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Medicinal cannabis company suffered serious security breach

Helius Therapeutics has confirmed cannabis oils were taken from their Auckland factory without permission by one of their team in 2020. The company’s chairman had been kept in the dark about the incident for 6 months. National’s associate drug reform spokesperson Shane Reti was dead right when he said the incident could undermine the sector. “It will cause aspersions in an industry that wants to be squeaky clean and this shows that they’re not and that’s a real shame.”

This is not a good look for a company that will be one of the main producers of medical marijuana in New Zealand. Not only would we expect much tighter security, even more concerning is that the company kept it secret from the the public and even their own chairman.

Read article here

Increase in cannabis consumption likely if decriminalised in Australia says new study

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre 26 July 2021
A new study has found that an estimated 4.2 per cent of the population aged 14 and over, who have never tried cannabis before, would try it if use of the drug were legal.

Led by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, the study also found that an estimated 2.6 per cent of the population said they were likely to use more cannabis if it were legal.

Lead author, Professor Don Weatherburn from NDARC said, “These findings clearly conflict with the popular view that legalisation of cannabis would not increase consumption.”

Using data from the Australian National Drug Strategy Household survey, the study found that the decriminalisation of cannabis use would likely lead to an increase in consumption of cannabis among young people with mental health problems.

“Consumption of cannabis would be substantially higher among males, younger people and people who suffer from mild, moderate and/or severe level of psychological stress,” said Professor Weatherburn.

“However, it is not known whether those who experience psychological distress are more likely to use cannabis as a form of self-medication, or whether other factors are responsible for both cannabis use and psychological distress.”

The study states that while the vast majority of people may be unaffected by any change in the legislative status of cannabis use, small changes in the number of heavy users of cannabis could have significant effects on demand for treatment and drug-related harms.

Cannabis a factor in young man’s fatal car crash – coroner

Stuff 4 August 2021
A young man, who reportedly “hot boxed” in his car before fatally crashing it, was “robbed of a normal life” by a growing cannabis dependency, his father told a coroner.

Ethan Phillip Crone, 24, was killed in May 2017 when he missed the intersection of Easterbrook and Hicklands roads, south of Rangiora, smashed though an arrow sign and over a stopbank, then crashed into a tree.

In a report released on Wednesday, Coroner Marcus Elliott found Crone died from injuries to his head, chest and limbs.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was detected in his bloodstream.

The coroner found there were several factors at play but Crone’s death illustrated the dangers of driving after using cannabis.

“The New Zealand Drug Foundation states: Do not drive after using cannabis because this greatly increases the chance of an accident.

“If Mr Crone had not used cannabis, he may have perceived the corner and sign and avoided the crash.”
READ MORE:–coroner

Colorado’s claims of cannabis ‘social justice’ fall short

Black Coloradans arrested at twice the rate of white people nearly a decade after pot legalization
Colorado Newsline 22 July 2021
Though the total number of arrests for adults and juveniles for pot-related crimes has gone down overall since Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, wide racial disparities persist, a new report finds.

The widest disparity is among Black Coloradans, who are arrested at twice the rate of white people for pot-related charges, according to a 180-page analysis published this week by the state Department of Public Safety.

“This report provides a wealth of valuable information to help policymakers, law enforcement, schools, the marijuana industry, and the public understand the effects of legal recreational marijuana in our communities,” Stan Hilkey, executive director of the Department of Public Safety, said in a written statement.

“The information is presented in a comprehensive and unbiased manner, and I am proud of the detailed and extensive work our DCJ researchers have done to collect and analyze this vast compilation of data,” he added.

According to the report, which is required by law every two years, the total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 68% between 2012 and 2019, from 13,225 to 4,290. The number of marijuana arrests decreased by 72% for white people, 63% for Black people and 55% for Hispanic people. 

The analysis found that the marijuana arrest rate for Black people (160 per 100,000) was more than double that of white people (76 per 100,000) in 2019. The report noted that the disparity has not changed in any meaningful way since marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2012. 

Similar disparities persist for juveniles arrested for marijuana-related issues. For white juveniles, arrests decreased by 47% from 2012 to 2019, compared to 41% for Black juveniles and 26% for Hispanic juveniles.

Cannabis-induced psychosis

Cannabis-induced psychosis: Amid push for legalization, sister says brother ‘was lost to us for a decade’
Fox News 23 July 2021
Parents Opposed to Pot advocate says lawmakers ‘want to legalize ultra-high potency THC products’

An anti-marijuana advocate accused lawmakers of being dishonest about the effects THC can have on young adults and society as a whole as Senate Democrats push to legalize cannabis.

“When our lawmakers talk about legalizing marijuana, they talk about it like it’s chamomile tea and that it has no side effects and there’s no downside to using and it,” Heidi Swan, a board member for Parents Opposed to Pot, told Fox News. “But have they told us about the physical side effects, the mental side effects and the increased problems to society?”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a discussion draft last week for the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which aims to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

The bill would treat marijuana much like alcohol or tobacco, allowing it to be taxed and regulated. Buyers must be at least 21 years old, and retail sales transactions would be limited to no more than 10 ounces of cannabis or the equivalent amount of any cannabis derivative.

“What they want to legalize is ultra-high potency THC products,” Swan, of California, told Fox News. “And then when you say that, people say, ‘What are you talking about? It’s just marijuana.’ No, it’s not just marijuana. This is a highly processed product.”

Two-year-old hospitalised after consuming cannabis cookie dough

Stuff 20 July 2021
A South Canterbury man has pleaded guilty to making cannabis cookie dough balls that were accidentally consumed by a 2-year-old, rendering the child unresponsive for 18 hours.

Kyle Eddie White, 28, appeared before Judge Joanna Maze at the Timaru District Court on Tuesday.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of manufacturing a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

According to the police summary of facts, White made the cookie dough balls at the home where he was living with a female associate and her three children, on or about October 7, 2020.

“White used a slow cooker to make cannabis leaf into cannabis butter, which he then used to bake chocolate-covered cookie dough balls,” the summary says.

When he had finished making the cookie dough balls, he placed them into the fridge in a plastic lunchbox container.

“The following day the 2-year-old took the container from the fridge and ate an unknown quantity of the cookie dough balls.”

The child was subsequently rendered unconscious due to the effects of the cannabis and was admitted to hospital where they “remained in a completely unresponsive state for 18 hours”.

Strong Ass’n Between Perceived Risk, Availability & Cannabis Use

Study Shows Strong Association Between Perceived Risk, Availability and Past-Year Cannabis Use
News Wise 15 July 2021
Individuals who perceived cannabis as both low-risk and available were 22 times more likely to have used cannabis in the past year than those perceiving cannabis as both high-risk and unavailable.

Combined perceptions of the risk and availability of cannabis influence the risk of cannabis use more than perceived risk and perceived availability alone, according to a new study at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Researchers observed that those who perceived cannabis as low-risk and available were more likely to report using the drug in the past year and almost daily compared to those individuals who perceived cannabis as high-risk and unavailable. This is the first study to consider the joint effects of perceived risk and perceived availability. The results are published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

“Our study described the evolution of joint perceptions of cannabis risk and availability from 2002-2018 and estimated the relationship between combined perceptions and past-year cannabis use, frequent use, and cannabis use disorder,” said Natalie Levy, MPH, doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School, and first author. “Studying perceived risk and availability in conjunction revealed more nuanced patterns than considering each perception in isolation..”

Using data on 949,285 participants from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health from 2002-2018, researchers observed that the prevalence of perceiving cannabis use as low-risk doubled over this period while the prevalence of perceiving cannabis as available increased only marginally. When looking at joint categories of perceived risk and perceived availability, they found that prevalence of perceiving cannabis as both low-risk and available increased, from 17 percent in 2002 to 36 percent in 2018 while the proportion of the population perceiving cannabis as high-risk and available or high-risk and unavailable declined. By 2018, a larger proportion of the population perceived marijuana as low-risk and available (36 percent) than both high-risk and available and high-risk and unavailable, at 26 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

Individuals who perceived cannabis as low-risk were six times more likely to have used cannabis in the past-year than individuals who perceived the drug as high-risk. Similarly, individuals who perceived cannabis as available were five times more likely to have used cannabis in the past year than individuals who perceived it as unavailable. However, individuals who perceived marijuana as both low-risk and available were 22 times more likely to have used the drug in the past year than those who perceived cannabis as high-risk and unavailable.

In 2018, most individuals who reported no past-year cannabis use perceived cannabis as high-risk, whether or not they distinguished between its availability or non-availability. In contrast, the majority of individuals who used cannabis in the past year perceived the drug as low-risk and available and this perception rose to even higher levels among those reporting frequent use.

AI Show: Ep 14 – “Has cannabis gone wild in Colorado?”

Cannabis in Colorado has been legal for medical use since 2000 and for recreational use since late 2012. The public were told that this would reduce the harms associated with cannabis use and create social benefits – particularly for communities of colour.

Former Democrat US Attorney Bob Troyer says it has been a disaster and that if anything, things have gotten worse since legalisation.

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Cannabis intoxication in kids rise after Canada legalisation – study

Cannabis intoxication and rates of accidental ingestion in young children rise after legalization, new study finds
Medical Xpress 30 June 2021
Significantly higher rates of child intensive care admissions for unintentional cannabis poisonings have been seen following legalization of the drug in Canada.

Researchers from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), based in Toronto, found a four-fold increase in unintentional poisonings in children under the age of 12 and a three-fold increase in intensive care admissions for severe cannabis poisoning in the first two years following .

However, the overall number of visits per month for cannabis intoxications to the SickKids Emergency Department (ED) remained consistent when comparing the pre- and post-legalization periods. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Toxicology.

Led by Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, Staff Physician, Paediatric Emergency Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at SickKids, the study compared cannabis-related ED visits, hospitalizations and  (ICU) admissions at SickKids during pre- and post-legalization periods to analyze the unintentional impacts of the legislation.

“While uncommon in adults, cannabis intoxication can have significant negative impacts on young children including behavioural changes, seizures, respiratory depression, problems with coordination and balance, and even coma. As different formulations of cannabis continue to be legalized, it is important for everyone who has cannabis in their home, to be aware of the potential harms to children and ensure  are safely stored,” notes Finkelstein, Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences at SickKids.

Measuring admissions for cannabis intoxication to SickKids over a 12-year period, from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2019, the study identified that a higher proportion of children were admitted to the ICU following legalization (13.6% vs. 4.7%, respectively).

The study determined that the increases in severe intoxications from cannabis were primarily due to exposure of young children to , which have become increasingly accessible and popular. Edible cannabis products are both highly concentrated and visually attractive to young children—leading to ingestion as the most consequential route of paediatric exposures. Inconsistencies and difficulties in determining the exact formulation and potency of the edible ingested can also make it challenging for health-care providers to anticipate the severity and length of the effects of cannabis exposure.