Pubdate: Fri, 30 Aug 2013
Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Copyright: 2013 Daily News, L.P.
Author: Bill Hutchinson
Page: 3


Pot's Most Popular Drug

THE WORLD has reefer madness.

Marijuana beat out cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and hallucinogens
to take the top spot in the first-ever global survey of illicit drugs.

The study by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the
University of Washington also showed that doctor-prescribed
painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin were the deadliest of all

The survey, published online Thursday in the journal Lancet, showed
that more than half of the estimated 78,000 deaths worldwide from
drugs in 2010 were caused by pain pills.

"Even if it is not very solid data, we can say definitely that there
are drug problems in most parts of the world," said Theo Voss, senior
author of the study.

The United States, Britain, Russia and Australia had the greatest drug
problems, the study showed.

"The illicit use of prescribed opiates in the U.S. has only happened
in the last 10 years or so," said Michael Lynskey, of the National
Addiction Centre at King's College London.

"It's possible in another 20 years, patterns will again change in ways
we can't predict," Lynskey said.

The survey didn't explain why pot is globally so popular, but it comes
just days after researchers in the Netherlands found tokers' responded
to negative images or emotions in a more positive way when stoned.

A University Medical Center Utrecht study found that THC, the
mind-altering ingredient in marijuana, was beneficial to the
emotion-processing cerebral regions of the brain.

"THC administration reduces the negative bias in emotional
processing," the report, published this week in the European
Neuropsychopharmacology journal, concluded. Meanwhile, the Obama
administration announced Thursday that it won't sue to challenge laws
legalizing marijuana in 20 states.

The Justice Department said states are allowed to let people use weed
and license farmers to grow it as long as its kept away from children
and off the black market.

With News Wire Services
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