The status of cannabis in the UN drug conventions is controversial. It is now scheduled among the most dangerous substances. How and why did cannabis in the conventions? Does it belong there? What are the options to review the status of cannabis according to current scientific data? Is making cannabis subject to a control regime similar to harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco a solution?
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  • Pot smokers might not turn into dopes after all

    Revisiting data casts doubts on link between heavy cannabis use and declining IQ
    Nature
    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Cannabis rots your brain — or does it? Last year, a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggested that people who used cannabis heavily as teenagers saw their IQs fall by middle age. But a study published today — also in PNAS — says that factors unrelated to cannabis use are to blame for the effect. Nature explores the competing claims. (See also: New Research Questions Marijuana’s Impact in Lowering IQ)

  • Why marijuana should be legal for adults

    David L. Nathan, clinical associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Forget the antiquated dogma and judge pot prohibition on its own merits. If you still believe that cannabis should be illegal, then you must logically support the criminalization of alcohol and tobacco, with vigorous prosecution and even imprisonment of producers and consumers. Does that sound ridiculous? Then you must conclude that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it.

  • Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs

    A dispensary-based survey of substitution effect in Canadian medical cannabis patients
    Philippe Lucas, Amanda Reiman, Mitch Earleywine, Stephanie K. McGowan, Megan Oleson, Michael P. Coward & Brian Thomas
    Addiction Research & Theory
    November 20, 2012

    This article examines the subjective impact of medical cannabis on the use of both licit and illicit substances via self-report from 404 medical cannabis patients recruited from four dispensaries in British Columbia, Canada. The aim of this study is to examine a phenomenon called substitution effect, in which the use of one product or substance is influenced by the use or availability of another.

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  • Prevalence of daily cannabis use in the European Union and Norway

    D. Thanki, J. Matias, P. Griffiths, A. Noor, D. Olszewski, R. Simon and J. Vicente
    European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
    Thematic Paper
    November 2012

    This report brings together, for the first time in Europe, an integrated overview of the prevalence of intensive cannabis use, defined as daily or almost daily cannabis use (use on 20 or more days in the month preceding survey). Self-reported data regarding frequency of cannabis use from large, probabilistic, nationally representative samples of general population surveys from 20 countries, representing more than 83 % of the population of EU and Norway, were collected through two rounds of ad hoc data collection in 2004 and 2007 and through a routine, standard data collection instrument since 2010.

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  • Comparing marijuana legalization measures in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington State

    Oregon Joins Colorado and Washington in voting on marijuana legalization this election
    National Cannabis Coalition
    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    History was made as the Oregon Secretary of State announced that the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the 2012 ballot. Oregon joins Washington and Colorado in voting for marijuana legalization this year, the first time in history three U.S. states will put the legalization question to voters. Here is a look at the three legalization measures to be put before the voters in the November 2012 election.

  • Cannabis use and proximity to coffee shops in the Netherlands

    Marije Wouters, Annemieke Benschop, Margriet van Laar and Dirk J. Korf
    European Journal of Criminology 2012 9: 337
    July 2012

    The aim of this paper is to assess the influence of coffee shop availability on the prevalence and intensity of cannabis use, as well as the effectiveness of the ‘separation of markets’ policy. A convenience sample of nightlife visitors and a sub-selection of previous year cannabis users were used for analyses on cannabis and hard drugs use. Logistic regression analyses showed that coffee shop proximity does not seem to be linked to prevalence of cannabis use or intensity of use. In addition, proximity of coffee shops does not seem to be linked directly to hard drugs use.

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  • Cannabis production and markets in Europe

    European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction
    Insights 12
    June 2012

    This study brings together available evidence to provide a comprehensive analysis of cannabis production and markets across the EU. It combines information from EMCDDA routine reporting — data on patterns of prevalence and use, seizures, police reports, drug-law offences, cannabis potency and retail market prices — with literature on cannabis markets to create an in-depth analysis of the issue in a European context.

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  • Cannabis as an Adjunct to or Substitute for Opiates in the Treatment of Chronic Pain

    Philippe Lucas
    Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 44:2, 125-133
    June 2012

    There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain. When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects) by patients in a clinical setting. Additionally, cannabinoids can prevent the development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates, and can even rekindle opiate analgesia after a prior dosage has become ineffective.

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  • Marijuana compound treats schizophrenia with few side effects

    Clinical trial
    Time Magazine (US)
    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    A compound found in marijuana can treat schizophrenia as effectively as antipsychotic medications, with far fewer side effects, according to a preliminary clinical trial. Unlike the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, which can produce psychotic reactions and may worsen schizophrenia, cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic effects, according to previous research in both animals and humans.

  • The neuroscience of pot

    Researchers Explain Why Marijuana May Bring Serenity Or Psychosis
    Alice G. Walton
    Forbes (US)
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Marijuana has been shown to have both anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects and to induce anxiety and psychosis in certain people. In schizophrenics, it can increase symptoms, and in healthy people it can increase the risk of schizophrenia. Now, new study shows that the two active ingredients in pot, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may have quite opposite effects on the brain – and behavior – and could explain why pot’s effects can be unpredictable.

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