What Science Says About Cannabis Legalization

Among the roaring marijuana debate between liberal leftists and the reserved right wing, the science world has remained considerably mute on the issue of cannabis. Despite holding vast quantities of information on the plant, scientists and doctors lie in the shadows behind overt politicians, new-age musos and enraged soccer moms.

A plethora of statements encircle pot politics, where the touted pain-relieving properties of medicinal marijuana are stacked against the feared health hazards of cannabis use. Do clinical evidence and scientific studies reveal a truth more akin to flowers and space cake or insomnia and drug addiction?

Marijuana contains the substance THC which is known by the majority of people yet assumed without a chemical clue, to be toxic or addictive. THC, short for some long nerdy name you’ll never remember anyway, has been administered in various molecular forms to cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis sufferers for years with evident success. A recent publication in the British Journal of Anaesthesia 2008 supported the notion of cannabis as an effective way to manage various types of pain, however, codeine and other pain-relieving substances showed similar success.

Before you light your bong in celebration, a 2007 systematic review of the effects of marijuana and psychotic illnesses revealed a dose-related correlation between spliffs and psychosis. The people who lit up more frequently, for a longer number of years and with more potent pot suffered from more mental health issues than non users. It is important to maintain perspective on the fact that excessive abuse of marijuana correlates with mental health complications. Most substances consumed in excess, from candy to cocaine, may have multiple horrifying results including obesity and Keith Richards.

Regarding the effects of marijuana on lungs, more research is required to produce a conclusive result, however, various trials have produced some interesting findings. A publication in the 2010 European Respiratory Journal found cannabis and tobacco had different effects on the lungs, the latter producing severe obstruction of air flow and poor oxygen transfer. Marijuana did not produce these effects, however a 2009 article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed links between marijuana, tobacco and COPD (medical jargon for what you know as emphysema). However, tobacco shows consistently more severe effects on lung function and to date, is the only proven preventable cause of lung cancer.

As for the positive benefits, clear the smoke from your eyes and take a look at The Netherlands. A country which legalized marijuana in 1976, is one of the wealthiest, economically stable and prospering countries in the European Union. Interestingly, it is juvenile travellers loading up on their right to get high who are the greatest inconvenience among Dutch society. While alcohol and cigarettes continue to top the death polls in most countries, there is not one recorded reefer-related death in The Netherlands. On the other hand, prescription drug overdose accounted for 20, 950 deaths in the US in 2004.

It seems the highly infectious symptoms of marijuana, including intense fits of laughter, imbecilic smiling and cookie-crumbed couches are hardly reason enough to outlaw the substance when a host of more toxic agents are not only legal, but advertised across the United States and other Western countries. While the debate may continue to rage in the media, research is constantly being released online by less-verbal scientists and medical foundations. Like most relationships, intimate moments with maryjane may mess with your mind. Yet amongst our precarious love affair with fast food, cigarettes and booze, this relationship is unlikely to be fatal.

Study: Cannabis Lozenge Associated With Reduced Opioid Use

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Study: Cannabis Lozenge Associated With Reduced Opioid Use | NORML

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA — Patients who consume plant-derived cannabis extracts in the form of an oral lozenge report reductions in chronic pain and opioid use, according to clinical data published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. Investigators from the United States, the Netherlands, and Spain assessed the safety and efficacy of the Trokie brand lozenge in a cohort […]

Study: Cannabis Lozenge Associated With Reduced Opioid Use | The Daily Chronic

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New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions

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New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions | Drug Policy Alliance

SANTA FE, NM — On Friday, September 7th, the New Mexico Department of Health announced that Secretary Lynn Gallagher would not allow people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) to qualify for medical cannabis in New Mexico. This is the second time the Medical Advisory Board’s (MAB) recommendation to add opioid use disorder was denied; […]

New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions | The Daily Chronic

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Study: Cannabis Inhalation Not Associated With COPD, Other Tobacco-Related Harms

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Study: Cannabis Inhalation Not Associated With COPD, Other Tobacco-Related Harms | NORML

LONDON — Cannabis smoke exposure, even long-term, is not positively associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, or irreversible airway damage, according to a literature review published in the journal Breathe. British researchers reviewed nearly 20 observational studies assessing cannabis inhalation and lung health, involving over 25,000 subjects. Investigators reported that the available literature fails to support […]

Study: Cannabis Inhalation Not Associated With COPD, Other Tobacco-Related Harms | The Daily Chronic

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Study: Consumers Willing to Pay a Premium for Legal Cannabis, Eschew Illegal Markets

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Study: Consumers Willing to Pay a Premium for Legal Cannabis, Eschew Illegal Markets | NORML

Consumers generally believe that cannabis sold in legal markets is “superior” to that available on the black market, and are willing to pay a premium for it, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction. Investigators from Canada and the United States assessed adults’ opinions with regard to the impact of cannabis pricing on […]

Study: Consumers Willing to Pay a Premium for Legal Cannabis, Eschew Illegal Markets | The Daily Chronic

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Percentage of Adults Consuming Cannabis Rising

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Percentage of Adults Consuming Cannabis Rising | NORML

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Approximately one in seven US adults acknowledge having consumed cannabis within the past year, according to data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. A team of investigators from the University of California and Columbia University in New York assessed cannabis use patterns in a nationally representative sample of 16,280 US adults. Overall, 14.6 […]

Percentage of Adults Consuming Cannabis Rising | The Daily Chronic

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Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Risk of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

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Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Risk of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms | NORML

CHICAGO, IL — Males with a history of cannabis use are far less likely than non-users to suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), according to data published in the journal Urology. Investigators with the University of Chicago assessed the relationship between cannabis use and LUTS in a nationally representative sample of men between the ages of 20 and 59. […]

Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Risk of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms | The Daily Chronic

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Study: Cannabis Leaves Possess Anti-Bacterial Activity Against MRSA

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Study: Cannabis Leaves Possess Anti-Bacterial Activity Against MRSA | NORML

KANPUR, INDIA — Ethanol-based tinctures containing crushed cannabis leaves provide anti-bacterial effects against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to data published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine. Strains of the MRSA bacterium are often resistant to antibiotic treatment and can be associated with life-threatening infections, such as septic shock and severe pneumonia. A team of researchers from India […]

Study: Cannabis Leaves Possess Anti-Bacterial Activity Against MRSA | The Daily Chronic

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Israeli Pain Specialists Endorse Cannabis Therapy, Survey Finds

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Israeli Pain Specialists Endorse Cannabis Therapy, Survey Finds | NORML

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Most Israeli pain specialists with an opinion on the issue believe that cannabis is a safe and effective analgesic agent, according to survey data published in the Journal of Pain Research. Investigators surveyed the opinions of over half of all practicing pain clinicians in Israel. The Israeli government has regulated the […]

Israeli Pain Specialists Endorse Cannabis Therapy, Survey Finds | The Daily Chronic

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Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated With Increased Survival Rates Among Heart Attack Patients

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Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated With Increased Survival Rates Among Heart Attack Patients | NORML

AURORA, CO — Heart attack patients with a history of marijuana use are less likely to die during hospitalization as compared to those who test negative for the substance, according to data published in the journal PLOS One. Investigators with the University of Colorado compared the hospital records of over 3,800 heart-attack patients who acknowledged having consumed cannabis or […]

Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated With Increased Survival Rates Among Heart Attack Patients | The Daily Chronic

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