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How things have changed

Hearing tomorrow in the United States House Committee on the Judiciary:

Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform

Having a really hard time even wrapping my head around that concept, when I think back to what Congress was like on marijuana issues when this blog started in 2003.

We always said that the people would have to lead and eventually Congress would follow.

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22 comments to How things have changed

  • kaptinemo

    You’ve got that right, Pete. When you compare today with, say, 20 years ago, it’s like night and day: FDCH TRANSCRIPTS House Government Reform June 16, 1999 HOUSE GOVERNMENT REFORM CRIMINAL JUSTICE SUBCOMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON DRUG POLICY

    Look at the names: that hearing, with vanishingly few instances to the contrary, was a ceremonial circle-jerk of the Grand High Prohib Poobahs. The openly displayed arrogance, willful blindness and sheer malice of the legislators towards the concept of drug law reform and its proponents is undeniable. The purpose of that hearing was to destroy drug law reform by legislatively-promoted character assassination of the concept.

    I sincerely doubt that, given the title of the latest, linked hearing, the environment will be quite so maleficently toxic to reformers, this time.

    Yes, amazing what 2 decades of demographic changes can bring, isn’t it?

  • Thanks, Kaptin! I’ve been looking for that hearing transcript. Had forgotten the year.

  • DdC

    Happy 710

    What Is ‘710’ And How Did 7/10 Become A Stoner Holiday?

    Citrus Sap (Live Sauce)
    SATIVA

    THC 67%

    •Genetics: GG4 x Tangie.
    •Flavor: Citrus, Sweet, Pine.
    •Effects: Relaxing, Cerebral, Social.
    *Avg. THC: 67% *Avg. CBD: 0%

    Sativa Dominant Hybrid. Raw Garden’s Sauces have rich terpene profiles and are crafted with single source Clean Green Certified fresh frozen flowers.

  • WalStMonky

    Association of Marijuana Laws With Teen Marijuana Use
    New Estimates From the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
    7/18/2019

    /snip/
    Discussion

    Consistent with the results of previous researchers, there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.

  • Servetus

    Scientists are taking a closer look at microdosing:

    15-JUL-2019…lauded by some, with high profile proponents in Silicon Valley… to date, scientific evidence to support or even fully explore claims of the benefits and safety [of microdosing], has been lacking.

    Now, an international group of researchers, led by Imperial College London and Maastricht University, has approached the issue in a wide-ranging review paper, published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, to tackle some of the key questions – including what is microdosing? Is it safe? Is it legal? And are the claims of benefits from taking small amounts of psychedelics even plausible?

    According to the researchers, their review aims to present evidence around several themes of microdosing psychedelics, such as LSD or psilocybin (magic mushrooms), including discussions of concerns around impacts on cardiovascular health, as well as to providing a framework for future research in the area.

    “Despite so much interest in the subject, we still don’t have any agreed scientific consensus on what microdosing is – like what constitutes a ‘micro’ dose, how often someone would take it, and even if there may be potential health effects” said Professor David Nutt, Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and senior author of the review. […]

    The review explains that while most reports on microdosing to date are anecdotal and have focused on positive experiences, future research should be expanded to focus on the potential risks.

    Focusing on psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – as one of the two most commonly used psychedelic substances (alongside LSD), and being much further along the clinical pipeline to potential approval as a treatment, the team presents the available evidence on several aspects of microdosing.

    Chief among the issues raised is the lack of controlled scientific studies, the standard measure in medical science – where the effect of a treatment is measured in those taking it against a control or placebo group (who do not take the compound). The authors also cite a lack of certainty around the doses used in previous trials, as well as where the substances came from, and their potency. […]

    Similarly, the authors describe how data on the behavioural effects of microdosing, such as increased concentration or creativity, remain patchy. Early-stage research has shown psilocybin targets specific receptors in the brain which bind to serotonin – a chemical messenger in the brain associated with feelings of happiness, as well as learning and memory. They speculate that these changes to the activity of networks of brain cells may explain some of the reported therapeutic benefits of microdosing, such as improvement in mood, memory or productivity. […]

    Professor Nutt added: “Researchers working in the area of psychedelics regularly receive requests from the media asking about microdosing. We hope that this critique will provide answers to all these questions in the future as well as providing a framework for research.”

    AAAS Public Release: Science of microdosing psychedelics remains patchy and anecdotal, say researchers

  • That is a tiptop allowance a beforehand an once-over to winning. drugwarrant.com
    http://bit.ly/2NLsY8Q

  • Servetus

    The UK is destroying its hemp industry, and it’s using Home Office approved regulations to achieve it:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49082533

  • Servetus

    Hemp can offset excess carbon dioxide production in the same sense as planting 1 trillion trees, with an added advantage. It grows fast:

    …Hemp grows to 13 feet in 100 days, making it one of the fastest carbon dioxide-to-biomass conversion tools available. Industrial hemp has been proved to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any forest or commercial crop, making it the ideal carbon sink. It can be grown on a wide scale on nutrient-poor soils with very small amounts of water and no fertilizers.

    Hemp products can promote biodiversity and reverse environmental pollution by replacing petrochemical-based plastics, which are now being dumped into the ocean at the rate of one garbage truck per minute. One million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic, and up to 90% have plastic in their guts. Microplastic (resulting from the breakdown of larger pieces by sunlight and waves) and microbeads (used in body washes and facial cleansers) have been called the ocean’s smog. They absorb toxins in the water, enter the food chain and ultimately wind up in humans. To avoid all that, we can use plastic made from hemp, which is biodegradable and nontoxic.

    Other environmental toxins come from the textile industry, which is second only to agriculture in the amount of pollution it creates and the voluminous amounts of water it uses. Hemp can be grown with minimal water, and hemp fabrics can be made without the use of toxic chemicals.

    Environmental pollution from the burning of fossil fuels can also be reversed with hemp, which is more efficient and environmentally friendly than wheat and corn as a clean-burning biofuel.

    Hemp cultivation also encourages biodiversity in the soil, by regenerating farmland that has long been depleted from the use of toxic chemicals. It is a “weed” and grows like one, ubiquitously, beating out other plants without pesticides or herbicides; and its long tap root holds the soil, channeling moisture deeper into it. Unlike most forestry projects, hemp can be grown on existing agricultural land and included as part of a farm’s crop rotation, with positive effects on the yields and the profits from subsequent crops. […]

    Hemp can also help save our shrinking forests by eliminating the need to clear-cut them for paper pulp. One acre planted in hemp produces as much pulp as 4.1 acres of trees, according to the USDA; and unlike trees, hemp can be harvested two or three times a year. Hemp paper is also finer, stronger and lasts longer than wood-based paper. Benjamin Franklin’s paper mill used hemp. Until 1883, it was one of the largest agricultural crops (some say the largest), and 80–90% of all paper in the world was made from it. It was also the material from which most fabric, soap, fuel and fiber were made; and it was an essential resource for any country with a shipping industry, since sails were made from it. In early America, growing hemp was considered so important that it was illegal for farmers not to grow it. Hemp was legal tender from 1631 until the early 1800s, and taxes could even be paid with it. […]

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-cheapest-way-to-save-the-planet-grows-like-a-weed/

  • Servetus

    A total of five genes are responsible for ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia:

    24-JUL-2019 — A collaborative research project carried out by The University of Queensland and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam analysed more than 400,000 individuals to determine the genes behind these five psychiatric disorders. […]

    The study’s lead author Dr Anke Hammerschlag said it was due to the biological pathways shared by the genes in the brain.

    “We investigated if specific sets of genes were involved in the development of multiple disorders, which genes are not only related to say, ADHD, but also to the other four psychiatric disorders.

    “We found that there are shared biological mechanisms acting across disorders that all point to functions in brain cells,” Dr Hammerschlag said. […]

    “The synapse plays a vital role as this is the connection point between brain cells where the cells communicate with each other.

    “We also found that genes especially active in the brain are important, while genes active in other tissues do not play a role.” […]

    “Our findings are an important first step towards the development of new drugs which may be effective for a wide range of patients, regardless of their exact diagnosis,” said [UQ psychiatrist Professor Christel Middeldorp].

    “This knowledge will bring us closer to the development of more effective personalised medicine.”

    AAAS Public Release: Genes underscore five psychiatric disorders: A group of international doctors has uncovered the genes that contribute to the development of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia

    Some personalized medicines already exist, such as psychedelics and cannabinoids.

  • Servetus

    ODs differ from county to county based on socioeconomic factors and racial segregation:

    25-JUL-2019 — Fairfax, VA – A new study led by George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services found new insights into the link between county socioeconomics and segregation on drug overdose deaths.

    The study found that socioeconomic factors and segregated counties may affect the rate of drug overdose deaths independently and differently among racial and ethnic groups. This is the first study of its kind to explore both … influences at the county level.

    Dr. Cara Frankenfeld from the Department of Global and Community Health and Dr. Timothy Leslie from Mason’s Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science led the study published in Annals of Epidemiology in April. […]

    Segregated counties–those that differ from surrounding areas in race, ethnicity, unemployment, or poverty–were often linked to different rates of overdose deaths among ethnic and racial groups. For example, counties with more racial and ethnic diversity had fewer overdose deaths in blacks and Hispanics, but similar overdose deaths in whites. Counties with higher unemployment diversity (unemployed vs. employed) had more Hispanic, but not white or black, overdose deaths. Counties with more poverty than neighboring counties had more overdose deaths in blacks, but not in whites or Hispanics. The strongest link was for unemployment diversity, across all groups, with a 35% higher rate for each five percent increase in unemployment diversity.

    Counties with more disabled civilians had more drug overdose deaths across all racial and ethnic groups. However, the link between other socioeconomic factors and drug overdose deaths often varied by racial and ethnic groups. For example, counties with more racial diversity, more unemployment diversity, and more uninsured residents had fewer black and Hispanic overdose deaths, but this was not observed for whites. Counties with higher incomes had fewer Hispanic overdose deaths but more black overdose deaths. Counties with more unemployment had fewer Hispanic deaths but more white deaths. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Study finds new insights on overdose rates, county segregation, and socioeconomics: New research from George Mason University finds that factors such as county poverty levels, social environment, employment rates, and racial or ethnic segregation affect overdose rates differently.

    Original Publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1047279719300389?via%3Dihub

  • Servetus

    ODs differ from county to county based on socioeconomic factors and racial segregation:

    25-JUL-2019 — Fairfax, VA – A new study led by George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services found new insights into the link between county socioeconomics and segregation on drug overdose deaths.

    The study found that socioeconomic factors and segregated counties may affect the rate of drug overdose deaths independently and differently among racial and ethnic groups. This is the first study of its kind to explore both … influences at the county level.

    Dr. Cara Frankenfeld from the Department of Global and Community Health and Dr. Timothy Leslie from Mason’s Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science led the study published in Annals of Epidemiology in April. […]

    Segregated counties–those that differ from surrounding areas in race, ethnicity, unemployment, or poverty–were often linked to different rates of overdose deaths among ethnic and racial groups. For example, counties with more racial and ethnic diversity had fewer overdose deaths in blacks and Hispanics, but similar overdose deaths in whites. Counties with higher unemployment diversity (unemployed vs. employed) had more Hispanic, but not white or black, overdose deaths. Counties with more poverty than neighboring counties had more overdose deaths in blacks, but not in whites or Hispanics. The strongest link was for unemployment diversity, across all groups, with a 35% higher rate for each five percent increase in unemployment diversity.

    Counties with more disabled civilians had more drug overdose deaths across all racial and ethnic groups. However, the link between other socioeconomic factors and drug overdose deaths often varied by racial and ethnic groups. For example, counties with more racial diversity, more unemployment diversity, and more uninsured residents had fewer black and Hispanic overdose deaths, but this was not observed for whites. Counties with higher incomes had fewer Hispanic overdose deaths but more black overdose deaths. Counties with more unemployment had fewer Hispanic deaths but more white deaths. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Study finds new insights on overdose rates, county segregation, and socioeconomics: New research from George Mason University finds that factors such as county poverty levels, social environment, employment rates, and racial or ethnic segregation affect overdose rates differently.

    Original Publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1047279719300389?via%3Dihub

  • Servetus

    ODs differ from county to county based on socioeconomic factors and racial segregation:

    25-JUL-2019 — Fairfax, VA – A new study led by George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services found new insights into the link between county socioeconomics and segregation on drug overdose deaths.

    The study found that socioeconomic factors and segregated counties may affect the rate of drug overdose deaths independently and differently among racial and ethnic groups. This is the first study of its kind to explore both … influences at the county level.

    Dr. Cara Frankenfeld from the Department of Global and Community Health and Dr. Timothy Leslie from Mason’s Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science led the study published in Annals of Epidemiology in April. […]

    Segregated counties–those that differ from surrounding areas in race, ethnicity, unemployment, or poverty–were often linked to different rates of overdose deaths among ethnic and racial groups. For example, counties with more racial and ethnic diversity had fewer overdose deaths in blacks and Hispanics, but similar overdose deaths in whites. Counties with higher unemployment diversity (unemployed vs. employed) had more Hispanic, but not white or black, overdose deaths. Counties with more poverty than neighboring counties had more overdose deaths in blacks, but not in whites or Hispanics. The strongest link was for unemployment diversity, across all groups, with a 35% higher rate for each five percent increase in unemployment diversity.

    Counties with more disabled civilians had more drug overdose deaths across all racial and ethnic groups. However, the link between other socioeconomic factors and drug overdose deaths often varied by racial and ethnic groups. For example, counties with more racial diversity, more unemployment diversity, and more uninsured residents had fewer black and Hispanic overdose deaths, but this was not observed for whites. Counties with higher incomes had fewer Hispanic overdose deaths but more black overdose deaths. Counties with more unemployment had fewer Hispanic deaths but more white deaths. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Study finds new insights on overdose rates, county segregation, and socioeconomics: New research from George Mason University finds that factors such as county poverty levels, social environment, employment rates, and racial or ethnic segregation affect overdose rates differently.

    Original Publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1047279719300389?via%3Dihub

  • Servetus

    A wearable device that detects and prevents opioid ODs has been developed by engineers at Purdue University:

    25-JUL-2019 — WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Opioid users tend to be alone and incapacitated during an overdose. Purdue University researchers are developing a device that would automatically detect an overdose and deliver naloxone, a drug known to reverse deadly effects.

    “The antidote is always going to be with you,” said Hyowon “Hugh” Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue. “The device wouldn’t require you to recognize that you’re having an overdose or to inject yourself with naloxone, keeping you stable long enough for emergency services to arrive.”

    Overdose happens when opioids bind to receptors in the brain that regulate breathing, causing a person to hypoventilate and die. According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 130 people in the U.S. die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Lee’s team has built a wearable device designed to detect when a person’s respiration rate decreases to a certain level – converted from electrocardiography (EKG) signals – and then release naloxone, which blocks the opioid from binding to brain receptors.

    Wearing the device would be similar to wearing an insulin pump: The current proof of concept is an armband that straps on a magnetic field generator, connected to a portable battery worn at the hip. A sticker-like EKG sensor on the skin, such as on the chest, measures respiration rate. When the sensor detects a respiration rate that’s too low, it activates the magnetic field generator to heat up a drug capsule in the body, releasing naloxone in 10 seconds. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Device could automatically deliver drug to reverse opioid overdose

  • Servetus

    CBD reduces aggressive behavior in mice due to isolation by activating CB1 and 5-HT1A receptors:

    29-JUL-2019 — A new study has concluded that cannabidiol attenuates the aggressiveness induced by social isolation. The research, based on a mouse model, was performed by scientists at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP) in Brazil. The results are published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.

    “Our study shows that cannabidiol can inhibit aggressiveness and that it does so by facilitating the activation of two receptors: the 5-HT1A receptor, responsible for the effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and the CB1 receptor, responsible for the effects of endocannabinoids,” said Francisco Silveira Guimarães, Full Professor at FMRP-USP and leader of the study. […]

    Data from the literature and the laboratory itself suggest that cannabidiol also inhibits an enzyme that metabolizes the endocannabinoid anandamide. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced throughout the central nervous system, including the brain. Anandamide binds to type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1), which are also activated by THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana.

    To determine whether this mechanism might also be involved in the anti-aggressive effect of cannabidiol, the researchers conducted a resident-intruder test using AM251, a CB1 receptor antagonist, combined with cannabidiol. The results were similar.

    “The anti-aggressive effect of cannabidiol was attenuated by WAY100635, the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, when dosed at 0.3 mg/kg, and by AM251, the CB1 receptor antagonist, at 1 mg/kg, suggesting that cannabidiol attenuates isolation-induced aggressive behavior by means of a mechanism associated with activation of 5-HT1A receptors and CB1 receptors,” Guimarães said.

    “We don’t yet know how the 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors affect aggressiveness in mice, but the activation mechanisms involved appear to be different in each case.”

    AAAS Public Release: Cannabidiol reduces aggressiveness, study concludes: Experiments with mice performed by Brazilian scientists show that a substance derived from cannabis plants attenuates isolation-induced aggressive behavior

    Original Publication:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109637

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