Nov 152014
 November 15, 2014
NORML Responds To Latest 'Pot Shrinks The Brain' Fears

NORML’s Deputy Director today on Alternet.org addressed new media claims that cannabis use can potentially shrink the brain: [excerpt] A new study identifying minor differences in the brain imaging of habitual marijuana consumers compared to non-users may be ideal for stimulating sensational headlines (e.g., “Regular pot smokers have shrunken brains, study says,” Los Angeles Times, November 10), but tells us little in regard to whether pot poses actual health risks. Specifically, an MRI scan revealed less gray matter in the orbital frontal cortex of pot-smoking subjects compared to those who had never used the drug. Researchers also identified increased connectivity

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Nov 012014
 November 1, 2014
Federal Evidentiary Hearing Regarding Marijuana Scheduling Concludes

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller heard testimony over the course of the past five days in regard to the constitutionality of the federal statute designating marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. At issue in this evidentiary hearing is whether the scientific literature provides a rational basis for the federal classification of the plant as a substance with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use,” and a “lack of accepted safety” for use under medical supervision. The federal government’s position was articulated in testimony provided by Dr. Bertha Madras, Professor

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Oct 282014
 October 28, 2014
Doctors Testify In Federal Court That Marijuana Needs To Be Rescheduled

The fact that marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug is slap in the face to science, compassion, and logic. For something to be Schedule 1, it has to have no medical value. Marijuana clearly has medical value. This is proven by the fact that the federal government grows and supplies medical marijuana to four federal medical marijuana patients, and has for decades. The federal government also has medical marijuana patents. It may be the most hypocritical policy in government to say that marijuana should remain Schedule 1, and that’s saying a lot because the government is full of hypocrisy. Doctors

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Oct 252014
 October 25, 2014
Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated With Deficits In Intelligence Quotient

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Moderate cannabis consumption by young people is not positively associated with changes in intelligence quotient (IQ), according to data presented this week at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual congress in Berlin, Germany. Investigators at the University College of London analyzed data from 2,612 subjects who had their IQ tested at the age of eight and again at age 15. They reported no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15 when confounding factors such as subjects’ history of alcohol use and cigarette use were taken into account. “In particular alcohol use

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Oct 232014
 October 23, 2014
Even More Proof That Marijuana Does Not Lower Your IQ

Social media will once again be flooded by legalization activists claiming the relative safety of marijuana as compared to legal drugs like alcohol. According to Christopher Ingraham, a Washington Post reporter, a study done at the University College of London has concluded that marijuana does not lead to lower IQ. This is along with study after study suggesting similar results, especially after Duke University published a flawed study in 2012 claiming the opposite. While I have no doubt that this will have a positive influence on drug reform, I am personally not too concerned with such studies. Is it really

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Oct 132014
 October 13, 2014
Harvard Marijuana Investigations For Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) Program Gets Large Donation

Marijuana is medicine. That’s something I have typed many, many times while running this blog. It’s a fact that the federal government denies, despite the fact that the federal government owns patents related to marijuana’s medicinal value. The federal government has also been supplying federal medical marijuana to patients for decades. There needs to be more marijuana research conducted, but research is limited due to federal prohibition of marijuana. One area where research is moving forward is at Harvard. The program at Harvard just received a large donation. Per Harvard Magazine: MCLEAN HOSPITAL, THE LARGEST psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School,

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Oct 122014
 October 12, 2014
Marijuana Use Is Associated With Increased Survival In Brain Injury Patients

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a history of cannabis use possess increased survival rates compared to non-users, according data published this month in the scientific journal The American Surgeon. UCLA Medical Center investigators conducted a three-year retrospective review of brain trauma patients. Data from 446 separate cases of similarly injured patients was assessed. Of those patients who tested positive for the presence of marijuana, 97.6 percent survived surgery. By contrast, patients who tested negative for the presence of pot prior to surgery possessed only an 88.5 percent survival rate. “[O]ur data suggest an

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Oct 072014
 October 7, 2014
Study: Marijuana Lowers Mortality Rate Among Patients With Traumatic Brain Injuries

I know people that have had traumatic brain injuries from sports, car crashes, and other accidents. My cousin recently had to have brain surgery as a result of a traumatic brain injury that he experienced while playing football. It was a very scary time, but I’m happy to say, he has made a full recovery. A new study was released which found that marijuana use lowers the mortality rate among patients with traumatic brain injuries. Per Science World Report: The study, led by researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, surveyed emergency patients for levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient present

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Oct 062014
 October 6, 2014
Does Marijuana Make Food Taste And Smell Better?

If I am about to eat some fantastic food, I almost always consume marijuana first. It’s something I have always done, and so do most of my friends and family. I have always felt that I find the food more enjoyable when I consume marijuana first. It’s no secret that marijuana can induce ‘the munchies’ but there is now scientific research that explains why. Per Vice: Led by Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, a team of European neuroscientists proved that THC—the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—fits into special receptors in the brain’s olfactory bulb, allowing users to smell

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Sep 272014
 September 27, 2014
CBD Associated With Improved Quality Of Life In Patients With Parkinson's

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director The administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, is associated with improved quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease, according clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Investigators at the University of São Paulo in Brazil assessed the efficacy of CBD versus placebo in 21 subjects with Parkinson’s. Authors reported that the administration of 300 mg doses of CBD per day was associated with “significantly different mean total scores” in subjects’ well-being and quality of life compared to placebo. Separate assessments of CBD versus placebo reported that

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