Tag Archives: Alcohol

Marijuana and Other Drugs: A Link We Can’t Ignore

by SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)   Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s 2017 publication references academic studies which suggest that marijuana primes the brain for other types of drug usage.  Here’s the summary on that subject from page 4, Marijuana and Other Drugs: A Link We Can’t Ignore :

MORE THAN FOUR in 10 people who ever use marijuana will go on to use other illicit drugs, per a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.(1) The CDC also says that marijuana users are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin.(2)

Although 92% of heroin users first used marijuana before going to heroin, less than half used painkillers before going to heroin.

And according to the seminal 2017 National Academy of Sciences report, “There is moderate evidence of a statistical association between cannabis use and the development of substance dependence and/or a substance abuse disorder for substances including alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs.”(3)

RECENT STUDIES WITH animals also indicate that marijuana use is connected to use and abuse of other drugs. A 2007 Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology study found that rats given THC later self administered heroin as adults, and increased their heroin usage, while those rats that had not been treated with THC maintained a steady level of heroin intake.(4) Another 2014 study found that adolescent THC exposure in rats seemed to change the rodents’ brains, as they subsequently displayed “heroin-seeking” behavior. Youth marijuana use could thus lead to “increased vulnerability to drug relapse in adulthood.”(5)

National Institutes of Health Report

The National Institutes of Health says that research in this area is “consistent with animal experiments showing THC’s ability to ‘prime’ the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs. For example, rats previously administered THC show heightened behavioral response not only when further exposed to THC, but also when exposed to other drugs such as morphine—a phenomenon called cross-sensitization.”(6)

Suggestions that one addictive substance replaces another ignores the problem of polysubstance abuse, the common addiction of today.

ADDITIONALLY, THE MAJORITY of studies find that marijuana users are often polysubstance users, despite a few studies finding limited evidence that some people substitute marijuana for opiate medication. That is, people generally do not substitute marijuana for other drugs. Indeed, the National Academy of Sciences report found that “with regard to opioids, cannabis use predicted continued opioid prescriptions 1 year after injury.  Finally, cannabis use was associated with reduced odds of achieving abstinence from alcohol, cocaine, or polysubstance use after inpatient hospitalization and treatment for substance use disorders” [emphasis added].(7)

Moreover, a three-year 2016 study of adults also found that marijuana compounds problems with alcohol. Those who reported marijuana use during the first wave of the survey were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an alcohol use disorder within three years.(8) Similarly, alcohol consumption in Colorado has increased slightly since legalization. (9)

Data on Marijuana Policy for 2017

Here’s the complete Data on Marijuana Policy for 2017 in pdf form.

FOOTNOTES:

  1. Secades-Villa R, Garcia-Rodríguez O, Jin CJ, Wang S, Blanco C Probability and predictors of the cannabis gateway effect: a national study. Int J Drug Policy. 2015;26(2):135-142

2. Centers for Disease Control. Today’s heroin epidemic Infographics more people at risk, multiple drugs abused. CDC, 7 July 2015.

3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health andPublic Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda (“2017 NAS Report”).

4. Ellgren, Maria et al. “Adolescent Cannabis Exposure Alters Opiate Intake and Opioid Limbic Neuronal Populations in Adult Rats.”Neuropsychopharmacology 32.3 (2006): 607–615.

5. Stropponi, Serena et al. Chronic THC during adolescence increases the vulnerability to stress-induced relapse to heroin seeking in adult rats. European Neuropsychopharmacology Volume 24 , Issue 7 (2014), 1037 – 1045.

6. “Is marijuana a gateway drug?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Jan. 2017. See also Panlilio LV, Zanettini C, Barnes C, Solinas M, Goldberg SR. Prior exposure to THC increases the addictive effects of nicotine in rats. Neuropsychopharmacol Off Publ Am Coll Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013;38(7):1198-1208; Cadoni C, Pisanu A, Solinas M, Acquas E, Di Chiara G. Behavioural sensitization after repeated exposure to Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cross-sensitization with morphine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001;158(3):259-266.

7.  2017 NAS report.

8.  Weinberger AH, Platt J, Goodwin RD. Is cannabis use associated with an increased risk of onset and persistence of alcohol use disorders? A three-year prospective study among adults in the United States. Drug Alcohol Depend. February 2016.

This is the second recent article on the gateway effects of marijuana use.   Since marijuana has already primed the brains of most people who get addicted to opioids, marijuana cannot replace pain pills.

marijuana truths

Putting the Legalizers to the Pinocchio Test

10 Marijuana Truths

Parents Opposed to Pot’s mission is to bust the myths about marijuana. Below, we tackle the lies told by marijuana promoters by shedding light on the truths.  Informed parents and their children should learn these truths to counter the most popular lies.

1) It causes death. The most frequent types of deaths are suicide, murder, traffic fatalities and child abuse deaths.  Just because toxic overdose from pot is rare doesn’t mean that deaths don’t occur. BRAIN DAMAGE is quantitative too. A doctor from the Netherlands, Dr. Martien Kooyman, said chronic marijuana use is “more dangerous than chronic heroin use.” 

2) Marijuana is NOT safer than Alcohol. The percentage of adults age 21 and over who use marijuana in the U.S. is roughly between 10% and 13%, vs. 65% who use alcohol. Around 10-15% of drinkers have a substance use disorder, vs. 30% of marijuana users who have Cannabis Use Disorder. If people use marijuana to the extent they use alcohol, the damage will surpass the damage caused by alcohol.

In 2010, there were 450,000 emergency treatments from marijuana. The rate of marijuana use has quadrupled in the last 20 years. It is the second most common substance, after alcohol, involved in D.U.I. incidents.  M.A.D.D. states that drugged driving deaths will soon surpass drunk driving deaths by 2020, if current rates continue. When a Lie Travels explains why marijuana is not safer than alcohol.

3) It is Addictive. Since denial is a characteristic of addiction, marijuana addicts often don’t know they’re addicted. The older studies showed an addiction rate of 9%  for adults and 17%  for teen who smoked pot.  They do not account for the high THC pot of today. Recent studies show that about 30% of current users in the U.S. have Cannabis Use Disorder.

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Marijuana-Truth

Filmmaker Explains the Marijuana Truth

Filmmaker Sets Record Straight in Statement About Marijuana

by Jody Belsher, filmmaker, The Other Side of Cannabis

TOP TEN THINGS marijuana enthusiasts say to defend this psychoactive drug:
1. It’s natural
2. It cures cancer, cannabis is good for anxiety and depression
3. It’s never killed anyone
4. I have studies to prove how good it is.
5. The anti-pot people are all prohibitionists, propagandists
6. It’s safer than alcohol
7. What’s the big deal already, let’s just legalize
8. Marijuana will make a lot of money from taxes
9. The Cartel will go away if we legalize
10. We imprison 1000’s of people from marijuana not being legal Continue reading

How Did I Miss Those Signs?

My Kids and their Friends are Dying Faster than my Friends

Everyone I know that has lost a child tells me they first used cannabis. The numbers of young people I know that have died that were friends of my children between 15 and 30, including my daughter, all began with smoking marijuana.  And their numbers are greater than the number of my friends that have died and I graduated in 1962. My daughter died at 28. Continue reading