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States welcome legalization, but questions remain



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By Shamard Charles, MD

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8 was a banner year for the legal marijuana industry as the national market for weeds skyrocketed and five other states legalized it widespread popular support.

This year, Vermont and Michigan were legalized as the ninth and tenth states to legalize recreational marijuana, which is also legal in the District of Columbia. And voters in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah overwhelmingly approved electoral measures that make medical marijuana legal. This means that 33 states and the DC are now approving the illicit drug for medical use, raising the question of whether the US will follow Canada's lead in legalizing marijuana nationwide. In 1969, legalization for recreational use in New York and New Jersey seems imminent.

The wave of legalization is taking place as recent polls show that nearly two-thirds of Americans support twice the respondents in 2000. Investors are also noticing, and this year, North American industries have invested an estimated $ 10 billion.

Nevertheless, medical researchers continue to warn against their use, as little is known about the effects on health. Here is an overview of what we learned about marijuana and marijuana based products in 2018.

Today's weed is stronger than the

of yesterday – tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana and is commonly used as a measure of potency. In the last decade, the amount of THC in marijuana has steadily increased in the United States, and in terms of a legal market, the change has been more dramatic.

A study published in 2016 investigated over 38,000 police seized marijuana samples Drug Enforcement Administration from 1995 to 2014. The average THC level in 1995 was around 4 percent. By 2014, it had risen to 12 percent.

Recently harvested marijuana buds. Rich Pedroncelli / AP File

A legal market is located in Washington State. "The average potency of the Washington licensed flower product is over 20 percent, and the average potency of extract-based products – such as pen oils, swabs, and the like – is 70 percent," said Jonathan Caulkins, a drug policy researcher and Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Pot Use Affects Teenagers' Thinking Capacity

"Our studies have shown that cannabis leads to cognitive impairment and delayed cognitive development in adolescents," said Patricia Conrod, a professor of psychiatry The University of Montreal and a longtime researcher on marijuana and the brain.

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that marijuana was more damaging to teenagers' long-term cognitive abilities than alcohol. After the students reported stopping, si her perception is not.


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