not to a life of harder drugs and homelessness.

Now most people realize that those were lies told to us by older generations. We know now that cannabis is actually a relatively safe substance with numerous medical benefits and amazing economic potential where legally sold. The Gateway Theory has been thoroughly debunked and multiple studies have shown that marijuana use does not cause cancer or kill brain cells.

With the destruction of the lies that have surrounded the cannabis plant and the changes in policy around the country, it should come as no surprise to anyone that marijuana use is going up among just about every age group.

In fact, according to a new study from Rockefeller Institute, since 2002 marijuana use in states without adult-use legalization laws has gone up 33% while use has gone up 47% in states with recreational legalization.

Oregon and Vermont were #1 and #2 respectively when it comes to marijuana use, with use more than doubling in Oregon since 2002. Since a myriad of studies and data reviews show that marijuana use by teens is either declining or staying the same, all of these gains have to be coming from adult age groups.

“With the continued legalization and general increase in marijuana use, knowing the data and what they mean will be increasingly important,” said Rockefeller Institute Interim Executive Director Patricia Strach. “This analysis and new data tools offer valuable guidance for policymakers going forward.”

It’s true that data is important, for many reasons. It can tell us a lot about ourselves. But we really don’t need data to know marijuana use is on the rise; it’s just common sense. If, for 80 years, we were told that drinking milk causes cancer and that’s why it’s illegal, then we were told that was all a lie and we’re making it legal again, it’s pretty safe to say that milk use would go up. This would be true for any substance under similar circumstances.

And as we learn that more people are using cannabis as a substitute for everything from alcohol to prescription drugs, we can admit that not only is the rise in use not surprising, it’s a good thing.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Of Course Marijuana Use is Up

Illinois Governor Signs Adult-Use Legalization Bill

Illinois Governor Signs Adult-Use Legalization Bill

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Illinois Governor Signs Adult-Use Legalization Bill

[Canniseur: With a lot of hard work and a bit of compromise, Illinois has finally legalized adult-use recreational cannabis. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) includes far-reaching expungement provisions, funding for communities hard-hit by the drug war, and assistance to business applicants operated by those harmed by prohibition or from areas of disproportionate impact. It also legalizes home cultivation for patients. Learn more about the bill’s criminal justice reform and social equity provisions here.]

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has officially signed legislation that legalizes adult-use cannabis in his state. Starting January 1, 2020, Illinois adults will be able to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana on them legally; non-residents of the state can carry up to 15 grams.

With the Governor’s signature, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use, the second to do so via the legislature and the first to legalize sales via the legislature. Unfortunately, a provision that would have allowed adults to grow up to 5 plants in their home was scrapped before the final bill; medical marijuana patients will be allowed to grow 5 plants though, something they could not do before, and all adults will face reduced penalties if they do decide to grow personal amounts of cannabis and get caught (a $200 fine instead of the current $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail).

The new law will also allow up to 800,000 criminal records to be expunged, as long as the charges were for under 30 grams of marijuana.

“Today, Illinois residents and political leaders demonstrated the power of democracy in action, using the political process to achieve sensible policies that protect individual freedoms and that ensure community safety,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in a statement. “Governor Pritzker and legislators in Illinois have laid out a path forward for states like New York, New Jersey, and others to emulate in the national movement towards comprehensive marijuana law reform.”

Illinois also becomes the second large, industrial Midwestern state to legalize adult-use marijuana in the last year (the other being Michigan via the ballot box last November). This could have a huge impact as it shows that legalization is not just something that is happening in certain parts of the country, but is possible all over the U.S.

Of course, more needs to be done – in Illinois and other states, as well as at the federal level – and there is no time to waste. Millions of people around the country suffer simply because marijuana is prohibited or severely restricted in their area. They are criminalized and forced to seek illegal means to make a safer choice when it comes to the substances they will ingest.

Marijuana law reform is a long, hard road, but we have no choice but to travel it.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Illinois Governor Signs Adult-Use Legalization Bill

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