This week, two studies in Addiction took aim at some arguments medical marijuana supporters and detractors use when fighting for and against that “dank chronic” (dope list of marijuana slang here.) Medical marijuana supporters argue that opioid abusers would substitute marijuana for pain relief, leading to fewer opioid overdoses. While studies do identify a correlation between a decline in overdose deaths and the passage of medical marijuana legislation, the first study determined that the evidence doesn’t support the laws causing the drop. On the flip side, detractors warn that one of the evils of passing this legislation is more adolescents picking up a pot habit. While that could be bad, the second study couldn’t identify that trend actually occurring in legal weed states.
Should the US federal government control policy on individual marijuana use?
Last week Jeff Sessions, the United States Attorney General (and the country’s least cool Dad) issued a memo that overturns the Obama-era practice of not interfering in states where marijuana use is decriminalized. Remember, states aren’t allowed to pass laws that conflict with federal laws (Article 6 of the US constitution) and the feds have been anti-pot for a long time. Not only does shift this justify the weed-induced feelings of paranoia for recreational users in “legal” states, but it also places in limbo the consumer-facing businesses and the resulting state tax revenues in those states. While the redirection does seem unlikely to affect medical use of the drug—at least for now—publicly traded pot stocks took a hit on the news. Yep, there’s a marijuana stock index.
We hate to be the news source to break it to you, but you can’t use “it’s curing my cancer” as the reason for your marijuana consumption. With the loosening of US laws that prosecute marijuana sales and consumption has come the upstart of many businesses and products, some of which, the FDA finds, are making claims that would classify them as “new drugs.” And of course, if it’s a new drug, the FDA will have something to say about it. According to NBC News, the regulators are putting the kibosh on 4 companies in particular that market products with pot or hemp claiming to treat cancer. Culprits include: CW Botanicals; Natural Alchemist; Greenroads Health; and That’s Natural Marketing and Consulting. They responded—probably—with a collective, “Stop bringing me down, bro.”