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July 2019
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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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12 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

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  • WalStMonky

    Association of Marijuana Laws With Teen Marijuana Use
    New Estimates From the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys


    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

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