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Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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Pot-related arrests of Black youth jump 58%; arrests of Hispanic kids rise 29%
May 20, 2016
Contact: Jeffrey Zinsmeister
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[WASHINGTON, DC] - A recent report from the Colorado Department of Public Safety reveals that marijuana-related arrests of Black and Hispanic youth increased sharply in the two years following legalization, belying claims by legalization advocates that such policies would promote racial justice.
Overall arrests of minors for marijuana jumped 5 percent from 2012 to 2014.  Unfortunately, youth of color shouldered the entire burden of this increase. 
While arrests of underage Whites dropped 8 percent in this timeframe, arrests of Hispanics rose 29 percent, and arrests of Black youth shot up 58 percent.


"The data is in, and it shows that once again legalization advocates are only paying lip service to racial justice questions to advance the agenda of the marijuana industry," said Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of SAM.  "They sold legalization to the voters as a solution to racial injustice, but more youth of color are now being arrested for pot, not fewer."
Jo McGuire, co-chair of SAM's Colorado affiliate and president & CEO of 5 Minutes of Courage, a Colorado advocacy group for drug-free communities, workplaces, and youth, said, "It's time for Colorado leadership to recognize that the promise of tax revenue is not worth the cost to our most vulnerable communities.  Our top priority should be public health and safety, not addiction for profit."
William Jones III, leader of Two Is Enough - DC, a movement of diverse Washington, DC, residents concerned about the scourge of a third legal recreational drug, added, "This information comes just months after a Denver Post exposé revealing how pot businesses have concentrated themselves in low-income communities of color.  At the end of the day, the pot industry just wants to make money.  And if the history of the tobacco industry teaches us anything, they will focus on the disadvantaged and underprivileged to boost their bottom line."
For more information about marijuana policy, please visit website

About SAM
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in 31 states.

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Authors Kelley ME, Wan CR, Broussard B, Crisafio A, Cristofaro S, Johnson S, Reed TA, Amar P, Kaslow NJ, Walker EF, Compton MT.


Several studies suggest that adolescent marijuana use predicts earlier age at onset of schizophrenia, which is a crucial prognostic indicator. Yet, many investigations have not adequately established a clear temporal relationship between the use and onset.

We enrolled 247 first-episode psychosis patients from six psychiatric units and collected data on lifetime marijuana/alcohol/tobacco use, and ages at onset of prodrome and psychosis in 210 of these patients. Cox regression (survival analysis) was employed to quantify hazard ratios (HRs) for effects of diverse premorbid use variables on psychosis onset.

Escalation of premorbid use in the 5years prior to onset was highly predictive of an increased risk for onset (e.g., increasing from no use to daily use, HR=3.6, p<0.0005). Through the analysis of time-specific measures, we determined that daily use approximately doubled the rate of onset (HR=2.2, p<0.0005), even after controlling for simultaneous alcohol/tobacco use. Building on previous studies, we were able to determine that cumulative marijuana exposure was associated with an increased rate of onset of psychosis (p=0.007), independent of gender and family history, and this is possibly the reason for age at initiation of marijuana use also being associated with rate of onset in this cohort.

These data provide evidence of a clear temporal relationship between escalations in use in the five years pre-onset and an increased rate of onset, demonstrate that the strength of the association is similar pre- and post-onset of prodromal symptoms, and determine that early adult use may be just as important as adolescent use in these associations.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Parekh JD, Wozniak SE, Khan K, Dutta SK.


The antiemetic properties of marijuana are well known, but there is increasing evidence of its paradoxical hyperemetic effects on the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system, known as 'cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome' (CHS). We report a case of CHS encountered in our outpatient clinic. We also completed a review of the literature using PubMed in patients over 18 years of age with CHS. Understanding the diagnostic criteria and risk factors associated with CHS may reduce the ordering of unnecessary and expensive investigations, and pursuing inappropriate medical and surgical treatments. Ultimately, abstaining from cannabis use leads to resolution of symptoms in the majority of patients.

For more information  

2016 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

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There are echoes of Levy Thamba’s death in the story of a 16-year-old student in Seattle who jumped to his death after trying marijuana for the first time.  The Seattle Police Department ruled that the death of Hamza Warsame was an accident.   He had gone to the 6th floor apartment of an older classmate to work on a project.  After having marijuana, he became “frantic,” went out on the balcony and fell off the building.

Hamza Warsame’s death follows that of Levy Thamba,Luke Goodman and Justin Bondi, youths whose tragic deaths have been linked to marijuana.

Each of these deaths occurred after marijuana was legalized with commercial marijuana sales in Washington or Colorado.   Warsame was not old enough to legally purchase marijuana, but his classmate was 21 and had purchased it legally.   Last year CBS News Denver did a report on marijuana intoxication deaths which occurred before marijuana became legal in Colorado.

THC, not Anti-Islamic Hate Crime

The Seattle Police Department  announced on May 10 that the death of Warsame was the result of a fall that followed his first use of marijuana.   His death on Dec. 5 drew national attention andsparked speculation that he might have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime.

The Seattle Police Department report has details of their  investigation, which came to the same conclusion as the King County Medical Examiner’s Office did in January.   The toxicology screen found “relatively high levels” of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the  psychoactive element of marijuana, in Warsame’s system.  In Washington, smoked forms of marijuana average more than 20% THC….
Wrongful Death Suit Against Marijuana Businesses

The lawsuit claims that the company that made the marijuana edible and the store that sold the candy to Richard Kirk recklessly and purposefully failed to warn him about the bite-sized candy’s potency and side effects — including hallucinations and other psychotic behaviors.   Kristine Kirk had called 911 for help, but it was too late.
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By Heidi Heilman | March 3, 2016, 14:23 EDT


articles addictions


We have, for some time, known that the more marijuana there is in our communities, the more opiate and heroin use rises. Now, brain science is beginning to explain why.

Studies reveal that the cannabinoid-opioid systems of the brain are intimately connected. There is a functional interaction between the mu and Cb1 receptors of the brain and these receptors commonly exist together on brain cells. In the areas of the brain where cannabinoids bind, opioids bind as well. If you modify one system, you automatically change the other.

The mechanism is not yet well understood.  With marijuana research, we are where we were in the 1920s and 30s with tobacco research linking smoking to cancer. More research is needed. But, ultimately, cannabinoids and opioids are known to strictly interact in many physiological and pathological functions, including addiction. Overall, evidence confirms a neurobiological convergence of the cannabinoid and opioid systems that is manifest at both receptor and behavioral levels

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