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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Timothy Durden Jr. made it a habit to throw his arms around his
grandmother, plant a big kiss on her cheek and proclaim, "I love you,
The former Park Hill High School basketball and football player had a
passion for joking, dancing, lifting weights.
But the 18-year-old also enjoyed "smoking his weed," family wrote in
his obituary, and that habit cost him his life when he allegedly tried
to rob the teenager who was selling him 2 ounces of marijuana in the
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SALT LAKE CITY -- The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah
and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country,
further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing
in the United States.
If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states
that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the
pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine
of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization
where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could
become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.
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"My uncle is prescribed marijuana."
"My parents use it, and they're doing fine."
As a drug prevention specialist who does in-school presentations in
the U.S., as well as internationally, Zach Levin has seen the problem
firsthand: Teens know that recreational use is legal in states such as
Colorado and that medical use is on the rise, and they're using that
information to support the old argument that a little weed never hurt
And starting today, Illinois teens have one more argument: In a
symbolic win for legalization forces that did not change local laws,
Cook County residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational
marijuana use by a wide margin Tuesday, with 68 percent in favor and
32 percent against.
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WEST BRIDGEWATER - The class had covered bullying, Internet safety,
and good decision-making, and by February, Officer Kenneth Thaxter
could see that the sixth-graders were ready.
The lights went off, and the projector went on.
"Today," the DARE officer said, "we're going to talk about marijuana."
For 16 years, every elementary school student in this small town has
learned about drugs from Thaxter. But this year, his lesson needed to
change, and he was about to find out whether the students knew why.
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FRANKFORT -- Four law enforcement officials and a doctor urged state
lawmakers Tuesday to say no to a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.
For more than an hour, opponents of House Bill 166 told members of the
House Judiciary Committee the ills they see in it.
Their predictions about passage of the measure included an increase in
crime, creation of trafficking problems along the state's borders, an
enhancement of economic and social costs, temptations of children to
use marijuana and uncertain physical outcomes over long-term usage.
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The Rothman Institute at Jefferson, one of the nation's largest
orthopedic practices, announced Thursday it would collaborate on a
study to investigate the benefits of medical marijuana for patients
suffering from chronic and acute pain.
Rothman will work with Franklin BioScience, a Colorado-based cannabis
grower and retailer. Franklin BioScience expects to open a medical
marijuana dispensary in late-March called Beyond Hello in Bristol
Township, Bucks County.
"There's a link between access to cannabis and reduced opioid
overdoses," said physician Ari Greis, a Rothman pain management
specialist who will oversee the research. "We're all being cautiously
optimistic that it could be helpful to some of our patients. Because
we're leaders in orthopedic medicine, we feel this is an opportunity
we can't pass up."
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Broward County Schools are hashing out plans for dealing with medical
marijuana on campus.
Under a proposed policy, students wouldn't be allowed to carry pot and
it could not be stored on campus. But a student's parent or caregiver
could bring it to school and administer it if the child has the proper
School staff would be not be allowed to handle it.
Pot use has long been banned on school campuses, but Florida voters
legalized it for medical purposes in 2016. The state Legislature last
year required schools to come up with a policy on dealing with it.
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Even before California legalized recreational marijuana Jan. 1, pot
was enjoying a gray renaissance.
From 2006 to 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported
a 250% rise in marijuana use by Americans 65 and older. It is still a
small share, climbing from 0.4% to 1.4% of that population, but local
dispensaries see plenty of silver-haired shoppers.
"This is probably the most interested -- and wariest -- group," said
Lincoln Fish, chief executive of cannabis company Outco, noting that
the average customer at his Outliers Collective in El Cajon is over 58
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A Philly nurse on safe injection sites
"You want me to do what?" "Where's your compassion?" "What a waste of
resources!" "I have an obligation to help people stay healthy."
These are conflicting responses I imagine nurses and health-care
professionals may have when asked to provide care at safe injection
sites, places where people can use drugs under medical supervision.
There aren't any such sites right now. But the City of Philadelphia
announced that it will encourage setting them up. Should health-care
professionals participate? It's a dilemma wrought with ethical, moral,
legal, and regulatory issues and more questions than answers. As a
nurse, I can understand and appreciate both sides.
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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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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Officials at an Albuquerque charter school
say a fifth-grader mistook her parents' medicinal marijuana for candy
and passed it out to other students.
KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, reports the Albuquerque School of
Excellence student handed out the pot edibles last week before
teachers noticed her acting strangely.
Kristy Del Curto, Dean of Elementary Students, says that student also
complained she couldn't see.
Del Curto says three students ate one gummy and the student who passed
out the candy ate three or four pieces.
Pot gummies can be two to 100 times more potent than traditional
Del Curto says school officials called 911 and paramedics monitored
all the students to make sure they were not having dangerous reactions.
5th-graders thought they ate ordinary gummies. But then the room
One student passed out.
Another fifth-grader said she couldn't see.
A third started to feel extremely dizzy.
"I felt like the room was going to flip to the side," a 9-year-old
student at Albuquerque School of Excellence in New Mexico told KRQE.
It didn't take the 8- and 9-year-olds -- or the principal of the school,
for that matter -- long to figure out why the students were reeling last
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Police in Hingham are investigating after a student at the South Shore
Educational Collaborative School allegedly supplied classmates with
cookies that were laced with marijuana, officials said Monday.
According to a public notice posted to the department's website,
police were called to the school Thursday, after the student, who
wasn't named in the report, had distributed the cookies to at least
five other people.
Police said the students who ate the cookies, who were between the
ages of 16 and 17, were "evaluated by a school nurse who believed the
students were under the influence of marijuana."
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In a case that could have far-reaching implications, parents of an
elementary school student who has leukemia are suing a
Schaumburg-based school district and the state of Illinois for the
right for her to take medical marijuana at school.
Plaintiffs identified only as J.S. and M.S., parents of A.S., filed
suit Wednesday claiming that the state's ban on taking the drug at
school is unconstitutional because it denies the right to due process
and violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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An Indiana high school teacher was arrested on drug charges Wednesday
after her students said they saw her using cocaine in her classroom.
Lake Central High School junior Will Rogers told WGN9 he shot video of
the incident through a classroom window.
"She's in the corner, hiding with a chair and a book and what appears
to be cocaine, putting it into lines," Rogers told the TV station.
"When I actually watched the footage again and again and I just
realized that my english teacher just did cocaine."
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California companies would be prohibited from selling marijuana
edibles made in the shape of a person, animal, insect or fruit under a
measure given final legislative approval Thursday and sent to the
governor for consideration.
"We are trying to protect children," said Assemblyman Rudy Salas
(D-Bakersfield), who authored AB 350.
Lawmakers said marijuana edibles have been made in the past to look
like gummy bears or miniature pineapples. In April, some middle school
students in San Diego got sick after a classmate sold them
marijuana-laced gummy bears.
The state plans to begin issuing licenses for the sale of recreational
marijuana to people 21 and older in January, so lawmakers have
introduced several bills aimed at preventing pot from being marketed
Democrat Larry Krasner, the front-runner to become Philadelphia's next
district attorney, says he supports city-sanctioned spaces where
people addicted to heroin can inject drugs under medical supervision
and access treatment, a move advocates see as a promising step toward
making the city the first in the U.S. to open such a site.
His Republican opponent, Beth Grossman, says she's open to discussions
on the matter.
For those on the front lines of the heroin crisis in Philadelphia,
both are encouraging stances in a political arena where the idea can
still be dismissed out of hand. But recently, cities across the
country have begun to consider the possibility of instituting
supervised injection sites; several nations, including Canada, have
used the approach for years.
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Just six days after her 28-year-old son died from a heroin overdose,
the president of the Pennsbury school board wept as she thanked her
colleagues for unanimously approving an ambitious new $149,000
antidrug program aimed at fighting an opioid epidemic that has ravaged
young grads in their Lower Bucks County community.
"Thank you all for doing this - now more than ever it means the world
to me," a tearful Jacqueline Redner said immediately after the vote.
After a decadelong battle with addiction, her son Josh was found dead
in a motel room on Sept. 13.
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BOSTON -- Marijuana legalization opponents will outnumber supporters
four to one on the new commission that will spearhead the state's
efforts to get a legal marijuana industry up and running by next
summer and then regulate the newly legal market.
Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday appointed Britte McBride, a
lawyer with experience working for the attorney general's office, the
state Senate and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security,
to the newly minted Cannabis Control Commission, and joined Gov.
Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg in agreeing on two picks
to round out the five-person panel.
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