“It’s just so difficult… you wouldn’t know."
Megha Varier| Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Being fired from his job in May was a wake-up call that permeated through the relaxed mellowness induced by the marijuana Devank was hooked to. “I realized I had to get my act together before it was too late,” Devank says.
Devank smoked pot for the first time during a college fest at the age of 19, giving in to his friends’ cajoling. After that first time, it became a weekend affair, but soon, he was cutting classes to smoke up with his friends.
More than Samuel and Devank, Samar’s case shows that addiction is not simplistic and neither is it easy to give up. Samar has been in and out of rehab for about five years and hooked to marijuana for nearly 10.
“It’s just so difficult… you wouldn’t know,” he says. “When you are in rehab, it is not difficult to divert your mind to other activities, say reading or yoga. But it’s when you’re out, that you don’t have the courage to withstand the urge. Sometimes you go with the flow, and the flow needn’t be in the right direction,” he laughs lightly.
Asked about the first time he did drugs, Samar chuckles. “Curiosity kills the cat, isn’t it?” But this time, things are different. He had been hospitalised and was heavily sedated when he was taken to rehab. "Life might give you a couple of chances, but will not keep giving you chances for the same mistake. When I see my family's support even after all these years, I have no choice other than to hope that this time would be different," he says, sounding determined.
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If you’re pregnant or planning to be, tobacco and alcohol are high on the list of things not to use. But do we need an equally loud message about avoiding cannabis too?
Yes, say some Australian researchers who’ve linked cannabis smoking both before and during pregnancy to a higher risk of preterm birth – and possibly an increased risk of birth defects. It’s a message that should make would-be dads prick up their ears too. Some studies have already found a higher risk of health problems and childhood cancer in the children of fathers who smoke cigarettes. Now research from the University of Western Australia suggests that smoking cannabis can damage sperm’s DNA, potentially increasing the risk of birth defects and childhood cancer.
But let’s start with preterm births. In May, a University of Adelaide study of 5,600 women linked smoking pot up until the 20th week of pregnancy to a fivefold increase in preterm births.The study, led by Professor Claire Roberts from the University’s Robinson Research Institute, followed women from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK and builds on earlier research from the Institute that found that women who used cannabis before pregnancy were twice as likely to have a preterm birth.
“We’re confident that marijuana shouldn’t be used in pregnancy and it’s important that the message gets out there,” says Professor Roberts. “This new study suggests that, over all, more than six per cent of preterm births could have been prevented if women didn’t use marijuana,” she said. “Among the Australian women in the study where there was a higher proportion of marijuana users, almost 12 per cent of preterm births could have been prevented.”
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Author: Robert L. DuPont, M.D.
It comes as no surprise that the prevalence of marijuana use has significantly increased over the last decade. With marijuana legal for recreational use in four states and the District of Columbia and for medical use in an additional 31 states, the public perception about marijuana has shifted, with more people reporting that they support legalization. However, there is little public awareness, and close to zero media attention, to the near-doubling of past year marijuana use nationally among adults age 18 and older and the corresponding increase in problems related to its use. Because the addiction rate for marijuana remains stable—with about one in three past year marijuana users experiencing a marijuana use disorder—the total number of Americans with marijuana use disorders also has significantly increased.
It is particularly disturbing that the public is unaware of the fact that of all Americans with substance use disorders due to drugs other than alcohol, nearly 60 percent are due to marijuana. That means that more Americans are addicted to marijuana than any other drug, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and the nonmedical use of prescription drugs.
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(putting new spin on the term ‘THICK as a BRICK’!)
“Compared with unexposed children, those who were prenatally exposed to cannabis had a thicker prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain involved in complex cognition, decision-making, and working memory.
Author of the study Dr. Hanan El Marroun, of Erasmus University Medical Center in The Netherlands, said: "this study is important because cannabis use during pregnancy is relatively common and we know very little about the potential consequences of cannabis exposure during pregnancy and brain development later in life."
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BY MEGAN ARELLANO ON 06/12/2015 -
Andrew Freedman, Colorado's director of marijuana coordination, said Thursday that most of the money from marijuana is going to the cost of legalization.
“You do not legalize for taxation. It is a myth. You are not going to pave streets. You are not going to be able to pay teachers,” Andrew Freedman, director of Marijuana Coordination for Colorado, said on Boston Herald Radio yesterday. “The big red herring is the whole thing that the tax revenue will solve a bunch of crises. But it won’t.”
Then the Herald asked a Massachusetts lawmaker who wants to legalize marijuana about Freedman's assertions. State Rep. David Rogers maintained that legalization will "raise some revenue." He offered no specifics, according to the paper.
If you're going to legalize pot, Freedman says, legislative action is preferable to a voter initiative like Colorado's.