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Pot used to be pretty harmless, but it’s plenty dangerous today

Dr. Grace M. McGorrian, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 2015

Old-fashioned natural marijuana had low or moderate amounts of THC, along with cannabidiol, a chemical that shields the brain against THC’s effects. Modern marijuana has been genetically modified to be more potent – six to 10 times higher THC. And it has very little cannabidiol, which means there is little protection against intense psychoactivity, including psychotic experiences.

High levels of THC can:
• Distort reality and consciousness.
• Cause poor balance.
• Compromise memory.
• Make it difficult to hold a job.
• If used regularly for any period, increase the odds of developing schizophrenia for those under 18.

Statistically, heavy marijuana smokers struggle more with staying sober than users of any other drug. Peers and family members simply don’t believe that weed can create such dependency, so they often provide little support.

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Colorado Campaigns Warn Residents About Dangers of Legalized Pot

Gabrielle Cintorino, CNSNews.com, May 21, 2015

The state is finding the residents of Colorado to be ignorant of the dangers of smoking pot and are having to develop public health campaigns to educate them.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) has a campaign that warns of the serious consequences of driving under the influence.

“CDOT’s website lists a significant increase in drug-related accidents since 2008. In 2008, 10.1 percent of drivers involved in accidents were found to be drug-impaired. By 2013, that figure had risen to 14.2 percent.”

A Good To Know Campaign forewarns of the health risks marijuana poses to young people.

“An animated video featured on the ‘Good to Know Colorado’ website uses quips such as ‘For those underage, it’s just not okay. Their brains are still growing, so keep it away’ to relay the warning message that marijuana poses health risks to youngsters, particularly teenagers.”

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Marijuana Intoxication Blamed In More Deaths, Injuries

Brian Maass, CBS Denver, May 18, 2015

Daniel Juarez, an 18-year-old from Brighton, died September 26, 2012 after stabbing himself 20 times. In an autopsy report that had never been made public before, but was obtained by CBS4, his THC level – the active ingredient in marijuana- was measured at 38.2 namograms. In Colorado, anything over 5 nanograms is considered impaired for driving.

Juarez was nearly eight times the legal limit.

Police and witnesses then say Juarez literally ran wild, stripping off most of his clothing and running into his nearby apartment. There, he got a knife and stabbed himself 20 times, one of the stab wound piercing his heart. Juarez’s autopsy report lists his manner of death as suicide with ‘marijuana intoxication’ as a ‘significant condition.’

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Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois,

Program Update - May 6, 2015

Approximately 20,800 Illinois citizens have checked out the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website for the patient registry application information. The Department of Public Health began accepting applications for medical cannabis cards on September 2, 2014. To date about 3,000 have submitted applications and approximately 2,300 have been approved.

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Ohio woman accused of beheading 3-month-old was reportedly ‘speaking with demons’

Jason Law and Pat LaFleur, abcactionnews.com, March 17, 2015

Police charge College Hill woman with murder for beheading her 3-month-old infant. The woman was said to be high on marijuana and “speaking in tongues,” according to a police report.

The woman had said that she had started “speaking with demons…”

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4 Spruce Creek High School students hospitalized after eating hash oil brownies, deputies say

Wesh.com, March 16, 2015

At least four Spruce Creek High School students were hospitalized after eating hash oil laced brownies. Deputies arrested a 17-year old boy and charged him with four counts of sale and delivery of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and seven counts of culpable negligence.

“At least 10 students ate the laced brownies, which were sold to them by another student, investigators said.”

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Strong cannabis causes one in four cases of psychosis: Users three times more likely to have an episode than those who have never tried it

Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, February 15, 2015

Those using “super strength” marijuana every day are three times more likely to have a psychotic episode than others who had never tried “super strength” marijuana. The THC can be four-times stronger than what older generations smoked.

“Psychosis is defined as a form of mental illness where people experience delusions, hallucinations, or both at the same time. Associated with conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar, some victims are so badly affected that they end up committing suicide or seriously harming others because they believe they are being ordered to do so by voices in their heads.”

“As many as a quarter of new cases of psychotic mental illness can be blamed on super-strength strains of cannabis, scientists will warn …”

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Smoking cannabis can lead to manic behavior: Hyperactivity, aggression and delusions are all strongly linked with the drug, researchers warn

Madlen Davies, Daily Mail, February 11, 2015

Dr. Steven Marwaha, of Warwick University in the UK, studied over 2,000 people and found a ‘significant link’ between cannabis use and manic behavior: depression, anger, aggression, hyperactivity, difficulty sleeping, being delusional and hearing voices.

The research found that marijuana use “tended to precede or coincide with episodes of mania.”

The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, raises particular concerns about adolescents and the problems cannabis use can have on their development.

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Marijuana legalization poses challenges for employers

Brandon Klein, Vindy.com, February 9, 2015

A pro marijuana group in Ohio is attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use. If the amendment gets placed on the ballot and should it pass, employers fear that with more people using marijuana the pool of drug-free employees will decline and safety in the workplace will be compromised.

“’I’m absolutely opposed to [legalizing marijuana],’ said Don Crane, president of Western Reserve Building Trades, which represents more than 6,000 workers in the skilled trades.” Many trade jobs have dangerous components.

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One Year of Colorado’s Marijuana Law

John Walters & David Murray, Real Clear Politics, February 8, 2015

The unintended consequences of marijuana use go unabated.

  • Marijuana infused edibles are marketed to youth. The edibles account for nearly half of Colorado’s sales.
  • Daily use of marijuana is 35 percent higher than the national average.
  • Selling marijuana on the black market continues because there are no taxes.
  • Marijuana potency has climbed sharply.
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Colorado lawsuit alleges cannabis overdose from fairground candy

Keith Coffman, Reuters Denver, August 8, 2014

A man ends up in the hospital after overdosing on THC from a marijuana chocolate candy bar given to him by a County Fair vendor promoting the drug. The Denver County Fair had a “Pot Pavilion” where Jordan Coombs was offered the marijuana food product.

 

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Maureen Dowd on pot candy bar: ‘I became convinced that I had died’

Jessica Durando, USA TODAY Network

June 4, 2014

Maureen Dowd, a columnist for the New York Times, told a terrifying story of eating a marijuana-infused candy bar. She was in Denver, Colorado reporting on legalized marijuana.

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Toddler rushed to hospital after eating pot candy – Kid Hospitalized After Pot Candy

Jamie Chambers, Fox5KSWB, San Diego, CA

April 25, 2014

On April 19, 2014, Frances McQueen, found her daughter stumbling and unresponsive; she rushed the toddler to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. The toddler was moved to the pediatric intensive care unit where doctors were preparing to do a spinal tap when the results of a toxicology report came back showing THC in her system. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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Metro: Marijuana impairment rising among drivers

Posted: April 16, 2014 Updated: April 17, 2014

www.8newsnow.com KLAS-TV

Las Vegas, NV

By Joe Bartels

Eighteen-year-old, Jesse Hill, was killed while walking with his girlfriend by a driver, Christian Diaz, who had 7 times the legal amount of marijuana in his blood.

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Denver man accused of killing wife after eating marijuana candy formally charged with murder

ABC & News Denver, April 18, 2014

Kristine Kirk told a 911 operator that her husband, Richard Kirk, had “taken some marijuana” and was “hallucinating” and frightening their three children. Minutes later Richard shot and killed his wife. Richard was charged with first-degree murder.

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College Student Ate 6 Times Recommended Amount Of Pot Cookie Before Jumping To Death

Denver CBS 4, April 16, 2014

Levi Pongi, a college student, jumped to his death from a hotel balcony after eating one whole marijuana cookie that was intended to serve six people. It produced a type of psychosis.

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Quotes and Facts

"The best policy to protect the public health is one that reduces, not increases, marijuana use. There are reasons why employers, including the U.S. government, prohibit marijuana use by employees in the workplace. There are reasons why marijuana emergency room admissions are reported at the rate of 1,250 a day and 455,000 a year and why highway crashes double for marijuana users. Crime rates in Denver have gone up 7% this year."
Peter Bensinger - Former Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration & Robert L. DuPont, M.D. - Former Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse