Law Forum : THE LEGALIZATION OF POT

Kemetstry

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hich is why the now widespread legalization of Pot is an obviously dangerous move driven by the money that is going to be made, whereas aren't the weaker individuals subsequently destroyed acceptable collateral losses [like the worsening fallout damage worldwide from cigarettes and alcohol to health generally] as far as the status quo is concerned?

Exactly





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Kemetstry

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Pot smoking may pose heart dangers, study suggests

But some believe the study is flawed.
By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

Marijuana use might contribute to heart and artery disease among young and middle-aged adults, particularly those already at risk for cardiovascular problems, a small French study reports.
By reviewing reported cases of marijuana abuse in France between 2006 and 2010, researchers identified 35 users who suffered heart disease -- including 20 heart attacks and nine deaths.
The percentage of heart disease cases among reported marijuana abusers more than tripled during those five years, rising from 1.1 percent of cases to 3.6 percent, the investigators reported.
In nearly half the cases, the afflicted pot users already had risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the study authors said.
"This unexpected finding deserves to be further analyzed, especially given that the medicinal use of marijuana has become more prevalent and some governments are legalizing its use," said Emilie Jouanjus, lead author of the study and a medical faculty member at the University Hospital of Toulouse in France.
But marijuana advocates argue that the findings appear weak at best, given that the percentage of pot users with heart problems is so small.
"If those are the chances of having cardiac complications as a French cannabis user, my first thought is that using cannabis protects people from cardiac problems," said Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany and board chair of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group.
"We need a comparison group of people who don't use cannabis to know their rate of cardiac problems, but, as the authors point out, we simply don't have those data," Earleywine added.
The study authors reviewed cases of marijuana abuse reported to the French Addictovigilance Network. Doctors are legally required to report drug abuse cases to the network if they believe the drug use could lead to serious health problems.
Previous studies have linked marijuana use to an increased risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, the authors said in background information.
For this study, published April 23 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers identified 1,979 reports of marijuana abuse during the five-year period. Of those cases, 35 involved cardiovascular complications.
Most of the study patients were male, with an average age of 34. Of 22 heart-related cases, there were 20 heart attacks. Another 10 involved disease related to arteries in the limbs, and three were related to the brain's arteries.
In 16 of the 35 cases (46 percent), the patients either had personal risk factors for heart disease or a family history of heart problems, according to the report.
The amount of cardiovascular disease among marijuana users is most likely underreported, given that the drug is illegal, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
The study authors said it's estimated that 1.2 million people in France regularly use marijuana.
"Because of marijuana being illegal, it is most likely these statistics are less reported and that it underestimates the amount of younger people whose behavior has affected their hearts," Steinbaum said. "In younger people who have risks for cardiovascular disease, whether it be their own risk factors or their family history, there needs to be an understanding that using marijuana might be an unsafe choice for them and can lead to cardiovascular events, and potentially death."
But Earleywine said the study's reliance on an incomplete database renders its observations meaningless.
"In short, this study tells us a lot about what kinds of cardiac complications appeared in people who were reported to the French government for cannabis-related problems, but tells us little about the link between cannabis use and cardiovascular disease," he said.
Dr. Martha Daviglus, adjunct professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, acknowledged that the study has flaws. However, she added that such research is needed given that medicinal and recreational marijuana use is becoming more widely accepted.
"We need to gain more evidence, as we did with alcohol or tobacco smoking, so people understand the risks of using these substances," Daviglus said.



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Kemetstry

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Kemetstry

going above and beyond
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Detroit
Occupation
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Detox Network Sees Pot DUIs Spike in Colorado After Legalization
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It may be legal to buy and smoke marijuana in Colorado, but it’s still against the law to drive while high — and that’s a message an increasing number of people aren’t receiving.
Colorado’s largest detox network said Wednesday that the number of its patients busted for DUI while high on pot has nearly doubled, from 8 percent last year to 15 percent this year.
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“This percentage increase is significant because recreational marijuana legalization is in its infancy and there has clearly already been an impact on public safety,” Art Schut, president and CEO of Arapahoe House, said in a statement. “Our hope is that this new data will create awareness so that if Coloradans choose to use marijuana, they do not get behind the wheel.”
The High Cost of Marijuana
Nightly News

Arapahoe House, which runs three detox centers in the state, compared data from Jan. 1 to May 31 in 2014 and the same period last year, when recreational marijuana sales were still illegal in the state.
In the six months this year, 197 of the around 1,311 people brought to the network’s detox centers after being caught for driving under the influence were high on marijuana.
In the same period last year, that number was 112 out of 1,324 brought in for DUI.

Colorado’s law allowing recreational sales of the drug in stores took effect Jan. 1, after voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2012. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2001.
Arapahoe House Communications Director Kate Osmundson told NBC News the network expects to see an increase in the number of drivers busted for DUI while high on pot now that the drug can be sold in stores.
When people are brought by police to a detox center after being caught driving under the influence, staffers monitor them until they are sober enough to get home safely, usually by arranging a ride from family members, Osmundson said.
The network, which says it is Colorado’s largest provider of detox services, said its data shows the average person caught driving while high on marijuana is white, male, and 30 years old. Only one in five was female.
Denver Police did not respond to a request for comment.
It is illegal for drivers to operate a motor vehicle with 5 nanograms of active THC in their bloodstream, an amount the Colorado Department of Transportation says is comparable to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level used in cases involving booze.
In March, the state Department of Transportation launched a $1 million ad campaign to curb drugged driving.





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Kemetstry

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Changing Pot Laws Prompt Child-Endangerment Review
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A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child-protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants endangered kids.
And police officers in New Jersey visit a home after a 9-year-old mentions his mother's hemp advocacy at school.

While the cases were eventually decided in favor of the parents, the incidents underscore a growing dilemma: While a pot plant in the basement may not bring criminal charges in many states, the same plant can become a piece of evidence in child custody or abuse cases.
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"The legal standard is always the best interest of the children, and you can imagine how subjective that can get," said Jess Cochrane, who helped found Boston-based Family Law & Cannabis Alliance after finding child-abuse laws have been slow to catch up with pot policy.
No data exist to show how often pot use comes up in custody disputes, or how often child-welfare workers intervene in homes where marijuana is used.
Brennan Linsley / AP
Moriah Barnhart gives her three-year-old daughter Dahlia, who has cancer, a cannabis treatment with an oral syringe, at her home in Colorado Springs.
But in dozens of interviews with lawyers and officials who work in this area, along with activists who counsel parents on marijuana and child endangerment, the consensus is clear: Pot's growing acceptance is complicating the task of determining when kids are in danger.

A failed proposal in the Colorado Legislature this year showed the dilemma.
Colorado considers adult marijuana use legal, but pot is still treated like heroin and other Schedule I substances as they are under federal law. As a result, when it comes to defining a drug-endangered child, pot can't legally be in a home where children reside.
Two Democratic lawmakers tried to update the law by saying that marijuana must also be shown to be a harm or risk to children to constitute abuse.
But the effort led to angry opposition from both sides — pot-using parents who feared the law could still be used to take their children, and marijuana-legalization opponents who argued that pot remains illegal under federal law and that its very presence in a home threatens kids






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