Jeff Sessions Makes Ignorant Comments on Marijuana and Opioid Abuse

During today’s National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed doubts that marijuana can help reduce opioid abuse, something science has continually found to be true.

“I see a line in the Washington Post today that I remember from the ’80s. This one was, if you smoke marijuana, it’s a cure for opiate abuse. Give me a break”, said Sessions. “This is the kind of argument that’s been made out there to just almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits. I doubt that’s true.”

Sessions may doubt it to be true, but numerous studies just over the past few years have found that marijuana – and a liberalization of the laws surrounding it – can have a drastic impact on opioid abuse and the growing opioid epidemic.

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Study: 90% of Adults Who Use Marijuana to Treat Epilepsy Find Success

According to a new Australian study published by the journal Epilepsy Behavior, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, a vast majority of those who use marijuana to treat epilepsy (including parents who administer it to their children) find success in doing so.

For the study; “Epilepsy Action Australia conducted an Australian nationwide online survey seeking opinions on and experiences with the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy.” The survey “consisted of 39 questions assessing demographics, clinical factors, including diagnosis and seizure types, and experiences with and opinions towards cannabis use in epilepsy.”

A total of 976 responses met the inclusion criteria. Results showed that 15% of adults with epilepsy and 13% of parents/guardians of children with epilepsy were currently using, or had previously used, cannabis products to treat epilepsy.

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New Marijuana Policy Takes Effect Tomorrow in Texas’ Most Populous County

Harris County’s Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program takes effect tomorrow, March 1st.

The new program – put forth by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg – makes it so that those caught possessing up to four ounces of cannabis within the county will no longer be arrested or charged with a criminal misdemeanor in most instances. Instead they will be mandated to take a four-hour drug education class.

Harris County is by far Texas’ most populated county with over 4.5 million residents. The county includes Houston, the most populated city in the state and the fourth most populated city in the country; its 2 million residents is more than the population of 15 states.

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U.S. Marijuana Stock Index Dropped Over 10% After Comments From Trump Press Secretary

The U.S. marijuana stock index fell over 10% after Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he believes we’ll see “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana laws.

Marijuana Stock IndexOn Tuesday, February 21st, just two days before Spicer’s comments, the U.S. marijuana stock index was at 81.30, according to MarijuanaIndex.com. On Friday, the day after Spicer’s remarks, the index dropped to 72.80, a decrease of slightly over 10%.

As of Monday the market had a slight (and we stress slight) increase, moving up to 73.20.

Despite the recent dip, the index is still considerably higher than it was at its recent low point of 64.30, which was on December 19th, the day of Trump’s inauguration.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions Makes New Disparaging Comments on Marijuana

At a press conference today Attorney General Jeff Sessions made new, and disparaging, comments on marijuana.

“Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot,” Sessions told reporters today. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago.”

Sessions continued; “We’re seeing real violence around that,.. Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”

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Virginia Bill to End Driver’s License Suspensions for Marijuana Possession Passes Full Legislature

Virginia’s full legislature has passed a measure that would end driver’s license suspensions for simple marijuana possession.

Senate Bill 1091 was given approval by the Senate with a 38 to 2 vote, and was quickly passed by the House of Representatives with a rare unanimous vote (95 to 0). The measure now goes to Governor Terry McAuliffe for consideration. A spokeperson for McAuliffe says he’s likely to sign it into law.

Below is the official summary for the measure, which was filed by Senator Adam Ebbin (D) and cosponsored by Senator William Stanley (R):

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Study: Majority of Medical Cannabis Patients Use Cannabis to Replace Prescription Drugs

A new study published by the International Journal of Drug Policy has found that a majority of medical cannabis patients are using cannabis in replace of dangerous prescription drugs, mainly opioids.

For the study; “Patients registered to purchase cannabis from Tilray, a federally authorized Licenced Producer (LP) within the MMPR [the law that allows medical cannabis on the federal level in Canada], were invited to complete an online survey consisting of 107 questions on demographics, patterns of use, and cannabis substitution effect. The survey was completed by 271 respondents.”

According to the study; “Cannabis is perceived to be an effective treatment for diverse conditions, with pain and mental health the most prominent.” It was found that 63% of the study’s participants use cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs, “particularly pharmaceutical opioids (30%), benzodiazepines (16%), and antidepressants (12%).”

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WA Bill to Allow Medical Cannabis On School Grounds Passes Second Committee With 26 to 6 Vote

A Washington measure that would allow the administration of medical cannabis on school grounds has been approved by its second House committee.

Cannabis tincture.

The House Appropriations Committee gave approval to House Bill 1060 on Friday with a 26 to 6 vote (with 1 voting to pass but without recommendation). The vote comes 18 days after the bill was passed by the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee with a 13 to 3 vote. It’s now been sent to the House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House of Representatives.

Under the proposed law, schools would be required to adopt policies that allow for the administration of cannabis-based medicines to qualified patients by a parent, guardian or primary caregiver. The measure specifically covers all “school grounds”, which includes school buses and school-sponsored events.

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Washington Attorney General Vows to Use “Every Tool at His Disposal” if Trump Attacks Legal Marijuana

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he will do everything he can to defend the state’s legal marijuana system.

bob ferguson

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

“Attorney General Bob Ferguson has vowed to use every tool at his disposal to ensure that the federal government does not undermine Washington’s successful, unified system for regulating recreational and medical marijuana”, his Communication Director Peter Lavallee tells us.

This means potentially filing a lawsuit against the federal government if they decide to attack marijuana businesses or consumers that are following state law (though Lavellee points out that the attorney general’s office doesn’t represent individuals in their legal cases).

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Study: Kids with High Academic Scores More Likely to Use Cannabis, Less Likely to Smoke Cigarettes

New research has found that adolescents with high academic scores are considerably more likely to consume cannabis than those with low scores.

The study was published by the British Medical Journal. According to its abstract, the study’s aim “was to determine the association between childhood academic ability and the onset and persistence of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use across adolescence in a representative sample of English schools pupils.” Researchers wanted to conduct the study because “Previous research has produced conflicting findings.”

For the study, data from “7 years of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE)” was used; in total there were 6,059 participants “with information on academic ability around age 11 and health behaviours from age 13/14 to 16/17 (early adolescence) and from age 18/19 to 19/20 (late adolescence).” Researchers used “Self-completion questionnaires during home visits, face-to-face interviews and web-based questionnaires” to determine the results.

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