Cannabis in medical research, and a THC-DUI challenge 


In case you were wondering ...

In the past few weeks, cannabis has been cropping up in a variety of health-related stories. We haven't had the space to fit it all in until now:

• Monday brought the release of a Colorado study conducted by the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. Published by JAMA Pediatrics, the research found that between Jan. 2005 and Sept. 30, 2009, no children under age 12 were treated for exposure to marijuana. However, after that date, 14 kids were found to have been treated for exposure, eight of them for ingesting edibles.

• A newly released study, conducted from 2005 to 2010 and published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that current marijuana users had smaller waists, a lower body-mass index and slightly higher levels of "good cholesterol" than people who don't partake.

Also: "Current smokers' insulin levels were reduced by 16 percent and their insulin resistance (a condition in which the body has trouble absorbing glucose from the bloodstream) was reduced by 17 percent," wrote the Atlantic.

The study was conducted by Dr. Murray Mittleman of Harvard Medical School.

• On May 11, USA Today reported on a study conducted by Dr. Anil Thomas that contrasted the effect that marijuana or tobacco use has on bladder cancer risk. "Cannabis use only was associated with a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer incidence, and tobacco use only was associated with a 52 percent increase in bladder cancer," the paper quoted Thomas as saying.

Criticism came from Dr. Karim Chamie, who "took issue with the fact that every man in the study smoked something, so there was no comparison to men who did not smoke at all," the newspaper reported.

• On May 14, the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science published a multi-part study, conducted by psychologists at the University of Kentucky, which found that marijuana use eases various facets of social strife.

According to Pacific Standard magazine, one part, wherein researchers found marijuana users had a smaller decrease in self-esteem than non-users, involved a simulated game that excluded the player. Another found that frequent marijuana users who experienced social pain were less likely to be really depressed.

Keef crumbs

• Colorado's recently passed THC-DUI legislation has already drawn a lawsuit, the Associated Press reported last Tuesday. Brandon Baker, of Greenfaith Ministries, told the AP the "standard doesn't go far enough to protect frequent marijuana users."

• Last week, Longmont's City Council voted, preliminarily, to ban both retail-marijuana businesses and social clubs. A final vote will come June 11, reports the Longmont Times-Call.


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