Teen Marijuana Use Down in Colorado and Washington

DENVER, CO — The federal government quietly published new national survey data this week that shows rates of teen marijuana use in Colorado and Washington — the first two states to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use — decreased more than the national average in 2014-2015. Fewer teens in the two states are reportedly using marijuana than in 2012-2013, just prior to the commencement of legal adult marijuana sales.    

The Substance…

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Marijuana Use Continues Rapid Decline Among Younger Teens

ANN ARBOR, MI — Self-reported marijuana use continues to fall among younger teens, according to nationwide survey data compiled by the University of Michigan.

Results from the 2016 edition of the Monitoring the Future survey find that marijuana use by 8th-graders and 10th-graders is declining year by year.

Further, a greater percentage of younger teens now say that their ability to obtain marijuana is more difficult than ever before. Among 12th graders,…

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Annual Study Shows Teen Marijuana Use Stable, Accessibility Decreasing

The results of an annual survey of U.S. middle and high school students released Tuesday invalidate claims that reforming marijuana laws and debating legalization will lead to increased marijuana use among teens.mtf-logo-high-res-300x194

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

•    Among 8th-graders, the rate of past-year marijuana use dropped significantly from 11.8% in 2015 to 9.4% in 2016, its lowest level since 1993. Past-month marijuana use also dropped significantly, from 6.5% in 2015 to…

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Federal Survey (Once Again) Debunks the Myth that Marijuana Legalization Increases Youth Use

(Flickr/Martin Alonso)

WASHINGTON, DC — The results of an annual survey of U.S. middle and high school students released Tuesday once again invalidate claims that reforming marijuana laws and debating legalization will lead to increased marijuana use among teens.

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

  • Among 8th-graders, the rate of past-year marijuana use dropped significantly from 11.8%…

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DEA Fails to Reschedule Marijuana, but Opens Path for More Research

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has decided that marijuana will remain classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The decision to keep marijuana in the category reserved for drugs with no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse was, according to the DEA, based on consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services. According to DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg, “If the scientific understanding about marijuana changes — and it could change — then the decision could…

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State Department: International Treaties Do Not Demand Monopoly on Marijuana Production

State Department: International Treaties Do Not Demand Monopoly on Marijuana Production

WASHINGTON, DC — United States treaty obligations do not mandate the federal government to limit marijuana production to a single licensed facility, according to written statements provided by the State Department to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The Department’s statements run counter to opinions expressed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has long alleged that there can only be one federally licensed cultivator of marijuana for research purposes – the University of Mississippi, as overseen by the US National…

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State Department: NIDA Monopoly on Marijuana Research Unnecessary

State Department: NIDA Monopoly on Marijuana Research Unnecessary

WASHINGTON, DC — The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the State Department has gone on record stating that the United States could issue multiple licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes without violating the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty.

The statement came in response to a direct request from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) regarding whether issuing multiple licenses to grow medical marijuana was a violation of the Single Convention.

The State…

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It Is Time to Deschedule, Not Reschedule, Cannabis

It Is Time to Deschedule, Not Reschedule, Cannabis

Under the US Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the cannabis plant and its organic cannabinoids are classified as schedule I prohibited substances — the most restrictive category available under the law.

A recent memorandum from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to several United States Senators indicates that the agency is prepared to respond in the coming months to a five-year-old petition seeking to amend the plant’s status as a schedule I prohibited substance.

Under the US Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the cannabis plant and…

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Marijuana Legalization Not Increasing Teen Use, Annual Study Finds

Marijuana Legalization Not Increasing Teen Use, Annual Study Finds

The University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of teen drug use was released today, and shows that softening attitudes toward marijuana and actual marijuana legalization in four states and Washington, DC, are not translating into increased teen pot smoking.

The survey also had generally good news about other drugs, reported declines in teen use of ecstasy, heroin, alcohol, cigarettes, and synthetic cannabinoids.

MTF has been tracking drug use, including alcohol and tobacco, since 1975, and surveys more than 40,000…

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National Survey on Teen Marijuana Use Debunks Anti-Legalization Theories

National Survey on Teen Marijuana Use Debunks Anti-Legalization Theories

Annual Survey of U.S. Teens Finds No Change in Marijuana Usage Rates for Past Five Years; Results Invalidate Claims That Reforming Marijuana Laws and Debating Legalization Will Lead to Increased Teen Use

Once again, NIDA-sponsored Monitoring the Future survey shows NO increase in use associated with decline in teens’ perception of great risk

WASHINGTON, DC — The results of an annual survey of U.S. middle and high school students released Wednesday invalidate claims that reforming marijuana laws and debating legalization will lead to…

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DEA Chief Shows Yet Again He Has No Clue About Marijuana

DEA Chief Shows Yet Again He Has No Clue About Marijuana

DEA Chief Administrator Chuck Rosenberg has once again managed to stick his foot in his mouth about cannabis. Earlier this week, Rosenberg stated that the notion of patients finding therapeutic relief from cannabis bothered him, going on to say “don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

The statement comes just a couple of months after the newly appointed DEA chief admitted that he was “not an expert” on marijuana, and had difficulty stating with certainty whether marijuana was more or less dangerous than heroin. After a week…

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DEA Chief Rosenberg : Marijuana as Medicine is “A Joke”

DEA Chief Rosenberg : Marijuana as Medicine is “A Joke”

WASHINGTON, DC — Herbal cannabis is not medicinal and should not be classified as such, according to public statements made recently by US Drug Enforcement Administration Director Chuck Rosenberg.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rosenberg acknowledged that constituents in the plant possess “great promise” as potential therapies. But he dismissed the notion of the plant itself as medicinal. “That is a joke,” he said.

Commenting on Rosenberg’s remark’s, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The DEA chief’s…

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DEA Chief Admits It: Heroin is Clearly More Dangerous Than Marijuana

DEA Chief Admits It:  Heroin is Clearly More Dangerous Than Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC — Marijuana is safer than heroin, the new head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration said this week.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, newly appointed DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg clarified a statement he made last week, admitting to reporters “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana.”

Last week, Rosenberg said that marijuana was “probably” not as dangerous as heroin.  Rosenberg also said last week that he has asked DEA offices “to focus their efforts and the resources of the DEA on the most important cases in their jurisdictions, and by and large what they are telling [him] is that the most important cases in their jurisdictions are opioids and heroin.”

Rosenberg’s predecessor, Michelle Leonhart vigorously defended marijuana’s…

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New DEA Leader Suspects Marijuana is Not as Bad as Heroin

New DEA Leader Suspects Marijuana is Not as Bad as Heroin

WASHINGTON, DC — Newly appointed head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chuck Rosenberg, says that marijuana is “probably” not as dangerous as heroin.

Rosenberg’s comments, issued Tuesday, are seemingly in conflict with marijuana’s Schedule I classification under federal law, which places it in the same category as heroin and is a lesser category than cocaine. The law defines cannabis and its dozens of distinct cannabinoids as possessing “a high potential for abuse … no currently accepted medical use, … [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug … under medical supervision.”

Predictably, Rosenberg did emphasize that he believed cannabis posed potential harms, stating:“If you want me to say that marijuana’s not dangerous, I’m not going…

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NIDA Director Says Cannabidiol is a “Safe Drug”

NIDA Director Says Cannabidiol is a “Safe Drug”

The director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Nora Volkow, believes that cannabidiol (CBD) – a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid – is “a safe drug with no addictive effects.”

Volkow made the comments in an op-ed published by The Huffington Post.

Volkow further acknowledged, “[P]reliminary data suggest that it may have therapeutic value for a number of medical conditions.”

Preclinical studies have documented CBD to possess a variety of therapeutic activities, including anti-cancer properties, anti-diabetic properties,…

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Senators Demand Answers on Administrative Barriers to Cannabis Research

Senators Demand Answers on Administrative Barriers to Cannabis Research

Earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (DMA) and 7 other U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Drug Enforcement Agency seeking specific answers on a number of bureaucratic barriers to medical marijuana research.

The letter comes just a few weeks after the Senate Drug Caucus hearing on cannabis-based medicines and the White House announcement to terminate the Public Health Service review process for marijuana, which had been cited by many as one of the major pieces of federal red tape standing in the way of scientists and physicians.

Joined by Senators Merkley (OR), Wyden (OR), Mikulski (MD), Markey (MA), Boxer (CA), Booker (NJ), and Gillibrand (NY), the letter acknowledges that there is a…

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Senators Press Feds for Answers Regarding the State of Medical Marijuana Research

Senators Press Feds for Answers Regarding the State of Medical Marijuana Research

WASHINGTON, DC — Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with seven other Senators, has directed a letter to the Obama administration demanding regulators answer questions specific to the facilitation of research into the medical benefits of marijuana.

Senators acknowledged the need for unbiased research. They wrote:

“While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana — despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible by state law to use the drug for medical purposes.”

The Senators applauded a recent decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate the HHS Public Health Service…

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NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the US Senate at a hearing Wednesday expressed skepticism in regard to federal policies limiting the ability of investigators to engage in clinical studies of marijuana’s health benefits.

Senators heard from representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Project SAM on a variety of issues

The hearing’s most noteworthy moment came when Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, acknowledged that the monopoly on marijuana cultivation for research purposes ought to be amended. Currently, NIDA contracts strictly with the University of Mississippi to grow marijuana for use in research studies. This…

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Federal Study: Passage of Medical Marijuana Laws Don’t Increase Teen Use

Federal Study: Passage of Medical Marijuana Laws Don’t Increase Teen Use

The enactment of state laws legalizing the use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes has not caused an increase in marijuana use by adolescents, according to the results of a federally funded study published this week in Lancet Psychiatry.

Investigators at Columbia University in New York and the University of Michigan assessed the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and rates of self-reported adolescent marijuana use over a 24-year period in a sampling of over one million adolescents in 48 states. Researchers reported no increase in teens’ overall use of the plant that could be attributable to changes in law, and acknowledged a “robust” decrease in use among 8th graders.

They concluded: “[T]he results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in…

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Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Lead to Increases in Teen Use

This is not the first study to find that medical marijuana laws do not have an impact on teen use – but this study is the most comprehensive and valid, given the large sample size, the long study period and adjusting results for other factors that might contribute to marijuana use, such as gender, age and geographic location.

Additionally, the study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has been critical of the impact of medical marijuana laws on teen use.

“Medical marijuana relieves pain and suffering for millions and does not lead to an increase in teen marijuana use,”  said Amanda Reiman, manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance and professor at UC Berkeley. “This should end the ‘What About The Kids’ argument used by opponents…

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Feds Seek to Increase Marijuana Production Quotas

Feds Seek to Increase Marijuana Production Quotas

WASHINGTON, DC — For the second year in a row, federal officials are seeking to increase the supply of cannabis the government makes available for research protocols.

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart filed paperwork Tuesday announcing that the agency is seeking to increase its marijuana production quota for the year 2015 by nearly three-fold.

Federal regulations permit a farm at the University of Mississippi to cultivate set quantities of cannabis for use in federally approved clinical trials.

Regulators at the DEA, the US Food and Drug…

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Cannabis, Science, and the Media

Cannabis, Science, and the Media

Prohibitionists keep circulating scare stories about marijuana, and people keep believing them.

Lurid tales of insanity and murder were quite effective in the 1930s. Seen now as ridiculous; yet nonetheless, modern tales, equally ridiculous, are widely accepted.

If marijuana actually caused some trouble — health problems, madness, violence, mental deficit, lasting effects after the immediate intoxication — ask yourself: Wouldn’t it be obvious? Tens of millions of people in this country partake of it. The vast majority use it in…

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