Marijuana

126. Cannabis Substitution Effects

"Another paradigm used to assess crash risk is to use cross-sectional surveys of reported nonfatal accidents that can be related to the presence of risk factors, such as alcohol and cannabis consumption. Such a methodology was employed in a provocative dissertation by Laixuthai (1994). This study used data from two large surveys that were nationally representative of high school students in the United States during 1982 and 1989. Results showed that cannabis use was negatively correlated with nonfatal accidents, but these results can be attributed to changes in the amount of alcohol consumed. More specifically, the decriminalization of cannabis and the subsequent reduction in penalty cost, as well as a reduced purchase price of cannabis, made cannabis more appealing and affordable for young consumers. This resulted in more cannabis use, which substituted for alcohol consumption, leading to less frequent and less heavy drinking. The reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed resulted in fewer nonfatal accidents."

Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 2004) Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 974-5.
http://www2.criminology.fsu.edu...

127. Driving and THC Levels

"Most of the research on cannabis use has been conducted under laboratory conditions. The literature reviews by Robbe (1994), Hall, Solowij, and Lemon (1994), Border and Norton (1996), and Solowij (1998) agreed that the most extensive effect of cannabis is to impair memory and attention. Additional deficits include problems with temporal processing, (complex) reaction times, and dynamic tracking. These conclusions are generally consistent with the psychopharmacological effects of cannabis mentioned above, including problems with attention, memory, motor coordination, and alertness.
"A meta-analysis by Krüger and Berghaus (1995) profiled the effects of cannabis and alcohol. They reviewed 197 published studies of alcohol and 60 studies of cannabis. Their analysis showed that 50% of the reported effects were significant at a BAC of 0.073 g/dl and a THC level of 11 ng/ml. This implies that if the legal BAC threshold for alcohol is 0.08 g/dl, the corresponding level of THC that would impair the same percentage of tests would be approximately 11 ng/ml."

Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 2004) Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 974-5.
http://www2.criminology.fsu.edu...

128. Cannabis and Driving Performance

"Several studies have examined cannabis use in driving simulator and on-road situations. The most comprehensive review was done by Smiley in 1986 and then again in 1999. Several trends are evident and can be described by three general performance characteristics:
"1. Cannabis increased variability of speed and headway as well as lane position (Attwood, Williams, McBurney, & Frecker, 1981; Ramaekers, Robbe, & O'Hanlon, 2000; Robbe, 1998; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley, Moskowitz, & Zeidman, 1981; Smiley, Noy, & Tostowaryk, 1987). This was more pronounced under high workload and unexpected conditions, such as curves and wind gusts.
"2. Cannabis increased the time needed to overtake another vehicle (Dott, 1972 [as cited in Smiley, 1986]) and delayed responses to both secondary and tracking tasks (Casswell, 1977; Moskowitz, Hulbert, & McGlothlin,
1976; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1981).
"3. Cannabis resulted in fewer attempts to overtake another vehicle(Dott, 1972) and larger distances required to pass (Ellingstad et al., 1973 [as cited in Smiley, 1986]). Evidence of increased caution also included slower speeds (Casswell, 1977; Hansteen, Miller, Lonero, Reid, & Jones, 1976; Krueger & Vollrath, 2000; Peck, Biasotti, Boland, Mallory, & Reeve, 1986; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1981; Stein, Allen, Cook, & Karl, 1983) and larger headways (Robbe, 1998; Smiley et al., 1987)."

Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 2004) Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 974-5.
http://www2.criminology.fsu.edu...

129. Marijuana, Alcohol, Intoxication Self-Ratings, and Driving Performance

"Both simulator and road studies showed that relative to alcohol use alone, participants who used cannabis alone or in combination with alcohol were more aware of their intoxication. Robbe (1998) found that participants who consumed 100 g/kg of cannabis rated their performance worse and the amount of effort required greater compared to those who consumed alcohol (0.05 BAC). Ramaekers et al. (2000) showed that cannabis use alone and in combination with alcohol consumption increased self-ratings of intoxication and decreased self-ratings of performance. Lamers and Ramaekers (2001) found that cannabis use alone (100 g/kg) and in combination with alcohol consumption resulted in lower ratings of alertness, greater perceptions of effort, and worse ratings of performance."

Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 2004) Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 974-5.
http://www2.criminology.fsu.edu...

130. Driving Behavioral Compensation

"Both Australian studies suggest cannabis may actually reduce the responsibility rate and lower crash risk. Put another way, cannabis consumption either increases driving ability or, more likely, drivers who use cannabis make adjustments in driving style to compensate for any loss of skill (Drummer, 1995). This is consistent with simulator and road studies that show drivers who consumed cannabis slowed down and drove more cautiously (see Ward & Dye, 1999; Smiley, 1999. This compensation could help reduce the probability of being at fault in a motor vehicle accident since drivers have more time to respond and avoid a collision. However, it must be noted that any behavioral compensation may not be sufficient to cope with the reduced safety margin resulting from the impairment of driver functioning and capacity."

Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 2004) Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 974-5.
http://www2.criminology.fsu.edu...

131. Mediation of Cannabis Impairment

"In conclusion, cannabis impairs driving behaviour. However, this impairment is mediated in that subjects under cannabis treatment appear to perceive that they are indeed impaired. Where they can compensate, they do, for example, by not overtaking, by slowing down and by focusing their attention when they know a response will be required. However, such compensation is not possible where events are unexpected or where continuous attention is required. Effects of driving behaviour are present up to an hour after smoking but do not continue for extended periods."
"Thus, not only is it problematic to estimate the percentage of accident involvements associated with cannabis use alone, there is no evidence that impairment resulting from cannabis use causes accidents. Attempts to alleviate these problems by calculating risk of culpability for an accident (rather than the risk of having an accident) suggest that cannabis may actually reduce responsibility for accidents."

Department for Transport, "Cannabis and driving: a review of the literature and commentary (No.12)," (London, United Kingdom: May 2000).
http://mapinc.org...

132. U.S. Penal Code violations for marijuana and possible sentences

The U.S. Penal Code violations for marijuana and possible sentences:
Violation: "1000 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marihuana, or 1,000 or more marihuana plants regardless of weight."
Sentence: not "less than 10 years or more than life" "No person sentenced under this subparagraph shall be eligible for parole during the term of imprisonment imposed therein."
Violation: "100 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marihuana, or 100 or more marihuana plants regardless of weight."
Sentence: not "less than 5 years and not more than 40 years" "No person sentenced under this subparagraph shall be eligible for parole during the term of imprisonment imposed therein."
Violation: "less than 50 kilograms of marihuana, except in the case of 50 or more marihuana plants regardless of weight, 10 kilograms of hashish, or one kilogram of hashish oil"
Sentence: "not more than 5 years, a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of title 18 or $250,000 if the defendant is an individual or $1,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both."

U.S. Code. Title 21, Chapter 13 -- Drug Abuse Prevention and Control -- Section 841, Prohibited Acts, pp. 406-407.
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov...
http://mapinc.org...

133. Harms of Cannabis Versus Harms of Prohibition

"Based on the research to date, the harms associated with the actual use of cannabis likely pale in comparison with the widely observed harms attributable to cannabis prohibition. As such, policymakers should integrate the scientific research conducted on the likely impacts of current prohibitive approaches to cannabis use into the process of optimising cannabis policy."

Werb, Daniel; Fischer, Benedikt; and Wood, Evan, "Cannabis policy: Time to move beyond the psychosis debate," International Journal of Drug Policy (London, United Kingdom: International Harm Reduction Association: July 2010) Vol. 21, Issue 4, p. 262.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

134. Cannabis in Canada

"RECOMMENDATIONS
"1. The severity of punishment for a cannabis possession charge should be reduced. Specifically, cannabis possession should be converted to a civil violation under the Contraventions Act.
"The current law involves considerable enforcement and other criminal justice costs, as well as adverse consequences to individual drug offenders, with little evidence of a substantial deterrent impact on cannabis use, and at best marginal benefits to the public health and safety of Canadians. As a minimal measure, jail should be removed as a sentencing option for cannabis possession. The available evidence indicates that removal of jail as a sentencing option would lead to considerable cost savings without leading to increases in rates of cannabis use. Punishing cannabis possession with a fine only would be consistent with current practices and prevailing public opinion."

Single, Eric, "Cannabis Control in Canada: Options Regarding Possession" National Working Group on Addictions Policy (Ottawa, Canada: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, May 1998).
http://www.druglibrary.net...

135. The Netherlands and Depenalization of Cannabis Use

"There is no evidence that the depenalization component of the 1976 policy, per se, increased levels of cannabis use. On the other hand, the later growth in commercial access to cannabis, after de facto legalization, was accompanied by steep increases in use, even among youth. In interpreting that association, three points deserve emphasis. First, the association may not be causal; we have already seen that recent increases occurred in the United States and Oslo despite very different policies. Second, throughout most of the first two decades of the 1976 policy, Dutch use levels have remained at or below those in the United States. And third, it remains to be seen whether prevalence levels will drop again in response to the reduction to a 5-g limit, and to recent government efforts to close down coffee shops and more aggressively enforce the regulations."

MacCoun, Robert and Reuter, Peter, "Interpreting Dutch Cannabis Policy: Reasoning by Analogy in the Legalization Debate," Science (New York, NY: American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 3, 1997), pp. 50-51.
http://faculty.publicpolicy.um...

136. Real Risk of Arrest for Marijuana Possession in the US

"It is also important to point out that in no Western country is a user at much risk of being criminally penalized for using marijuana. The rates of arrest for past-year marijuana users in Western countries are typically less than or equal to 3 percent (Kilmer, 2002; Room et al., 2010). More important, almost none of those convicted of simple possession is incarcerated or receives a fine exceeding $1,000 (Pacula, MacCoun, et al., 2005)."

Kilmer, Beau; Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Pacula, Rosalie Liccardo; MacCoun, Robert J.; Reuter, Peter H., "Altered State? Assessing How Marijuana Legalization in California Could Influence Marijuana Consumption and Public Budgets" Drug Policy Research Center (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2010), p. 13.
http://www.rand.org...

137. Marijuana Use Rates and Decriminalization

"In California and Ohio, surveys before and after decriminalisation showed that cannabis use increased, but not at a greater rate than in US states which had not decriminalised cannabis. Single (1989) also reviewed data from two large US national surveys of drug use in the 1970s that compared rates of cannabis use in states which had and had not decriminalised cannabis. He found that the prevalence of cannabis use increased in all states, with a larger increase in those states which had not decriminalised (Single, 1989)."

Donnelly, Neil; Hall, Wayne; Christie, Paul, "Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme on levels and patterns of cannabis use in South Australia: evidence from the National Drug Strategy Household Surveys 1985–1995," Department of Health and Aged Care (Canberra, Australia: May 1998), p. 12.
http://www.health.gov.au...

138. Federal Source of Legal Cannabis

"In 1968, the National Institute of Mental Health began funding a Drug Supply Program to provide researchers with compounds necessary to conduct biomedical research. Initially, the program focused on THC and other naturally occurring cannabinoids, and then gradually expanded to a wide range of compounds. (Since its beginning, the program has synthesized or obtained over 1,500 different compounds that have been supplied to over 2,500 researchers.) Cannabis was among the first substances to be made available through the Drug Supply Program for use by scientists conducting both nonhuman research and human research under a variety of investigational new drug protocols. It was grown through a contract with the University of Mississippi. With its establishment in 1974, NIDA became the successor to NIMH as the administrator of the cannabis contract and the sole U.S. source for legal cannabis."

"Provision of Marijuana and Other Compounds For Scientific Research - Recommendations of The National Institute on Drug Abuse National Advisory Council," National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, January 1998).
http://archives.drugabuse.gov/...

139. Recommendation by the Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs

"... the Government of Canada amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to create a criminal exemption scheme. This legislation should stipulate the conditions for obtaining licenses as well as for producing and selling cannabis; criminal penalties for illegal trafficking and export; and the preservation of criminal penalties for all activities falling outside the scope of the exemption scheme."

"Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy," report of the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Senate of Canada, September 2002), p. 46.
http://www.parl.gc.ca...

140. UK Police Foundation

"Our conclusion is that the present law on cannabis produces more harm than it prevents. It is very expensive of the time and resources of the criminal justice system and especially of the police. It inevitably bears more heavily on young people in the streets of inner cities, who are also more likely to be from minority ethnic communities, and as such is inimical to police-community relations. It criminalizes large numbers of otherwise law-abiding, mainly young, people to the detriment of their futures. It has become a proxy for the control of public order; and it inhibits accurate education about the relative risks of different drugs including the risks of cannabis itself."

Police Foundation of the United Kingdom, "Drugs and the Law: Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971", April 4, 2000. The Police Foundation, based in London, England, is a nonprofit organization presided over by Charles, Crown Prince of Wales, which promotes research, debate and publication to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in the UK.

141. 1972 National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

"Rather than inducing violent or aggressive behavior through its purported effects of lowering inhibitions, weakening impulse control and heightening aggressive tendencies, marihuana was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by pacifying the user, interfering with muscular coordination, reducing psychomotor activities and generally producing states of drowsiness lethargy, timidity and passivity."

Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. III, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).
http://druglibrary.net...

142. 1972 National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

"Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it. This judgment is based on prevalent use patterns, on behavior exhibited by the vast majority of users and on our interpretations of existing medical and scientific data. This position also is consistent with the estimate by law enforcement personnel that the elimination of use is unattainable."

Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. V, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).
http://druglibrary.net...

143. Marijuana Decriminalization and Prevalence of Use

"Proponents of criminalization attribute to their preferred drug-control regime a special power to affect user behavior. Our findings cast doubt on such attributions. Despite widespread lawful availability of cannabis in Amsterdam, there were no differences between the 2 cities [Amsterdam and San Francisco] in age at onset of use, age at first regular use, or age at the start of maximum use."
"Our findings do not support claims that criminalization reduces cannabis use and that decriminalization increases cannabis use."

Reinarman, Craig; Cohen, Peter D.A.; Kaal, Hendrien L., "The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and in San Francisco," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, May 2004) Vol 94, No. 5, pp. 840 and 841.
http://ajph.aphapublications.org...

144. Cannabis Substitution Treatment

"Only orally given THC and, to a lesser extent, nefazodone have shown promise [in treating marijuana dependence]. THC reduced craving and ratings of anxiety, feelings of misery, difficulty sleeping, and chills (Haney et al., 2004). In addition, participants could not distinguish active THC from placebo. These findings were replicated in an outpatient study, which found that a moderate oral dosage of THC (10 mg, three times daily) suppressed many marijuana withdrawal symptoms and that a higher dosage (30 mg, three times daily) almost completely abolished withdrawal symptoms (Budney et al., 2007)."

Budney, Alan J.; Roffman, Roger; Stephens, Robert S.; Walker, Denise, "Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment," Addiction Science & Clinical Practice (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 2007), p. 11.
http://archives.drugabuse.gov...

145. Decriminalization and Use Rates

"The available evidence suggests that removal of the prohibition against possession itself (decriminalization) does not increase cannabis use. In addition to the Dutch experience from 1976 to 1983, we have similar findings from analysis of weaker decriminalization (with fines retained for the offense of simple possession of small quantities) in 12 US states (Single, 1989) and South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (Hall, 1997; McGeorge & Aitken, 1997). The fact that Italy and Spain, which have decriminalized possession for all psychoactive drugs, have marijuana use rates comparable to those of neighboring countries provides further support."

MacCoun, Robert and Reuter, Peter, "Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes," British Journal of Psychiatry (London, United Kingdom: American Royal College of Psychiatrists, February, 2001) Vol. 178, p. 127.
http://bjp.rcpsych.org...

146. NIDA Cannabis for Research

"Under the current contract with the University of Mississippi for any given year NIDA [National Institute on Drug Abuse] has the option to grow either 1.5 or 6.5 acres of cannabis, or to not grow any at all, depending on research demand. Generally, 1.5 acres are grown in alternate years. The number of cannabis cigarettes produced from 1.5 acres is about 50,000-60,000, although it can be higher. Cigarettes are produced in three potencies: strength 1 - 3-4 %; strength 2 - 1.8-2.2 %; and strength 3 - placebo, as close to 0% as possible. During the past three years, the following quantities have been shipped: 1994 - 24,000 cigarettes; 1995 - 23, 100 - cigarettes; and 1996 17,700 cigarettes. Virtually all of the cigarettes shipped in the last three years have been for single patient INDs. As of March 1997 there were 278, 100 cigarettes in stock. The cigarettes are maintained in frozen storage and have a useful life of approximately five years."

"Provision of Marijuana and Other Compounds For Scientific Research - Recommendations of The National Institute on Drug Abuse National Advisory Council," National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, January 1998).
http://archives.drugabuse.gov...

147. Synthetic Cannabinoids

"Synthetic cannabinoids are substances chemically produced to mimic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. When these substances are sprayed onto dried herbs and then consumed through smoking or oral ingestion, they can produce psychoactive effects similar to those of marijuana."

Sacco, Lisa N. and Finklea, Kristin M., "Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 28, 2011), p. 5.
http://www.fas.org...

148. Synthetic Cannabinoids

"Synthetic cannabinoids are functionally similar to delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive principle of cannabis, and bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and peripheral organs."

Fattore, Liana and Fratta, Walter "Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs," Frontiers in Behaviorial Neuroscience (Lausanne, Switzerland: September 2011) Volume 5, Article 60, p. 1.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

149. Spice Use Among Youth In The US

"MTF first addressed the use of synthetic marijuana in its 2011 survey, by asking 12th graders about their use in the prior 12 months (which would have covered a considerable period of time prior to the drugs being scheduled). Annual prevalence was found to be 11.4%, making synthetic marijuana the second most widely used class of illicit drug after marijuana among 12th graders. Despite the DEA’s intervention, use among 12th graders remained unchanged in 2012 at 11.3%, which suggests either that compliance with the new scheduling has been limited or that producers of these products have succeeded in continuing to change their chemical formulas to avoid using the ingredients that have been scheduled. In 2012 for the first time 8th and 10th graders were asked about their use of synthetic marijuana; annual prevalence rates were 4.4% and 8.8%, respectively. Use in all 3 grades dropped in 2013, but the decline was significant only among 12th graders. The 2013 rates were 4.0%, 7.4%, and 7.9% for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, respectively. Among 8th graders, this was the third highest category of illicit drug being used after marijuana and inhalants."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2014). Monitoring the Future national results on drug use: 1975-2013: Overview, Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 13.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

150. "Spice" and Synthetic Cannabinoids

"Despite its [marijuana's] long history of use and abuse for both medical and recreational purposes, a new generation of synthetic cannabinoids has recently emerged on the market, which are sold on the Internet as herbal mixtures under the brand names of 'Spice,' 'Spice Gold,' 'Spice Diamond,' 'Arctic Spice,' 'Silver,' 'Aroma,' 'K2,' 'Genie,' 'Scene' or 'Dream,' and advertised as incense products, meditation potpourris, bath additives, or air fresheners. These products are often referred to as 'herbal highs' or 'legal highs' because of their legal status and purported natural herbal make-up."

Fattore, Liana and Fratta, Walter "Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs," Frontiers in Behaviorial Neuroscience (Lausanne, Switzerland: September 2011) Volume 5, Article 60, p. 1.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

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