Marijuana: What's new?

October 12, 2016

Maureen Fitzgerald, Editor
ATTC Network Coordinating Office/NIATx


Marijuana continues to make headlines daily, and it can be hard to stay on top of the latest news about marijuana research, trends, and legalization. To help you stay in the know, we've collected some of the most recent and relevant resources and news items in one compact blog post.

1. "Does smoking marijuana make me stupid?"

Short answer: Yes.
Find this infographic and more on the
ATTC Network's Marijuana Lit page! 

A recent Canadian study adds to the body of research showing that marijuana does affect IQ. This is one study to turn to when talking to teens and others who think that marijuana is harmless.

Read more about it in this brief from Science Daily:
Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ

2. But it really won't hurt me. That's the prevailing attitude about marijuana among 12-17 year-olds in the U.S. today. Find out more about efforts to change teens' attitudes:
CAPT webinar focuses on changing youth perceptions of marijuana risk. 
And here's a link to the webinar recording:
Preventing Youth Marijuana Use: Changing Perception of Risk

Dr. Kari Franson tells more about marijuana's affect on teens (and their IQs) in this video in the ATTC Network's Marijuana Lit series: Youth and Families

And it's not just kids who think that: That's based on an analysis of National Survey on Drug Use and Health data collected from 2002 to 2014. Read all about it: Increasing number of US adults using marijuana as few people perceive the drug as harmful

And Dr. Wilson Compton tells more about how marijuana affects people young and old in the Marijuana Lit video: Marijuana's Effects on the Body.


3. It's a lot more potent than it used to be. This higher potency may be contributing to the increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits. See: New Study Shows How Marijuana's Potency Has Changed Over Time.

4. And then there are those "synthetics." Beth Rutkowski of the Pacific Southwest ATTC lays out the facts in this blog post: Just what are synthetic cannabinoids, and why are they so dangerous?

5. Doctors caught in the middle:  Some states that have legalized medical marijuana are now offering physicians training on medical marijuana. See: As States OK Medical Marijuana Laws, Doctors Struggle with Knowledge Gap, from Kaiser Health News.

The Marijuana Lit video, Marijuana and Medical Use, featuring Dr. Tom Freese of the Pacific Southwest ATTC, could answer some of their questions.  

6. It'll  still land you in jail, especially if you're not white. A study published by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch shows that arrests for small amounts of marijuana are on the rise, and that more African Americans than whites face arrest for possession small amounts.
Read more: Marijuana arrests outnumber those for violent crimes.

7. Crossing state lines: Colorado's legalization of marijuana has increased marijuana use in its neighboring state, Kansas, where it remains illegal, according to a report released by the Kansas Attorney General.  Read all about it: Colorado's legalization of marijuana has changed the way the drug is used in Kansas, AG reports.

And speaking of legalization: 

8. Did you know? "Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form." Check out the State Marijuana Laws Map

9. But wait, there could be more: Five More States Could Legalize  Recreational Marijuana on Election Day

And  yes, there's an ATTC Network resource for that: 

10. Marijuana Lit: Consequences of Legalization: the latest video in our Marijuana Lit series features Dr. Rosalie Pacula, Director of the Bing Center for Health Economics at the Rand Corporation. Watch now!

11. More are for than against it. This just in from the Pew Research Center:  57% of U.S. adults favor legalization. Read all about it: Support increases for marijuana legalization


12. But what is it like to be a treatment provider in a state that has legalized marijuana? In the latest issue of The Bridge, editor-in-chief Dr. Paul Roman of the University of Georgia, interviews five addiction treatment professionals from the state of Washington.  If you don't currently receive The Bridge, subscribe now!


How has marijuana legalization affected your treatment agency or your practice? Share your story in the comment section below! 




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