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Author Topic: Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Question  (Read 12243 times)
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« Reply #475 on: August 26, 2014, 04:38:55 PM »

None of that seem especially compelling, imo. 


No one factor should be considered in isolation. 

In addition to that, and other side effects (both health and social), we have to consider how things like this will play out if legalization goes nationwide. 
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« Reply #476 on: August 26, 2014, 06:57:52 PM »

No one factor should be considered in isolation. 

In addition to that, and other side effects (both health and social), we have to consider how things like this will play out if legalization goes nationwide. 

Yeah, true.

Do you really think it'll ever be legalized (even just as medical MJ) in every state?

I'm wondering if it's any kind of legal in any of the states that only sell hard alcohol through ABC stores.  Any idea?
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« Reply #477 on: August 26, 2014, 07:22:58 PM »

Yeah, true.

Do you really think it'll ever be legalized (even just as medical MJ) in every state?

I'm wondering if it's any kind of legal in any of the states that only sell hard alcohol through ABC stores.  Any idea?

I don't know.  I doubt it, but twenty years ago I never thought we'd have homosexual marriage.  Things can change pretty rapidly in this country. 

No idea about the alcohol. 
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« Reply #478 on: August 27, 2014, 02:34:38 AM »

I don't know.  I doubt it, but twenty years ago I never thought we'd have homosexual marriage.  Things can change pretty rapidly in this country. 

No idea about the alcohol. 

I don't understand why you give a fuck about homo's? It's not that I particularly want them to get married, but who gives a fuck? Why give a fuck about something so trivial in the grand scheme.
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« Reply #479 on: August 27, 2014, 10:05:45 AM »

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« Reply #480 on: August 27, 2014, 10:09:40 AM »

I don't understand why you give a fuck about homo's? It's not that I particularly want them to get married, but who gives a fuck? Why give a fuck about something so trivial in the grand scheme.

I don't care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom, and I hope people who choose the homosexual lifestyle find all the happiness life has to offer. 

I don't approve of using the government to change traditional marriage for a number of reasons, but that's the subject for another thread. 
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« Reply #481 on: September 02, 2014, 03:42:04 PM »

Pot Addiction Is Real: Harvard Study
Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014

Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive, but a new study challenges that theory.

"As more people are able to obtain and consume cannabis legally for medical and, in some states, recreational use, people are less likely to perceive it as addictive or harmful," study co-author John Kelly, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Addiction Medicine, said in a hospital news release.

"But research shows that cannabis use can have significant consequences, and we know that among adolescents it is second only to alcohol in rates of misuse," he added.

In the new study, Kelly's team followed outcomes for 127 teens, ages 14 to 19, treated at an outpatient substance abuse clinic. Marijuana was the substance used most often by 90 of the teens.

Of those 90 teens, 76 (84 percent) met criteria for marijuana dependence, including increased tolerance for, and use of, marijuana, as well as unsuccessful attempts to reduce or stop using the drug. About two-fifths of the 90 teens also experienced symptoms of withdrawal when they stopped using marijuana -- a sign of drug dependence, according to the study authors.

Teens who exhibited withdrawal symptoms were more likely to experience negative consequences such as trouble at school or on the job, or financial or relationship problems, Kelly's team said.

The teens who developed withdrawal symptoms were also more likely to meet the guidelines for marijuana dependence and for mood disorders, according to the study published recently in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

People who recognized and accepted that they had a substance abuse problem tied to their marijuana use were more likely to make progress towards abstinence, compared to those who did not think they had a problem, the researchers noted.

"The importance of understanding the addictiveness, risks and harms associated with cannabis use is a major theme of this study's findings," said said Kelly, an associate professor of psychiatry in addiction medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Recognizing those risks is known to reduce the likelihood that someone will start to use drugs, and better understanding of the role of substances in the problems experienced by patients may help them cut down on future use."

"Unfortunately, the general trend in attitudes in the U.S. is to minimize the risks and not recognize the addictiveness of cannabis," he added.
The study was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

http://www.NewsmaxHealth.com/Health-News/marijuana-addiction-cannabis-pot/2014/09/02/id/592095/#ixzz3CCVuRDxr
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« Reply #482 on: October 01, 2014, 11:41:16 AM »

Court mulls legality of firing for pot use off job
Associated Press By SADIE GURMAN


DENVER (AP) — Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it.

Now, the state's highest court is considering whether workers' off-duty use of medical marijuana is protected under state law.

Colorado's Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case involving Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient who was fired by the Dish Network after failing a drug test in 2010.

Coats said he never got high at work. But pot's intoxicating chemical, THC, can stay in the system for weeks.

Coats says his pot smoking is allowed under a little-known state law intended to protect employees from being fired for legal activities off the clock. But the company argues that because pot remains illegal at the federal level, medical marijuana isn't covered by the state law.

The case is being watched closely around the country and could have big implications for pot smokers in the first state to legalize recreational sales of the drug. Though the Colorado case involves medical marijuana, the court's decision could also affect how companies treat employees who use the drug recreationally.

Tuesday's arguments highlighted the clash between state laws that are increasingly accepting of marijuana use and employers' drug-free policies that won't tolerate it.

"This case need not be an endorsement or an indictment of medical marijuana" but a chance to set standards for employee conduct, Dish attorney Meghan Martinez told the justices, who could rule in the coming weeks or months. "It's a zero-tolerance policy. It doesn't matter if he was impaired or not."

Coats, 35, was paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager and has been a medical marijuana patient since 2009, when he discovered that pot helped calm violent muscle spasms. Coats was a telephone operator with Dish for three years before he failed a random drug test in 2010 and was fired. He said he told his supervisors in advance that he probably would fail the test.

Coats' case comes to the justices after a trial court judge and Colorado's appeals court upheld his firing, saying pot can't be considered lawful if it is outlawed at the federal level.

"We're getting very confused and mixed messages from everywhere," Coats' attorney, Michael Evans, told justices.

He asked the court to issue a narrow ruling that would apply to people like Coats: those in nonhazardous jobs who are not impaired at work and whose employers don't have federal contracts that could be jeopardized.

Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., allow medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington state also now allow recreational sales, though court cases so far have involved medical patients.

Colorado's constitution specifically says that employers don't have to amend their policies to accommodate employees' marijuana use. But Arizona law says workers can't be punished for lawfully using medical marijuana unless it would jeopardize an employer's federal contract.

State Supreme Courts in California, Montana and Washington state have all ruled against fired patients. A lawsuit filed by a physician assistant in New Mexico who said she was fired for using medical marijuana, which helps with her post-traumatic stress disorder, is still pending.

Denver labor and employment attorney Vance Knapp said a Coats win "would turn employment policies into chaos." Other states with lawful-activity laws could see them challenged as a result.

Coats, who has been unable to find steady work because of his marijuana use, said after the hearing that he was hopeful he would prevail. At the very least, he said, the court will offer clarity on the issue.

"I'm not going to be able to get a job in the near future, so if I can fight the fight and hopefully change that, that's what I am going to do," he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/colorado-high-court-considers-pot-044139294.html
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« Reply #483 on: October 21, 2014, 11:49:50 AM »

Holder "cautiously optimistic" on legal pot
By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Tue October 21, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- The outgoing U.S. attorney general said he is "cautiously optimistic" when it comes to Washington and Colorado's experiment with marijuana legalization.

Eric Holder, who announced last month his plans to retire, is one of President Barack Obama's longest-serving Cabinet members and has faced the delicate task of defining federal policy after a wave of marijuana legalization at the state level across the country.

"We don't want to put into the federal system, low level people who are simply there for possessory offenses," Holder said Monday in an interview with CNN's Evan Perez

Holder last year outlined eight enforcement areas the Justice Department would focus on in a move aimed at calming nerves in Washington and Colorado, the only two states where recreational marijuana is legal.

The eight "priority areas" have focused the Justice Department's efforts on preventing marijuana distribution to minors, inter-state trafficking and drug violence.

But Holder made clear Monday that his agency could change its non-interventionist stance if the states' regulatory frameworks aren't up to snuff.
"What I've told the governors of those states is that if we're not satisfied with their regulatory scheme that we reserve the right to come in and to sue them. So we'll see," Holder said.

The sale and possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The Justice Department's policy hasn't meant total immunity for marijuana growers and dispensaries in states with both medical and recreation marijuana, where dispensaries and growhouses have since been raided and owners prosecuted.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/21/politics/holder-marijuana-optimistic/index.html?hpt=po_c2
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« Reply #484 on: October 21, 2014, 11:53:22 AM »

Is Hillary Clinton ready for marijuana's 2016 push?
By Dan Merica, CNN
Thu October 16, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- When Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 -- where the future first lady and Secretary of State says she did not try marijuana -- only 12% of Americans wanted to legalize the drug.

In 45 years, however, the tide has changed for legalization: 58% of Americans now want to make consumption legal, two states (Colorado and Washington) already have and two more states (Oregon and Alaska) could join them by the end of the year.

Despite their growth in approval, many activists see 2014 as a smaller, but important, step to their end goal. It is 2016, when voters will also have to decide who they want in the White House, that marijuana activists feel could be the real tipping point for their movement.

"There will certainly be even more on the ballot in 2016," said Tamar Todd, director of marijuana law and policy and the Drug Policy Alliance. "More voters coming to the polls means more support for marijuana reform and in presidential election years, more voters turn out."

Demographics and money are also an important consideration. Big donors who are ready to fund pro-legalization efforts are more loose with their money in presidential years, according to activists, while Democrats and young people are more likely to turn out. This means legalization activists will be better funded to reach the nearly 70% of 18 to 29 year old Americans who support legalization.

On paper, activists feel their plan will work. But it is one yet to be decided factor -- who Democrats will nominate for president in 2016 -- that could throw a wrench into their push.

Clinton is the prohibitive favorite for the Democrats' nomination, but to many in the marijuana legalization community, she is not the best messenger for their cause.

"She is so politically pragmatic," said Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "If she has to find herself running against a conservative Republican in 2016, I am fearful, from my own view here, that she is going to tack more to the middle. And the middle in this issue tends to tack more to the conservative side."

Making a concerted push during a presidential election year means activists' goals will be directly contrasted with the Democrats' presidential standard bearer. This happened in 2004, when more conservative voters helped tip the presidential election for President George W. Bush at the same time that 11 states had anti-gay marriage questions on the ballot.

Clinton has moved towards pro-legalization, though.

Earlier this year, during a town hall with CNN, she told Christiane Amanpour that she wants to "wait and see" how legalization goes in the states before making a national decision. At the same event, she cast some doubt on medical marijuana by questioning the amount of research done into the issue.

Later in the year, Clinton labeled marijuana a "gateway drug" where there "can't be a total absence of law enforcement."

"I'm a big believer in acquiring evidence, and I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana before we make any far-reaching conclusions," Clinton told KPCC in July. "We need more studies. We need more evidence. And then we can proceed."

This is more open, however, than in 2008 when Clinton was outright against decriminalization, a step that is less aggressive than legalization.

Despite warming on the issue, Clinton's position is concerning to activists like St. Pierre because he feels they are far from solid.

"If reforms keep picking up... the winds in our sails are clear," he said. "But if we lose one of more or all of those elections this year, cautious people around her could make the argument that this thing has peaked and you now have to get on the other side of it."

St. Pierre said he also watched -- laughing -- as Clinton tried to personally distance herself from marijuana at the CNN town hall.

"Absolutely not," Clinton said when asked if she would try the drug. "I didn't do it when I was young, I'm not going to start now."
"I will eat both of my shoes if she and Bill didn't trip their nuts off at Wellesley and Oxford."

What's more, some activists spoke highly of Democrats with executive experience like Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who spent eight years as mayor of Baltimore.

O'Malley, who is also entertaining a run at the presidency in 2016, supports medical marijuana and approved a Maryland law that decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug in 2014.

"As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the Public Will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety," O'Malley said in a statement at the time. "I now think that decriminalizing possession of marijuana is an acknowledgement of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police, and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health."
As for where the governor is on legalization, Lis Smith, his top political adviser, said as long "as long as it is consistent with the goal of driving down crime," O'Malley is "open to sensible drug policy."

With an eye on 2016, some activists are starting to contrast that view with Clinton.

"I think in 2016 there is going to be a number of states with legalization initiatives on the ballot and there will be broad support," Todd said. "I don't see standing behind and defending the status quo of this destructive policy as helping a candidate in the 2016 election."

Clinton has come face-to-face with some aspects of marijuana policy on her trips to stump for Democrats across the country.

While raising money in Colorado for Sen. Mark Udall earlier this week, Clinton saw marijuana in her coffee. Pointing to the foam design atop Udall's latte, Clinton said, "Look at you, you got like a plant. Is that a marijuana plant?"

To laughs from the baristas at PigTrain Coffee, some who may have seen that the design looked more like a rose than marijuana, one answered jokingly, "That's exactly what it is."

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/16/politics/hillary-clinton-marijuana/index.html
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« Reply #485 on: October 27, 2014, 04:58:57 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/15/after-california-decriminalized-weed-teen-arrest-overdose-and-dropout-rates-fell/

After California decriminalized marijuana, teen arrest, overdose and dropout rates fell
By Christopher Ingraham October 15

A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice adds to the growing body of evidence that legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana does not lead to any number of doomsday scenarios envisioned by legalization opponents. Looking specifically at California, where full marijuana decriminalization went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, the report finds that "marijuana decriminalization in California has not resulted in harmful consequences for teenagers, such as increased crime, drug overdose, driving under the influence, or school dropout. In fact, California teenagers showed improvements in all risk areas after reform."


Most notable in the above table is the drop in school dropout rates. Recent studies have suggested links between heavy marijuana use and low school completion rates. But many experts question the direction of causality in this relationship, suggesting that there could be any number of confounding factors that account for this relationship. While it's still early in California's decriminalization experiment, the numbers above should suggest we cast a skeptical eye on claims of plummeting academic achievement in a post-legalization world.

In fact, as the report authors write: "By a variety of measures, California’s teenage behaviors actually improved dramatically after marijuana was effectively legalized — improvements that occurred more weakly or not at all among older Californians and among teenagers nationwide."

Now of course this doesn't address causality, and these numbers shouldn't be taken to imply that decriminalization caused these declines. But they do show, pretty clearly, that in the two years since full-scale decriminalization went into effect, California's kids are still all right. The sky hasn't fallen. And they add to a mounting body of research that shows, for instance:

    that teen drug and alcohol use continues to fall, even as more states decriminalize marijuana and make it available for medical purposes;
    that states with medical marijuana laws haven't seen any uptick in teen marijuana use;
    that states with medical marijuana have actually seen decreases in prescription drug overdoses;
    that Alaska, where personal marijuana use has been de facto legalized for nearly 40 years, is completely average on a variety of economic and demographic indicators;
    and that traffic fatalities have fallen in Colorado since legalization there.

By contrast, there is little evidence of increased social harms in states where marijuana has been decriminalized. The one credible study I'm aware of is a DEA report finding that more Colorado drivers involved in car crashes are testing positive for marijuana use. But a bucket of salt is needed here: unlike alcohol, inactive marijuana metabolites remain in the body long after consumption - days or weeks, depending on frequency of use. But the presence of metabolites doesn't necessarily indicate you were high at the time of the test - only that you got high some time in the days or weeks prior.

Even if we accept that more Coloradans are using marijuana, and that some of them are getting behind the wheel while stoned, we still have to note that traffic fatalities are down overall - this is likely because it's far less dangerous to drive stoned than it is to drive drunk. This would suggest that some Coloradans are using marijuana in place of alcohol, rather than in addition to it.

In short, the barrier of proof facing legalization opponents is incredibly high. In order to present a compelling case against marijuana liberalization, they have to demonstrate A) that liberalization is associated with a negative outcome; B) that that association is indeed causal, not just coincidental; and C) that the harms from that negative outcome are greater than the myriad harms caused by blanket prohibition of marijuana. But so far, state experiments with liberalization have not produced any consequences that pass even that first test. Considering that we're now close to 20 years out from when California voters first legalized medical marijuana, this should be reassuring news for everyone.




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« Reply #486 on: October 29, 2014, 10:11:05 AM »

Sen. Merkley: ‘I lean in favor of’ legalizing marijuana in Oregon
By Niraj Chokshi October 24  Follow @NirajC

Oregon’s junior senator said that, on balance, he supports a measure on the November ballot that would legalize marijuana in his state.

In an interview this week with Talking Points Memo, Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat up for reelection, said that while both sides make strong cases for and against Measure 91, the positives of legalization outweigh the negatives. Here’s where he stands, according to TPM’s Sahil Kapur:

“I think folks on both sides of the argument make a good case,” Merkley said. “And there is concern about a series of new products — and we don’t have a real track record from Colorado and Washington. But I feel on balance that we spend a lot of money on our criminal justice system in the wrong places and I lean in favor of this ballot measure.”

While politicians nationwide have been reluctant to stake out a position on the issue, Merkley is unlikely to be the last to so explicitly announce his support for legalization as attitudes toward the drug continue to shift. Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon have been fighting to end the federal prohibition of pot for some time now. As an increasingly clear majority of Americans support the idea of legalizing the drug, more are expected to follow.

“I think the next presidential election is likely to have both nominees end up supporting decriminalizing and it’s going to take voters to decide whether they want those candidates to pledge to declassify marijuana from a schedule 1 controlled substance if they win,” “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd said last month in an online question-and-answer session on Reddit, a virtual gathering place for a variety of communities and interests.

Nearly half the states allow medically sanctioned marijuana use, while legal sales famously began in Colorado and Washington this year. Voters in Oregon, Alaska and D.C. will vote to join those early adopters in the fall. A recent poll in Oregon, the results of which are embedded below, suggests the measure may well pass.

Merkley is up for reelection, but he’s polling strongly against opponent Monica Wehby. In at least five polls since the start of September, he’s leading by a margin of 8 to 21 percentage points.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/10/24/sen-merkley-i-lean-in-favor-of-legalizing-marijuana-in-oregon/
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« Reply #487 on: November 05, 2014, 01:23:42 PM »

Smoke if you got em.   Smiley

Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana
By Dan Merica, CNN
Wed November 5, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- Voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. have voted to approve sweeping pro-marijuana legalization, according to a CNN projections.

The three wins have pro-legalization activists enthused and many are already looking towards 2016, when ballot initiatives in states such as California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona are likely to be put to voters.

In Oregon, the law legalizes personal possession, manufacture and sale of marijuana for people 21 years of age and older. Mimicking similar plans in Washington State and Colorado, the Oregon law will also create a commercial regulatory system for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.
Alaska's law is similar to Oregon and would tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana, making the use legal for people over 21 years old
Washington, D.C.'s proposal, while scaled back compared to the others, allows for a person over 21 years old to posses up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and grow up to six cannabis plants in their home. It also allows people to transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person, but not sell it.

The issue is not fully resolved for the District of Columbia, however. Because of its unique status as a district, not a state, Congress has the authority to overrule D.C. laws and some lawmakers have signaled that they would likely work to overrule the popular vote.

Pro-marijuana activists heralded the victories as "huge" on Tuesday.

"It's always an uphill battle to win a marijuana legalization initiative in a year like this, when young people are so much less likely to vote, which makes today's victory all the sweeter," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance said about Oregon. "The pace of reform is accelerating, other states are sure to follow, and even Congress is poised to wake from its slumber."

Wins in Washington, D.C. also have activists hoping for federal recognition.

"With marijuana legal in the federal government's backyard," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, "it's going to be increasingly difficult for national politicians to continue ignoring the growing majority of voters who want to end prohibition."

Not all news was positive, however, for marijuana activists on Tuesday, however.

Voters in Florida gave the thumbs down to medical marijuana in the the Sunshine State earlier in the night, according to a CNN projection.

The measure - which is one of many on ballots in 2014 - would have legalized the use of medical marijuana in Florida and would have tasked the state's Department of Health with regulating it.

Because the measure would have altered Florida's constitution, supporters needed 60% for the question to pass. Only 57% of voters voted yes, compared to 43% who voted no with 91% of vote reporting.

Marijuana has been a surging issue of late.

In 2013, according to Gallup, more Americans supported legalization than those who opposed it. Just 14 years earlier, those who opposed it had over a 2-to-1 advantage. A 2014 Pew Research poll found that 54% of Americans supported making marijuana legal.

Ever since voters in Colorado and Washington allowed the sale of legalized marijuana in 2014 (after voters decided to legalize years before), the push for more marijuana legalization has become a popular nationwide effort.

The laws in Oregon and Alaska are similar to what Colorado and Washington State passed and would allow recreational sale and taxation of the drug. Both votes are expected to be close, with polls mixed on the results.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/04/politics/marijuana-2014/index.html
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« Reply #488 on: November 13, 2014, 10:10:52 AM »

Regular pot smokers have shrunken brains, study says

Among those who use marijuana at least four times weekly, the brain motivation and reward network looks different and works differently than it does in those who don't use pot, a new study finds. (Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)
By MELISSA HEALY

Experimental mice have been telling us this for years, but pot-smoking humans didn't want to believe it could happen to them: Compared with a person who never smoked marijuana, someone who uses marijuana regularly has, on average, less gray matter in his orbital frontal cortex, a region that is a key node in the brain's reward, motivation, decision-making and addictive behaviors network.

More ambiguously, in regular pot smokers, that region is better connected than it is in non-users: the flow of signal traffic is speedier to other parts of that motivation and decision-making network, including across the superhighway of "white matter" that connects the brain's hemispheres.

The researchers who conducted the study speculate that the orbital frontal cortex's greater level of "connectedness"--which is especially pronounced in people who started smoking pot early in life--may be the brain's way of compensating for the region's under-performing gray matter. Whether these "complex neuroadaptive processes" reverse themselves when marijuana use stops is an important unanswered question, they added.

The new findings, reported Monday in the journal PNAS, confirm findings about chronic marijuana use from rodents. But scientific evidence in humans has been more mixed.

Even now, however, the authors of the study acknowledge that they cannot discern whether a pot smoker's smaller orbital frontal cortex is the cause or the result of chronic marijuana use. A 2012 study found that subjects with a smaller orbital frontal cortex at age 12 were more likely to start using marijuana by age 16, suggesting that deficits in this crucial region may predispose one to substance-abuse behaviors.

This study, conducted by researchers from the University of Texas' Center for Brain Health and the Albuquerque-based Mind Research Network, did not follow subjects over time, so it is at a disadvantage in showing cause and effect. Instead, it compared 48 "chronic" marijuana users (at least four times a week over the past six months) with 62 non-using control subjects who were matched for age and gender with the using group. Subjects were an average age of 28 to 30 years old.

Researchers noted that the IQ of the marijuana-using group was significantly lower than that of the non-using group--not a finding of the study, but an incidental factor that might be indirectly linked to marijuana use.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-regular-marijuana-shrinks-brain-20141110-story.html
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« Reply #489 on: November 13, 2014, 10:38:11 AM »

Regular pot smokers have shrunken brains, study says

Among those who use marijuana at least four times weekly, the brain motivation and reward network looks different and works differently than it does in those who don't use pot, a new study finds. (Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)
By MELISSA HEALY

Experimental mice have been telling us this for years, but pot-smoking humans didn't want to believe it could happen to them: Compared with a person who never smoked marijuana, someone who uses marijuana regularly has, on average, less gray matter in his orbital frontal cortex, a region that is a key node in the brain's reward, motivation, decision-making and addictive behaviors network.

More ambiguously, in regular pot smokers, that region is better connected than it is in non-users: the flow of signal traffic is speedier to other parts of that motivation and decision-making network, including across the superhighway of "white matter" that connects the brain's hemispheres.

The researchers who conducted the study speculate that the orbital frontal cortex's greater level of "connectedness"--which is especially pronounced in people who started smoking pot early in life--may be the brain's way of compensating for the region's under-performing gray matter. Whether these "complex neuroadaptive processes" reverse themselves when marijuana use stops is an important unanswered question, they added.

The new findings, reported Monday in the journal PNAS, confirm findings about chronic marijuana use from rodents. But scientific evidence in humans has been more mixed.

Even now, however, the authors of the study acknowledge that they cannot discern whether a pot smoker's smaller orbital frontal cortex is the cause or the result of chronic marijuana use. A 2012 study found that subjects with a smaller orbital frontal cortex at age 12 were more likely to start using marijuana by age 16, suggesting that deficits in this crucial region may predispose one to substance-abuse behaviors.

This study, conducted by researchers from the University of Texas' Center for Brain Health and the Albuquerque-based Mind Research Network, did not follow subjects over time, so it is at a disadvantage in showing cause and effect. Instead, it compared 48 "chronic" marijuana users (at least four times a week over the past six months) with 62 non-using control subjects who were matched for age and gender with the using group. Subjects were an average age of 28 to 30 years old.

Researchers noted that the IQ of the marijuana-using group was significantly lower than that of the non-using group--not a finding of the study, but an incidental factor that might be indirectly linked to marijuana use.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-regular-marijuana-shrinks-brain-20141110-story.html


You must be a heavy pot smoker then..
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« Reply #490 on: November 13, 2014, 10:52:52 AM »


You must be a heavy pot smoker then..

Me?  Nah.  I don't even drink coffee.  lol 

But thanks anyway.   Smiley
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« Reply #491 on: November 19, 2014, 12:27:54 PM »

Bob Marley: Marlboro Man of marijuana?
Shannon Bond in New York
November 18, 2014


Jamaican Bob Marley, who has spearheaded the movement of Reggae, the popular music of Jamaica, is seen here in 1981.©AP

Can Bob Marley become the Marlboro Man of marijuana?

Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm that invests in the marijuana industry, has struck a deal with the estate of the Jamaican reggae star to launch a global cannabis brand.

Its Marley Natural subsidiary will start selling products late next year, including “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains”, marijuana-infused skin creams and lip balms, and accessories such as vaporizers and pipes “based on those that Bob preferred”.

It is Privateer’s biggest move into the blossoming consumer market for recreational marijuana that has emerged thanks to the legalisation of sales and production in several US states including Colorado and Washington, and Uruguay, decriminalisation in other places, and growing acceptance of medicinal use. The drug remains illegal under federal US law.

In the US, the total medical and recreational market is expected to hit $2.6bn in revenue this year. America’s illegal cannabis market was estimated at about $40bn in 2010 by Rand Corp, the think-tank.

For Brendan Kennedy, Privateer’s chief executive, the offer to partner with Marley’s estate was irresistible.

“The question we’ve been asking ourselves for four and a half years is: what does the first global brand look like in this industry?” he said. “If you were to look throughout history for the one person most associated with this product, it would be Bob Marley. He has a global reach.”

The singer’s cultural status has not dimmed since his death in 1981. Marley’s estate brought in $20m in the past year, putting him at number five on Forbes’ annual list of top-earning deceased celebrities – behind Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, but ahead of Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon. His greatest hits album, Legend, first released in 1984, hit number five on the Billboard sales chart this September.

His heirs have also traded on his name to launch a number of businesses, including House of Marley, which sells headphones and audio accessories, and Marley Coffee. The family has been caught up over the years in legal battles with each other and with Marley’s record label over control of his assets, image, name and music. The singer died without a will.

The decision to step into the emerging legitimate marijuana market is in keeping with Marley’s long-time advocacy for legalization and social justice, said Cedella Marley, the singer’s daughter.

“Opinions toward cannabis are changing. People are recognising the benefits of the herb,” she said. “Our father was leading this conversation for 50 years so it’s natural that he’s part of this conversation today.”

Marley Natural products will be sold in countries and jurisdictions where they are legal, including cannabis in some places. Mr Kennedy said he was interested in markets including the Netherlands, Uruguay, Canada, Spain and Israel.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but Marley Natural will be a wholly owned subsidiary within Privateer and the family is participating in Privateer, Mr Kennedy said.

Privateer has raised $22m through equity funding and a convertible bridge loan. It is in the midst of another funding round, expected to close before the end of this year, that will add another $50m. Its businesses include Tilray, a Canadian medical marijuana producer, and Leafly, an online cannabis ratings site.
The recent liberalisation of US marijuana laws has spurred a rush of companies and investors into the market. The parent company of High Times, the US marijuana magazine, has launched a private equity fund that is aiming to raise $300m to invest in cannabis ventures. Tom Bollich, the co-founder of online gaming group Zynga, has become chief executive of a marijuana growing equipment company.

“The midterm elections sent a clear message that the end of prohibition is a mainstream cause supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans across the political spectrum,” Mr Kennedy said, referring to recent votes in Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC, to allow access to recreational marijuana.
“We see this as a mainstream product, consumed by people around the US and around the world,” he said. “Everybody has a little bit of Bob in their playlist.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/01da3e7e-6e81-11e4-a65a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3JXnb1bpJ
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« Reply #492 on: November 20, 2014, 01:07:52 PM »

Me?  Nah.  I don't even drink coffee.  lol 

But thanks anyway.   Smiley

That is a bunk study, did they examine the OFC before usage? also, the OFC is abnormal in ADHD and OCD, of which shrinking would be beneficial. It's hard to draw any real conclusions from this in terms of impact. Other areas of the brain shrink in response to stress like the hippocampus.

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« Reply #493 on: November 20, 2014, 01:13:56 PM »

That is a bunk study, did they examine the OFC before usage? also, the OFC is abnormal in ADHD and OCD, of which shrinking would be beneficial. It's hard to draw any real conclusions from this in terms of impact. Other areas of the brain shrink in response to stress like the hippocampus.



If you say so. 

I thought this part was a sophisticated way of calling potheads stupid:  "Researchers noted that the IQ of the marijuana-using group was significantly lower than that of the non-using group--not a finding of the study, but an incidental factor that might be indirectly linked to marijuana use."
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« Reply #494 on: November 20, 2014, 06:22:15 PM »

One of these threee, I'm pretty sure, is Beach Bum in drag:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRBAZJ4lF0U" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRBAZJ4lF0U</a>
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« Reply #495 on: November 20, 2014, 07:56:24 PM »

Speaking of unintelligent potheads . . . .  How you doing Simpleton Simon?   Smiley
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« Reply #496 on: Today at 04:04:17 AM »

Speaking of unintelligent potheads . . . .  How you doing Simpleton Simon?   Smiley

You talkin' to me?  Cuz I'll have you know that I am NOT a pothead, lol.

(I mean, I would be a pothead if I were a man of leisure like some ol' Dos Equis quaffin' Beach Bum like yourself, but I have bills to pay and my job is too challenging for me to do high.)

BTW, I'm in South Thailand right now doin' fine.

Especially since our current hotel here in Chalong has probably the best wifi & fastest DL speeds I've seen in Thailand.

BTW, marijuana, though still illegal in Thailand, is supposedly easier to get now than ever according to my inlaws here.



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