Colorado, Washington, Nevada, and Massachusetts Post Increases in Youth Use Over Previous Year
(Alexandria, VA) - Today, state-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), finds that marijuana use in "legal" states among youth, young adults, and the general population continued its multi-year upward trend in several categories.
Additionally, use rates in "legal" states continue to drastically outstrip the use in states that have not legalized the drug. Highlights include:
Past-month marijuana use among young people aged 18-25 in "legal" states has increased 8 percent in the last year (30.94% versus 28.62%). Use in this age group is 50 percent higher in "legal" states than in non-legal states (30.94% versus 20.66%).
Past-month youth use (aged 12-17) in states with commercial sales continued its recent upward trend. Since last year, "legal" Washington experienced the largest surge in past month youth use with an 11 percent increase (9.94% versus 8.96%). Colorado experienced a four percent increase (9.39% versus 9.02%).
Massachusetts overtook Colorado as the top-ranking state for overall first-time use, which is now number two.
Past-month youth use in "legal" states is 40% higher than in non-legal states (8.92% versus 6.26%). Past-year youth use in "legal" states is roughly 30% higher than in non-legal states (15.82% versus 12.10%).
First-time youth use in "legal" states is 30% higher than non-legal states (6.96% versus 5.38%)
"This data show the marijuana industry is achieving its goal of hooking our kids on today's highly potent marijuana," said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. "As we learned just this week from the Monitoring the Future survey, the number of young people who perceive marijuana as being harmful is at a historic low. Given the recent data linking high potency marijuana with serious mental health issues, addiction, and future substance abuse, this is extremely concerning. We call on Congress and the President now to stop helping the pot industry and commence a science based information campaign about the dangers of today's marijuana products."
Research has shown that the adolescent brain - particularly the part of the brain that regulates planning for complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making and social behavior - is not fully developed until the early to mid-20s. Developing brains are especially susceptible to all of the negative effects of marijuana and other drug use. Given the drastic increase in marijuana use we are witnessing in this age group in "legalized" states, there should be great cause for concern.
"This data, combined with yesterday's Monitoring the Future study, and the statements from the overwhelming majority of doctors, educators, substance abuse professionals and parents, must be our guide to changing the current discourse," continued Dr. Sabet. "We cannot allow Big Marijuana to continue to deceive the American people for their bottom line."
Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:1874-1878 DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.919545 CASE REPORT: We report a death of an 11-day-old white female neonate due to acute marijuana toxicity. She died of extensive necrosis and hemorrhage of the liver and adrenals due to maternal use of marijuana. CONCLUSIONS: This case is unique in that other possible causes of death can be eliminated. With growing use of marijuana by pregnant women and increases in newborn drug screening of umbilical cord homogenate, more cases of neonatal death due to acute marijuana toxicity could be discovered.
The following (not publicly reported) heinous drug-induced behaviour happened in Pueblo, Colorado earlier November 2019
A young man who used a cannabis wax and then experienced an excited delirium episode in which he ran in on coming traffic swinging a metal rod at cars. He was tazed and tackled by police and came in with 3 police officers and 5 paramedics working to hold him down. Prior to arrival EMS had given him 50 mg of diphenhydramine, 5 mg of Haldol, and 2 mg of Versed and he continued to be that combative. On arrival here he took all of the aforementioned personnel plus 3 of our security officers to hold and move him to the bed and hold him down. I gave 10 mg of Versed with plans to likely need to intubate him. He became more relaxed and calm following, never required intubation. UDS only positive for cannabis. He developed rhabdo and was admitted to the peds service for this following.
Patient was 17 years old
“High potency” is typically 10-12% THC. That simply does not exist in Colorado. It’s too weak.
Our kids have access to 17-20% THC easily to smoke as well as concentrates pushing 40-60% THC as well as the wax/shatters which are 90%+ THC. Easily and readily available to adolescents in Colorado.
We are at a tipping point in the US with our kids using these products.
“Calls to make dope as freely available as cigarettes or alcohol are gathering support but ignore the real harm it does!”Clare Foges (Journalist – London Times 25.11.19)
…highlighting hospitalisations and how ‘those tormented by devils today tend to seek sanctuary in the local A&E, where admissions for psychosis have been rising’. An omission in this otherwise tour de force was any mention of the gulag of over-subscribed secure mental health units. Psychiatrists have called them cannabis dependency units, and they are populated largely by irreversibly damaged young male psychotics, betraying the fact that this is not an equal opportunities illness. Young men are the main victims of cannabis….
Further to the comment article “Legalisation of cannabis is a fool’s crusade” (Nov 25), Clare Foges is right that the highest incidence of people presenting with their first episode of psychosis in the 16 regions we studied across Europe was in south London; 30 per cent of those Londoners who developed psychosis would not have done so had they not smoked high-potency cannabis. The only place where high-potency cannabis accounted for a greater proportion of psychotic patients was in Amsterdam, where 50 per cent of psychosis cases were attributable to high-potency cannabis. The reason for the higher figure in Amsterdam is that in the UK skunk contains on average 14-16 per cent THC. However, in Amsterdam, one can buy Nederweit at 30 per cent THC or Nederhasj at 60 per cent.
This illustrates a general trend: legalising cannabis is generally followed by an increase in potency. Indeed, in Colorado, the first US state to legalise cannabis, one can now buy “shatter” or “wax dabs” containing 70 per cent or more THC. As the risk of psychosis increases with the potency of the cannabis used, any government considering legalising cannabis for recreational purposes should factor in the extra costs which will be needed to pay more psychiatrists to look after the casualties.
Sir Robin Murray, FRS (Professor of psychiatric research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London)
Dr. Karen Randall trained in family medicine, pediatrics and emergency medicine.
She worked at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit teaching emergency medicine in a large academic program and was teacher of the year several times.
Dr. Karen is part of a large emergency medicine group called Southern Colorado Emergency Medicine Associates (SCEMA). She is both chairman of the board of SCEMA, and the Vice President of case management.
With regards to cannabis - Dr. Karen is certified in Cannabis Science & Medicine through the University of Vermont. She has spoken internationally and across the US about the harms of cannabis.
Dr. Karen recently published an article about emergency medicine presentations in Missouri Medicine.
In her spare time, Dr. Karen, takes care of medically needy rescue dachshunds that no one wants. She says they are a handful, but they keep her grounded.
Lynn Riemer (A.C.T. on Drugs)
Lynn Riemer has a regional and National reputation as a speaker, trainer, and advocate on the issues related to substance abuse.
As an experienced chemist (DEA) and prior member of the North Metro Drug Task Force in Colorado, her experience and engaging style brings a real, personal, and vivid face to the issues presented by illicit drug use.
Lynn speaks regularly with students, community child advocacy groups, industrial and professional groups, and employees of local and State governmental agencies. She addresses drug awareness, recognition, and prevention.
While working with the North Metro Drug Task Force she developed intensive programs used to train emergency and community service workers in the handling of hazardous waste and the management of clandestine labs.
Additionally, she has been a member of governmental committees to create regulations for meth clean up in the state of Colorado.
Lynn has co-chaired the Drug Endangered Children program, as well as worked to create new laws protecting children who are living in homes where meth is manufactured.
She is a co-author of the book “The Methamphetamine Crisis: Strategies to Save Addicts, Families, and Communities” and received the Community Champion for Children Award from Adams & Broomfield CASA in 2010.
In 2018 Lynn received the 7Everyday Hero Award (presented to Coloradans who are making a difference in their community).