420 Girls

In October, 2012, researchers released a study linking cannabis use in teens and lowered IQ. A second study, released today, provides a different interpretation of the data. The IQ changes in the different populations could be due to their socioeconomic status, not their pot use. The study used data from the Dundin cohort, a group of more than 1,000 children born between April 1, 1972 and March 31, 1973 in Dundin, New Zealand. They are now 38, and still being studied. All in all, it sounds like the link between teen pot use and IQ is still very questionable, so don't take the word of just one researcher. - Business Insider

Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest. University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. THC like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter. - Business Insider

Voters in Oregon narrowly rejected recreational marijuana legislation in 2012, but had the chance to reconsider the issue Tuesday, passing the measure with 54% in favor and becoming the third state in the nation to legalize weed, after Colorado and Washington. The measure, which will not take effect until July 1, allows possession of up to eight ounces of marijuana, while cultivating four plants. Pot shops will be regulated like liquor stores and would only be open to people over the age of 21, with proceedings reportedly going toward public schools, treatment programs, drug education programs, law enforcement, and the Oregon Health Authority. - Buzz Feed

Margie Harris, a retired Oregon teacher, is the star of an online ad that was promoted July 1 to advertise Oregon legalization, that just passed last night. The entire ad consists of Harris sharing her perspective, filmed up close against a dark background. She is dressed in her sensible best, relaxed gray bob, plain glasses, beige blazer, pressed white collared shirt, silver hoop earrings, art fair necklace. She seems sober, seasoned. This woman clearly would not abide any shenanigans on the playground. "I don't use marijuana," she says. "But as a teacher of 36 years, I can tell you lots of other people use it." She continues, choosing her words carefully: "I don't believe in Prohibition, I don't think it works. Prohibiting it hasn't stopped anybody from getting a hold of it. I would like to see it regulated so that maybe kids can't get a hold of it so easily? I know they get a hold of it now, very easily." She pauses, smiles, brings it home, "I support a new approach to marijuana. I support legalizing it. It's with us, it's not going to go away, and if we can get money, through taxation, we can also educate our kids about it. That's why I support it." - The Oregonian

Mark Kleiman, the Washington state "pot czar" and a leading drug policy expert who has criticized a state-by-state approach to marijuana legalization,came out on Thursday in favor of Oregon's ballot measure to legalize the drug for recreational purposes. In a blog post, Kleiman wrote that he supported the measure, despite concerns that legalization would lead to lower prices and higher usage. "The choice Oregon voters face isn't between what's on the ballot and some perfectly designed cannabis policy," Kleiman wrote. "It's between what's on the ballot and continued prohibition at the state level, until and unless a better initiative can be crafted, put before the voters, and passed into law." - The Huffington Post

Early Tuesday, voters in Guam, a U.S. territory, passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana, with 56% in favor, Pacific Daily News reported. The local government will now be required to create and implement rules for the dispensing and use of medical marijuana. - Buzz Feed

The Sunshine State voted Tuesday against a ballot initiative to allow the use of medical marijuana to treat "debilitating diseases" such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, or HIV. To pass, the measure needed at least 60% of the vote, but was just below the threshold with 57% in favor. State lawmakers had signed into law a limited medical marijuana bill in June that allows the use of "Charlotte's Web," a non-euphoric strain of cannabis, for the treatment of epilepsy, cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but supporters said Amendment 2 was necessary to make medical marijuana available for more patients with a broader range of diseases. - Buzz Feed

The Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a proposal to study marijuana's potential as part of treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states already. In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time the U.S. government has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana, which is currently classified by the government as a drug with no accepted medical applications. Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain. - Business Insider

Recent research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson's disease patients. Particularly impressive was the improved fine motor skills among patients. Medical marijuana is legal in Israel for multiple conditions, and a lot of research into the medical uses of cannabis is done there, supported by the Israeli government. - Business Insider

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more. A recent study in Israel, however, showed that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn's disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients, and caused a complete remission of the disease in five of those patients. That's a small study, but other research has shown similar effects. The cannabinoids from marijuana seem to help the gut regulate bacteria and intestinal function. - Business Insider

Treatment for hepatitis C infection is harsh, negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression, and lasts for months. Many people aren't able to finish their treatment course because of the side effects. Pot comes to the rescue. A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessen the treatments side effects. Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment's effectiveness. 54% of Hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8% of nonsmokers. - Business Insider

Alaskans voted Tuesday on a ballot measure that legalized a market for recreational marijuana, allowing the state to tax at a wholesale rate of $50 per ounce. The measure also allows residents to possess one ounce of marijuana and grow limited amounts in private. Results showed 52% of voters supported legalization. "This victory in Alaska is the coda to a perfect evening for marijuana legalization supporters," said Erik Altieri, communications director for NORML, a marijuana advocacy group. "In a year where Republicans swept many state and local races, marijuana reform brought voters of both parties together in their support for ending marijuana prohibition." Alaska was one of the first states to decriminalize weed in 1975 and legalized medical marijuana in 1998. - Buzz Feed

Medical marijuana is being used to treat the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for some unknown reason. Some chemicals in marijuana seem to have a calming effect on the immune system, which may be how it helps deal with symptoms of Lupus. The rest of the positive impact of the marijuana is probably from the effects on pain and nausea. - Business Insider

Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011. Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid based pain relieving medicine. After a two week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users. - Business Insider

It has been three months since Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana sales, took effect. And despite predictions of mass crime, low worker productivity and drug addled youth turning the streets of Denver into some sort of post-apocalyptic zombie stoner paradise, the results of legal pot sales are in and they're actually kind of, well, nothing to be afraid of. In fact, the most significant change is a positive one. The crime rate in Denver, Colorado's largest city, has gone down by 2.4%, with property crime falling by 14.6%, in the past year. The fear mongering that we always hear about marijuana is being exposed for exactly what it is. "If voters [legalize marijuana], I believe there will be many harmful consequences," said Sheriff David A. Weaver before the amendment was passed. "Expect more crime, I think our entire state will pay the price." It appears that after 3 months of being in effect, that "price" is roughly $65 for an eighth of weed (3.5 grams). In spite of the sheriff's prediction, Colorado has seen a drop in violent crime rates and an estimated $134 million in additional annual tax revenue in the next fiscal year.

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