As dozens of states move toward legalizing marijuana -- for both
medical and recreational purposes -- scientists and parents have asked
what the impact might be on children. Will more teens use pot? Will
doing so cause behavioral problems? Will they develop a substance-use
According to a new study published last month in the journal Addiction:
yes, probably not, and maybe.
The study, led by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University
of Pennsylvania, found that marijuana use among teens does not lead to
conduct problems. In fact, it's the other way around. Adolescents with
conduct problems, like cheating, skipping class, and stealing, are
more likely to gravitate toward marijuana use.
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A school-based survey shows nearly 1 in 11 U.S. students have used
marijuana in electronic cigarettes, heightening health concerns about
the new popularity of vaping among teens.
E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, but many of the
battery-powered devices can vaporize other substances, including
marijuana. Results published Monday mean 2.1 million middle and high
school students have used them to get high.
Vaping is generally considered less dangerous than smoking, because
burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to
lungs. But there is little research on e-cigarettes' long-term
effects, including whether they help smokers quit.
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Chicago police officers pointed their guns at two young children while
executing a search warrant at the wrong address, according to a
lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court.
Gilbert Mendez is suing the city, saying police used excessive force
when officers rammed their way through the front door of his McKinley
Park apartment last November, according to court documents. The
officers had intended to raid the apartment of Mendez's upstairs
neighbor, who was suspected of drug possession. But Mendez, his wife,
Hester, and two children Jack, 5, and Peter, 9, were alarmed when
police officers barged in with guns drawn, the suit says.
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Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who this week joined a crowded
slate of Democrats seeking to replace Gov. Rick Scott, shared his
thoughts about marijuana with Truth or Dara during a lengthy interview
that included some chit-chat about Willie Nelson and air pods.
(Spoiler alert: He's a fan of both the musician and the technology).
On medical marijuana, Greene's got the same take as his competitors,
who've all come out in support of allowing patients to smoke their
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A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on
whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug
derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used
cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are
feeling more cautious than celebratory.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end
of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a
purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't
get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in
kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.
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To deal with an explosion in the number of Kentucky newborns exposed
to dangerous, addictive drugs by their pregnant mothers, lawmakers
this year added a section to House Bill 1, a measure that otherwise
streamlines the foster care system.
The section -- which becomes law in July, along with the rest of HB 1
- -- expands the definition of child abuse in Kentucky to include
neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Babies born with NAS go through withdrawal while they are still in the
hospital. They can experience trembling, excessive high-pitched
crying, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea. Some have more serious
problems, such as heart defects.
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WASHINGTON -- A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step
closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers
endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy.
If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group's
recommendation, GW Pharmaceuticals' syrup would become the first drug
derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the U.S.
The 13-member FDA panel voted unanimously in favor of the experimental
medication made from a chemical found in cannabis -- one that does not
get users high. The panelists backed the drug based on three studies
showing that it significantly reduced seizures in children with two
rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
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Teens who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to try marijuana in the
future, especially if they start vaping at a younger age, a new study
More than 1 in 4 teenagers who reported e-cigarette use eventually
progressed to smoking pot, according to the survey of more than 10,000
That compared with just 8 percent of non-vapers, said lead researcher
Hongying Dai, senior biostatistician with Children's Mercy Hospital in
Kansas City, Mo.
Further, teens who started vaping early had a greater risk of
subsequent marijuana use.
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Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will
achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from
cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher
than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem
more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term,
Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary
objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24
represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a
balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from
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Doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the legalization
With universities and schools providing few details around strategies
for marijuana legalization, doctors who treat youth have serious
concerns about the inevitable increase in use and the impending
impacts of what can be a dangerous drug.
Dr. Chris Wilkes, Alberta Health Services head of child and adolescent
psychiatry, said educators "need to ramp it up" in terms of creating
environments to ensure safety and informing youths about the health
effects of marijuana.
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Canada is moving closer to the legalization of recreational Cannabis
this summer. Federal legislation is awaiting Senate approval and all
the provinces have developed their implementation approach.
Governments across the country rarely agree on anything. But as we
embark on this change, they have been unanimous in agreeing that their
top policy objective is the protection of youth.
We know what the approaches and commitments have been from various
governments, so we are in a good position to know whether their
actions reflect their words. So far, the simple answer is no.
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Brighton - People consume marijuana because it relaxes them but the
prospect of its recreational use becoming legal is making police anxious.
"Anticipated issues" include "easier access for the youth population,"
impaired operation of vehicles, and the "facilitation of trafficking,"
OPP Detective-Sergeant Rick Dupuis said in a presentation to Brighton
council on the implications of the federal law that is to take effect
sometime after July 1.
"The provincial and federal governments indicate that this act was
introduced to minimize or mitigate accessibility to our young
population but in my professional opinion I believe that is ...
counterintuitive," he told council Feb. 20. "It's going to make it
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Medical marijuana added to health-insurance plan
Medical marijuana will soon be part of health insurance for students
at UBC Okanagan.
The one-year pilot program will begin in September. University of
Waterloo began a similar plan in 2014.
The idea was initiated by Michelle Thiessen, chairwoman of the
Okanagan chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and a
UBCO graduate student.
Without coverage for medical marijuana, students are left covering 100
per cent of the costs while still paying into the student health
insurance plan, she said.
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Following the death of her son Conner in 2013, Yvonne Clark has been
sharing her story with students and parents across the region.
In presentations to young people ranging from Grade 6 to Grade 12,
Clark talks about her family's experience, about the dangers of
fentanyl, and about the growing number of Albertans who have died of
What she hopes to include soon as part of that presentation is a
series of images that will put a face to the fentanyl statistics.
Clark is appealing to other Albertans who have lost a loved one to an
opioid overdose to send her a photo of the victim, with the aim of
educating young people across the province about the crisis.
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Dundas mom says 17-year-old is on 'lockdown' in home after
When his father roused his son from a drug-induced slumber, he flew
into a rage.
The 17-year-old ended up pulling a knife and locking his dad out in
the freezing cold.
Now, his parents take turns watching him - constantly.
"We just kind of keep him down on what we call 'lockdown,'" says his
mom, a school teacher who lives in Dundas.
Her son is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He has tried to kill
himself, been in and out of hospital, in homeless shelters and jail.
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A new multi-site study has found that children with attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to engage in substance
use than youngsters without the disorder and had higher rates of
marijuana and cigarette use going into adulthood.
The study's takeaway message, suggested lead author Brooke Molina,
should be that parents of children with ADHD need to keep in touch
with their children's activities and friends, even into the teenage
"They should keep their antenna up," said Molina, a psychiatry
professor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
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Langara journalism students attended the Jan. 18 Vancouver Police
When I'm not searching for the truth, or driving my sports-crazy kids
around the Lower Mainland -- or deciding whether my tea of the day
should be "super green matcha" or turmeric and ginger - I sometimes
impart my semi-mad journalism skills on Langara College students.
And sometimes, like last Thursday, those students join me on the
We attended a Vancouver Police Board meeting, where we heard Insp.
Bill Spearn of the VPD's major crime section tell us that overdose
deaths in the city are still at a crisis level - at least 335 people
are suspected of dying in 2017, with more than 80 per cent of the
deaths connected to fentanyl.
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Young adults responded to a voluntary survey about what they think
about the legalization of marijuana. Here's what they had to say:
These are some thoughts from some Prince Albert young people who were
asked a few questions about what they think about the soon to be
legalization of marijuana. I was interested and thought others might
be too. The students were given a 10-question written questionnaire.
They were aged 16 to 21.
When asked what its legalization meant to them personally, the
consensus was that it was a good idea and mainly because of what they
considered to be the medicinal values of the plant. They spoke of its
ability to help people with cancer, seizures, and anxiety. They felt
it could treat people with pain and stress. They felt it could calm
people down. They saw it as a natural product as it comes from a
plant. They saw its legalization as "freedom".
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Health Canada's consultation with Canadians on the regulation of
marijuana is down to its final days. But what exactly does the
government wants us to comment on?
Do officials want us to question the stated objectives? Or perhaps
they want us to ask why they're being dishonest about their
We're in the middle of an opioid crisis that has already killed
thousands of Canadians and will likely kill thousands more. That
clouds this conversation.
Yet our experience with other drugs and even ordinary consumer
products tells us that government regulations to protect public health
by ensuring product safety and quality control are extremely important.
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To help the local youth identify and avoid the decisions that can lead
to severe drug addiction, members of the Okanagan Correctional Centre
were at Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School last week to have a frank
discussion with the Grade 5, 6 and 7 students.
The conversation was led by assistant deputy warden Keith Pearce and
security officer Mitch Fritz, who spoke about their volunteer
experiences doing outreach in Vancouver's downtown Eastside. Joining
them on their missions are players from the Penticton Vees.
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