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Rise of vaping-addicted teens in NZ

One in five New Zealand secondary school students are now addicted to vaping according to research by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, which surveyed more than 19,000 students in Years 9 to 13.

This is a shocking statistic but is not surprising considering the proliferation of vaping stores in local neighbourhoods, plus online stores. NZ Herald conducted research, using Ministry of Health data showing the locations of specialist vaping stores. Their analysis revealed vaping stores have become more common than many fast-food chains, with many popping up in sight of schools. Despite new regulations aiming to limit youth exposure to vaping, at least one in four schools are within 1km of a specialist store and around 80 are just 250 metres away.

Vaping with nicotine has been shown to impact learning and memory, and is associated with a range of serious mental health illnesses; including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and ADHD. There is also an increased risk of respiratory illness, heart disease and cancer.

This is exactly how the cannabis industry would have acted if we’d voted to legalise the drug, and we’d have seen a rapid increase in cannabis use and addiction. We should learn from this and never reopen the debate on legalising cannabis.

Excerpt from NZ Heard article:

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation chief executive Letitia Harding said vaping products were often targeted at kids walking home from school. Harding raised concerns about youth vaping with the Ministry of Health in 2017. She was told repeatedly by officials that teens would not become addicted and it wouldn’t be a problem, she said.

Despite assurances by Government politicians and bureaucrats, history seems to be repeating itself with so many teens preferring nicotine-based vapes. The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s survey found 80 per cent of students who had taken up vaping were doing so with very high nicotine levels. Only 2.8 per cent of vapers reported using zero nicotine vapes.

Doctors warned the dangers of e-cigarettes to young people can’t be ignored either, with one saying nicotine vaping is addictive and suggested increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Paediatric respiratory physician Professor Philip Pattemore said: “Vaping with nicotine has been consistently associated with depression, ADHD and conduct disorders in adolescents, and nicotine exposure has been shown to impact learning and memory.”

Read the full article from NZ Herald:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/history-repeating-the-rise-of-vaping-addicted-teens/QO4OWJECVMNWOPYNRFCX5TQG24/

USA: Think Legal Weed Cut Down On Crime? Think Again

Just like we’ve been saying – legalising dope does not reduce crime. In fact it looks like crime increases, with gangs moving in to scoop up the profits from increased weed consumption.

Watch this episode of America Uncovered for how the cartels are moving in where marijuana is legalised, the use of narco-slaves to grow the illegal weed, and how it’s wreaking havoc on the environment.

USA: Cannabis tax suspended to help compete with drug dealers

How’s that wonderful promise of a massive marijuana tax revenue doing?
Not very well, from what we can see in San Francisco. The city has now suspended cannabis tax to help dispensaries compete with drug dealers.

“the suspension is intended to help out legal cannabis retailers who are trying to compete with illegal drug dealers and a spike in theft.”

Remember that massive marijuana tax revenue was one of the promises of the NZ Drug Foundation, the Green Party, and pro-cannabis advocates in the 2020 referendum.

So, as we suspected all along, the legal dope market simply can’t compete with the illegal market – illegal drug dealers provide a stronger product at a cheaper price. Legal dope shops are also a target for left (another outcome that we predicted).

The claimed benefits of legalisation simply don’t match reality.

Read full story here:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/san-francisco-suspends-cannabis-tax-dispensaries-compete-drug-dealers

Rise in use of marijuana to treat anxiety and depression. For better or worse?

Marijuana consumption is on the rise, and that includes increased use of medicinal cannabis. The most common use of cannabis is to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. Yet the science on cannabis as a treatment for mental-health problems is still evolving and somewhat insufficient – in fact some evidence suggests that marijuana can actually make these problems much worse.

In 2019, the American Psychiatric Association issued this statement:

There is no current scientific evidence that cannabis is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. In contrast, current evidence supports, at minimum, a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disordersAdolescents are particularly vulnerable to harm, given the effects of cannabis on neurological development. 

Smita Das, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural health sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and a member of APA’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry. She references studies “that point to an association between high-potency cannabis and symptoms of psychosis in young people who may later develop a psychotic disorder. She added that cannabis use is associated with the emergence of mood disorders, particularly bipolar disorder, among people who have a family history of mood disorders, and that cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation and attempts in people who have major depressive disorder.”

Das says “there is danger of developing cannabis use disorder, an addiction that can afflict more than 20% of regular cannabis users.”

We think families should seek expert help before turning to medical marijuana in order to treat mental health problems. 

Read the full position statement by the American Psychiatric Association:

Position-Cannabis-as-Medicine

US Study – Vaping marijuana by teens doubles in last seven years; potentially permanent effects

The evidence continues to mount – more teens are vaping high-potency cannabis that can permanently damage the teenage brain. A new study, published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), analysed 17 studies conducted throughout Canada and the United States that involved nearly 200,000 adolescents.

Here is a summary of some of the findings:

  • Marijuana vaping by school-aged youth doubled between 2013 and 2020 (with reported use within the last 30 days rising seven-fold during the same time period)
  • Adolescents reported a preference for vaping cannabis extracts over dried herbs to get the buzz they desired from THC
  • Modern ultra-potent strains of weed can contain over 15% THC, compared to the 4% or so available in the 1990s
  • The use of cannabis products with high THC is easily achievable through vaping
  • Increased risk of drug dependence, other substance use and many other health, social, and behavioural problems later in life
  • Cannabis use during teenage years “can have permanent effects” such as poor coordination and damage to learning, memory, problem solving skills, and the ability to pay attention
  • Use of weed by teens is linked to poor school performance and an increased likelihood of dropping out
  • Teen use of marijuana has been linked to a range of mental health problems in teens such as depression or anxiety, even psychosis
  • People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults
  • Vaping weed is associated with a dangerous, newly identified lung disease called EVALI, short for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury

Parents need to be on the lookout for signs, symptoms and behaviours that could indicate their teens are using drugs. Some of the warning signs could be fatigue, irritability, moodiness, forgetfulness, sleeping much longer (or conversely, insomnia).

Further reading …

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2785376

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/vaping-cannabis-trends-among-young-adults-19-22

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/03/health/vaping-marijuana-lung-injury-study-wellness/index.html

Couple making high-potency cannabis oil blow up their Kāinga Ora house

‘Amateurish’ Invercargill couple making high-potency cannabis oil blew up part of their Kāinga Ora house resulting in $46k of damage. Door frames and several windows were blown out, and a fire started. There was even damage to a neighbour’s roof.

The judge did not impose a reparation order because of an inability to pay.

Dabs or dabbing are names for the use of concentrated butane hash oil (or BHO). BHO can have a THC concentration of up to 90%, making it the most potent form of marijuana concentrate. This concentrated form is produced through a chemical process using butane gas. Butane is used to extract the oils from the cannabis by a technique commonly known as ‘open blasting’. The result is a product far more potent than traditional cannabis.

This home-made method, using everyday (and flammable) gas cylinders is very dangerous. The butane is blasted through cannabis-packed containers (in this case soft-drink bottles) to extract the high-potency oil. 

This is an important example of what happens when ‘home-grows’ are allowed (as would have happened if we had legalised dope). The risk and harms of making high-THC dabs would have been even more common in New Zealand.

Read full new article here.

Greens are concerned about drug driving – but only when there’s a referendum

From McBlog – Bob McCoskrie’s Blog

Here’s how drug debate works….
 
The pro-drug side (Greens, Drug Foundation et al) were all over this issue last year before the referendum because they wanted to persuade people that they could ‘control’ cannabis.
 
 
(PS: they can’t – and the majority of NZers fortunately figured that out.)
 
As soon as they lost the referendum, they ‘parked’ the issue – because they really weren’t interested in it.
 
[Check out this car-crash of an interview with a Green MP.]

UK Study – Marijuana use linked to serious mental illness

A new study finds “highly significant associations between cannabis use and increased risks of developing common and severe mental illnesses.” In fact the results were alarming. Despite there being a “gross under-recording of cannabis use in GP records”  this extensive study found that marijuana use was associated with almost seven-fold risk of developing a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychoses.

Researchers in the UK analysed a database compiled by clinicians containing 10,489,571 records of patients from 787 general practices. All were eligible to participate in their study. Of those, 28,218 had a recorded exposure to marijuana use. These patients were matched to 56,208 patients who had no recorded exposure to the drug. The database provides data not only about marijuana use and diagnosed mental disorders, but also information about prescription medications used to treat such disorders.

The researchers say to their knowledge their study is the first attempt to examine the relationship between marijuana use and the development of mental illnesses or future use of medication to treat such illnesses. During a three-year follow-up period, they found that marijuana use was associated with:

  • a four-fold risk of developing any mental disorder,
  • a two-to-three-fold risk of developing anxiety or depression, and
  • an almost seven-fold risk of developing a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychoses.

This is deeply troubling and points to serious mental health illness later in life.

“In order to prevent mental ill health in later life and decelerate the increasing trend in disease burden, primary care clinicians need to actively enquire about, monitor, and discourage the use of cannabis in young people who may be particularly vulnerable,” they conclude.

Read full text of this Psychological Medicine study here.

USA – Uncontrollable vomiting due to marijuana use is on the rise

Uncontrollable vomiting due to marijuana use on the rise, especially in the US states that have legalised recreational cannabis. A 2020 study found nearly one in five people hospitalised for cyclical vomiting in the US reported concurrent cannabis use. The illness is even more likely for those consuming high-potency weed, which is the norm in 2021. This is yet another study which suggests New Zealand dodged a bullet when voting NO to dope at last year’s Cannabis Referendum.

Currently there are 17 US states and the District of Columbia that have legalised recreational marijuana, while medicinal cannabis is legal in most states. A 2020 study found an unusual illness is on the rise in these states, where habitual users of cannabis, including teenagers, are showing up in emergency rooms complaining of severe intestinal distress and uncontrollable vomiting.

“They are writhing, holding their stomach, complaining of really bad abdominal pain and nausea,” said Dr. Sam Wang, a paediatric emergency medicine specialist and toxicologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, who treats adolescents with the condition.

Understandably there are growing concerns from medical experts about the severe effects of Marijuana on the health of youth. 

“In adolescents and young adults, that’s where there’s growing concern about habitual use and its effect on physical and mental health,” says Dr Wang.

Wang points to the ever increasing potency of THC in today’s marijuana products. 

“It’s been well documented that the amount of THC that now comes in cannabis is increasing substantially,” Wang said. “In the ’90s the average was like 4% or 5%. Now in Colorado, it’s anywhere from 15% to 20%.”

Read full article here.

More reading …

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/high-potency-weed-linked-psychotic-episodes-mysterious-vomiting-illness-young-n1273463 https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2021/07/mysterious-vomiting-illness-from-cannabis-use-emerges-in-us-hospitals.html