Why pot-smoking declines, but doesn’t end, with parenthood

Adults who smoke marijuana often cut back after becoming parents — but they don’t necessarily quit. The influence of a significant other and positive attitudes toward the drug overall, in addition to the onset of parenthood, also are factors in whether someone uses marijuana.

Cannabis use in people with epilepsy revealed: Australian survey

The first Australian nationwide survey on the experiences and opinions of medicinal cannabis use in people with epilepsy has revealed that 14 per cent of people with epilepsy have used cannabis products as a way to manage seizures. The study showed that of those with a history of cannabis product use, 90 per cent of adults and 71 per cent of parents of children with epilepsy reported success in managing seizures after commencing using cannabis products.

Using medical marijuana to stop seizures in kids

Desperate for relief, parents are taking unusual steps to help children plagued with seizures. The relief, however, comes in a most unlikely form: marijuana.

Washington Post: Can We Prescribe Medical Marijuana To Kids?

In another positive sign of the times for cannabis law reform, please find below a new video from the Washington Post’s The Fold looking at a couple of different situations where parents faced the legal-moral dilemma of whether or not to follow a physician’s recommendation for their young child to use cannabis as a therapeutic. Dr. Ben Whalley From Reading University in United Kingdom is interviewed about his recent cannabinoid research into the use of pediatric cannabis medicine for children, for example, suffering from epilepsy. As a twenty plus year reader of the Washington Post, it is very hard for me to imagine prior editors (and publishers) who would have assigned and widely broadcast a piece that looked at the potential health benefits from cannabis (meaning that as the World War II generation, informed by their government-created ‘Reefer Madness’, that largely ran the storied newspaper until recently has had to logically yield and defer to a decidedly more cannabis-informed generation of Baby Boomers and younger).

Is Your Teenager Using Prescription Drugs Behind Your Back? TestCountry Drug Test Panel Numbers Tally with NIDA Fact Sheet Reports on Prescription Drug A

San Diego, CA (Vocus) June 19, 2009 -

If sales of drug test panels are an indicator, then it could mean that prescription drug abuse among teenagers is on the rise.

TestCountry.com, a leading online distributor of drug testing kits, has recently announced an increase in their sales of drug test panels, particularly those used for determining prescription drug abuse in teenagers.

Topping the list is the sales figures for opiate panels. Opiate drugs are often prescribed to relieve pain. Examples include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percodan.

Closely following sales figures for opiate panels are those for benzodiazepines and buprenorphine. Benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan and Halcion are used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. On the other hand, drugs containing buprenorphine are actually used for treating opioid addiction withdrawal.

These trends coincidentally parallel the 2008 results of the annual survey made by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) through its Monitoring the Future (MFT) program. According to the NIDA fact sheet, 15.4% of teenagers in the United States reported to have gone through prescription drug abuse in 2008.

The survey further revealed that the substances being taken non-medically by these teenagers continue to be tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines, opiates and sedatives. Other drugs being abused are those readily available at drugstore counters, such as cough medicine.

But while the numbers describing prescription drug abuse among teenagers is considered as alarming, this percentage is still thought of as low when compared to that of teenagers struggling with the use of marijuana and other cannabis-derived drugs. Marijuana remains to be the most commonly abused substance among teenagers in the United States. Of the teenagers surveyed by the MFT in 2008, 26.9% have reported using it.

The TestCountry.com sales reports also indicate that sales of drug test kits for marijuana are three times the figures posted for prescription drug test panels.

NIDA has reported that stress is one of the contributing factors behind prescription drug abuse among teenagers. The need to fit in and to perform well, coupled by peer pressure and lack of guidance from parents or guardians, can cause teenagers to cope with the use of prescription drugs.

Lack of information has also led teenagers to believe that prescription drugs are safer than illegal substances like cocaine or heroin because they are prescribed by licensed doctors and are bought from a pharmacy.

Prescription drugs are also the ones most readily available to teenagers. They can get their dosage from the medicine used by their parents and siblings. They can also persuade friends with conditions such as ADHD to give them some of their medicine.

Despite the concerns raised by prescription drug abuse among teenagers, NIDA has nonetheless stated that there is a steady decline in substance abuse in that age group. Past-year use of illegal drugs aside from marijuana is down from 13.1% in 2007 to 11.3% in 2008. The same goes for the use of crystal meth, from 1.6% to 1.1%.

In NIDA?s prescription drug abuse research, parental supervision is named as one of the factors deemed crucial towards the prevention of non-medicated use of prescription drugs among teenagers. At home drug testing kits remain to be one of the most common ways that parents turn to in determining if the teenager in the household is taking drugs without prescriptions.

For more information on prescription drug abuse among teenagers, please visit testcountry.org.

About TestCountry

TestCountry.com is an online home test kit superstore. The company offers home or work drug test kits for a variety of needs, including HIV / AIDS testing kits, pregnancy and fertility testing, paternity and DNA testing, drug abuse testing, steroid testing, nicotine testing, lead testing, health hazard detection, nutrition and wellness testing. TestCountry specializes in easy-to-use tests that can be individually administered in the security and privacy of a home or office. All shipments are packaged discreetly, thus respecting the privacy of clients. The company also operates exclusively through their web site, found at http://www.testcountry.com, and features a question and answer section, testcountry.org, providing responses to many common concerns users may have related to the various types of home testing at company blog http://hometestingblog.testcountry.com/


Related Medical Marijuana Doctors Press Releases

Parents talking about their own drug use to children could be detrimental

Parents know that one day they will have to talk to their children about drug use. The hardest part is to decide whether or not talking about ones own drug use will be useful in communicating an antidrug message. Recent research found that children whose parents did not disclose drug use, but delivered a strong antidrug message, were more likely to exhibit antidrug attitudes.

Marijuana, Childhood Autism and Prohibition

I was on a radio show this past weekend debating a prohibitionist who still believes that medical cannabis is little more than a hoax…a ‘camel’s nose under the tent’ to trick the American public into legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes. I’ve heard this individual exclaim numerous times over the years that he would not give cannabis to a loved one who needed it, because, he still clings to the myth that cannabis in its natural form is a ‘dangerous narcotic’…he even claims cannabis is toxic to humans (despite the drug having a lethal dose rating of fifty…the safest indicator measurement of a drug’s lack of toxicity).

Someone who was listening to the show but could not get on the air to address the prohibitionist’s anti-pot prevarications forwarded me an email and link to a recent CNN video of a young boy in Oregon lawfully using medical cannabis for his autism. Now this is not the first time NORML’s seen credible information about how cannabis can help children with autism, to wit:

In 2009 Brown University writing instructor Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s essay on her successfully treating her autistic son J. with cannabis broke this new ground for parents trying to raise children during both the era of cannabis prohibition and the re-discovery of cannabis as a valuable, affordable, safe and non-toxic medicine.

In fact, Marie’s frank and daring essay about children, autism and cannabis has spawned numerous other related articles, TV interviews and videos. Many of them archived by NORML here.

The KMVT video below will be added to this growing archive…it is hard to watch, it made me cry thinking about 1) how truly difficult life must be for Alexander Echols, 2) how enduring and loving his parents are, 3) how ignorant (and at times extreme) prohibitionists are in trying to ban all human interface with the quite wonderful cannabis plant and 4) how blessed we are as humans to know of and have a relationship with this remarkable plant species.

Whether one has an evolutionary or ‘intelligent design’ point of view regarding the origins of life, the relationship between cannabis and humans is an indisputably ancient one, and for many humans today a genuine ‘quality of life’ issue that is not at all served well under a prohibition regime.

Parents can spot teen drug use and take steps to prevent it

Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) June 30, 2010

Summer, with its promise of free time and relaxed adult supervision, can present prime opportunities for adolescents and teenagers to use alcohol or other drugs. Consider the facts:

No Medical Marijuana @ UC Berkeley

Michelle from UC Berkeley responds a story about the University of Michigan banning medical marijuana use by students. Ana Kasparian and Jayar Jackson discuss on TYT University.

Medical Marijuana as treatment for Autism. November 23, 2009 ABC Good Morning Show. Given the many challenges involved in raising an autistic child, parents are willing to try a variety of potential remedies, many of which are controversial and unproven. Share A mother discusses how marijuana saved her autistic son’s life. But one potential treatment that has gained attention recently is one that was controversial well before its first mention in connection with autism. “At first I did some research, and I found a doctor who actually had a protocol for medical marijuana in children diagnosed with autism,” Mieko Hester-Perez of Fountain Valley, Calif., told “Good Morning America.” Hester-Perez made her decision to try giving her 10-year-old son, Joey Perez, medical marijuana after his weight had become dangerously low due to his unwillingness to eat. She said that at the time she began the approach, he weighed only 46 pounds. “You could see the bones in his chest. He was going to die,” she said. “The marijuana balanced my son,” said Hester-Perez, noting that she has never used marijuana herself. “My son had self-injurious behaviors. He was extremely aggressive, he would run out of our house… he was a danger to himself and others.” But just hours after she gave him one of the pot-infused brownies, she said she could see a change — both in his appetite and demeanor. ????????????????????????? www.youtube.com www.infowars.com www.prisonplanet.tv

Pot Patient Wins Custody Case

Defense Attorney Lauren K. Johnson won a major court victory for parents who legally use marijuana for medical purposes last week in Los Angeles.  In the case of Drake A. (case # B236769), Division Three of the Second Appellate District, California Court of Appeal ruled on December 5, 2012 that there was no evidence showing that the defendant, a father, is a substance ab­user for simply being a legal medical marijuana patient. The court confirmed that while parents who abuse drugs can lose custody of their children, a parent who uses marijuana for medical reasons, with a doctor’s approval, isn’t necessarily a drug abuser.

The father, “Paul M.” was placed under DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) supervision after he testified in an October 2011 hearing that he used medical marijuana about four times a week for knee pain.  During that same hearing, he also stated that he never medicates in front of his children, nor is he under the influence while they are in his care.  DCFS supervision requires drug counseling, parenting classes and random drug testing.  During subsequent drug screenings the father tested positive for marijuana, and negative for all other drugs.  As a result, the Superior Court of Los Angeles ruled that the child was to become a “dependent of the court based on the trial court’s finding that [the] father’s usage of medical marijuana placed the child at substantial risk of serious physical harm or illness…”.

“Paul M.” appealed the former court’s ruling, which was challenged in the Second Appellate District of California.  The Appellate court subsequently ruled in favor of reversing the Superior court’s judgment.  The official ruling stated “[that the] DCFS failed to show that [the] father was unable to provide regular care for Drake [the minor child at issue] due to father’s substance abuse.  Both DCFS and the trial court apparently confused the meanings of the terms ‘substance use’ and ‘substance abuse’.”

Johnson issued a press release noting that this is the first case to distinguish between marijuana use and abuse with regards to child protection laws. “In overturning a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling against the plaintiff, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the Appellate Court said the ‘mere usage of drugs,’ including marijuana, is not the same as substance abuse that can affect child custody, as alleged in this case by the lower court.”  She went on to say, “The ruling illustrates a growing recognition of the legitimate use of medical marijuana in this state and other states. We want kids to be safe, but we also want parents to be able to use legally prescribed medications when children appear not to be at demonstrated risk of harm.”

This has been a pervasive issue in California, as well as other medical marijuana states. Legal patients have lost custody of their children and been forced to turn their children over to a juvenile protection agency.  The NORML Women’s Alliance has been working hard to bring this issue to the forefront.  NORML Women’s Alliance Director Sabrina Fendrick issued the following statement; “This ruling is a small victory in our fight for legal marijuana patients’ parental rights.  We hope that future judicial hearings, as well as child protection agencies will utilize this judgment and adopt new policies that reflect the Appellate court’s ruling.”

Counties Can Kidnap Your Baby Legally

I’m not what you would call a sentimental guy. It takes a lot for me to become so upset with a situation that I lose it. But I had to turn off an audio recording I was listening to. I have not finished listening to it yet.


If you are interested in determining whether you have a stronger stomach than I do you can check it out at http://www.freemybabies.org/.


Daisy Bram lives in Butte County, CA. She and her husband were growing marijuana legally as patients when they were raided by the Sheriff’s Office.  Her two children Thor, aged 2, and Zeus, 28 days old, were ripped from her arms and placed in County Supervision by Child Protective Services (CPS). Their intent was to declare Daisy and her husband, incompetent and negligent parents, permanently remove the children and to place them up for adoption. The county would collect a fat check from the federal government for the transaction.  In fact it would get a bonus because the children would be “special needs” because of their mother’s “drug” use.


Daisy is a strong, determined woman who had the ability to fight the system. Luckily she won back custody after three and a half months. She is still facing criminal charges of child endangerment, but I think that case will be dismissed in the preliminary hearing.


While Daisy’s struggle to keep her children seems to be headed for a happy ending her case opened up a shocking policy of infant and toddler kidnapping by Child Protective Services in conspiracy with local District Attorneys. I know that superlative adjectives such as cruel, shocking and inhumane are used all the time to emphasize situations, but in this instance, there are no other words for it.


CPS in at least three California counties has a policy of seizing infants and toddlers from mothers connected in any way with marijuana. They use criteria such as THC in the infants blood, the admission that the mother used marijuana and breast feeds, allegations that the child had access to marijuana or any other excuse they can to remove the baby or toddler from the mother instantly. Then it’s up to the parents to try to get them back. Most of the victims don’t have the funds or legal sophistication to fight a bureaucracy stacked against them.


Once it has children in hand CPS quickly acts to have them adopted. The most adoptable children are white infants and toddlers that have no apparent disabilities. Older children are harder to adopt so they are usually not taken. In at least one case the toddlers were taken but the older brother was not removed.


Being a parent, I know how close and intimate the relationship is between mother and child. The thought of separating them is abhorrent and the recording of an infant torn from a mother’s arms reminds us to the horrors of war, genocide and terrorism. These are apt images. The idea that an arm of the California State government is responsible for this is beyond my comprehension.


When I was appointed Executive Director of Green Aid the Board of Directors set as a goal that we would use the courts to address child custody issues. It is a bigger problem than any of us thought when we first decided that the organization should get involved.


State organized child kidnapping attacks the very heart of our society. Stopping it now is extremely important. Although Green Aid is going to devote much of its resources to this issue, it is a small organization and we know that we must form a broad task force to change policy.


The first step we are taking is to invite relevant individuals and organizations to a meeting in September to set up a task force. With this group we will be able to use talent and contacts from many organizations to end the heart wrenching policy of state organized kidnapping.


Green-Aid, The Medical Marijuana Education and Legal Defense Fund is a 501(c)3 corporation and all donations are tax deductible. We have no office rent, paid employees and little overhead. Almost all the money you contribute goes to directly fight for your freedom.


Help us fight this human rights violation. No mother should be threatened with the loss of her child over cannabis. This fight will be costly, but we are ingenious and by working cooperatively with other organizations we will end this practice and restore the sanctity of the mother-child bond.


Please be as generous as you can. Think how empty your heart would be if your child were torn from your arms and given to someone else, and the State was the culprit. We need your help now. Donate now at www.green-aid.com

Denver Dispensary | Parents First | Medical Marijuana | Dr. Marijauna Certified

denver-dispensary.org June 23, 2012 Denver Dispensary Patients & owners of Denver Dispensaries must be concerned as Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry lays off employees for lack of renewals by Medical Marijuana patients in Denver and other parts of Colorado. Cannabis lovers, MMJ activists, 420 and forever supporters must be pissed off. Legalize Cannabis or legalize marijuana, whatever just make it legal. Dr. Marijuana invites all to visit Denver Dispensary Facebook fan pages and Timeline Medical Marijuana Dispensary business pages. Boulder Dispensary Facebook pages are also available. Dr. Marijuana’s “Denver Dispensary List”, the mobile dispensary directory that lists all Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Denver & Boulder is available on all mobile devices. No matter where you live Dr. Marijuana knows that you know someone who is unemployed, under-employed, uninsured, and or homeless. Write President Barack Obama and ask him to invest in Jobs and not raiding Medical Marijuana dispensaries in Denver and Boulder. Legalize Cannabis and Legalize marijuana so that everyone can live the 420 Life! Change the Law in 2012 Visit Dr. Marijuana’s Denver & Boulder Dispensary Locations Online: Follow Dr. Marijuana on Twitter twitter.com

Video Production by: FoShoRoboBro Productions. FoShoRoboBro.com FoShoRoboBro@gmail.com Welcome to The Joint co-Op located at the corner of University St NE and NE 55th St. The Joint Co-Op is a professional option for those medical marijuana patients looking to obtain high quality medication in a clean and professional environment. If you are already a medical marijuana patient, come on in and become a member of The Joint! Patient verification takes about 5 minutes. Stop by and say Hello today!
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Sorry AP, Telling Kids the Truth About Marijuana is Not Complicated

[In response to the AP article “Easing of State Marijuana Laws Poses Challenge for Parents”]

No one can deny that the number one goal of a parent is for his or her children to grow up healthy, and be able to make responsible decisions about everything from their friendships and lifestyle, to their safety.  Parents do this by sitting down and having open honest conversations about issues that will inevitably affect them in the future.

Education gives children the tools and understanding to help them cope with the challenges they have already experienced, and will continue to face further down the road.  Creating a government regulated system for marijuana legalization, which will include everything from age limits to promotional and advertising restrictions (and obviously impaired driving regulations), will actually help parents address this issue with their kids.  Several studies have already shown that states with regulated marijuana programs have not seen an increase in teen use.  Some have even seen a decrease in pot use among their youth population.

The prohibition of marijuana sends the message “marijuana is morally wrong” and implies that there is no such thing as a responsible marijuana consumer.  This ignorant policy improperly allows the government to interfere in the parent’s job of teaching their kids about moderation and responsibility.  Scare tactics and rhetoric are disingenuous and do not help children understand the realities of the world we live in.

It is socially acceptable for parents, alcohol distributors, and even the government to teach children about safe drinking practices (with a full understanding that alcohol is directly responsible for thousands of deaths every year), and the state regulation of marijuana will allow parents and educators do the same for the plant (whose non-lethal and relatively harmless side effects inevitably make the latter substance the safer choice).

We did not have to outlaw cigarettes to reduce the use among minors. A policy of education and regulation (not prohibition) has created an environment in which cigarette usage has fallen to an all time low.  The same goes for alcohol.  A sustained and concerted effort on responsible drinking practices by the government, alcohol companies and educational institutions have driven teen alcohol use down to a record low as well, according to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey.  Age restrictions, government regulation and education have proven to be one of the most effective elements in reducing youth access to adult-only recreational substances.  None of these controls apply to marijuana.

As it currently stands, marijuana is illegal and sold on the black market to anyone willing to pay for it.  Drug dealers don’t ID.  Today, young people report that they have easier access to illicit marijuana than to legal beer or cigarettes.  This is because the latter is legally limited to adults only.

Children need accurate information to make informed decisions. They need to be educated on how consuming marijuana can effect their body’s development specifically, and how to reduce any harms associated with its use – as well as how to distinguish between use and abuse.  Just as it is socially acceptable for parents to speak with their children openly about their use of alcohol, with an emphasis on that fact that it is only appropriate for adults in moderation, the legalization of marijuana will allow parents to openly discuss their (possible) past or current use and be able to objectively and rationally speak to their children about pot.  The controlled regulation of marijuana will send a message of moderation and responsible use.  It will also undercut the black market, which in turn will reduce teen access.  It’s as simple as that, and it’s a win-win for everybody.



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Anti- drug lobbyists with new survey results

New survey results put out by anti-drug lobbyists formerly known as the Partnership for a Drug Free America, now calling themselves, “The Partnership at Drugfree.org”, says that teen marijuana use has risen sharply over the last few years. The nonprofit group is best known for their 1980’s and 1990’s “this is your brain on drugs” ad campaign aimed to curb teen drug use.

They released the survey today that said 1 in 10 teens said that they smoke marijuana regularly. This is an 80 percent rise in past month reported use among teens since the last survey the organization put out in 2008. The Partnership at Drugfree.org along with the MetLife foundation says that during the same time frame, prescription drug abuse has dropped slightly, but still remains high.

They obtained the results after polling by anonymous questionnaires, 3,322 teenagers in grades 9 through 12. The teens were polled at schools from March to June of 2011. The current partnership president, Steve Pasierb blames the increase partly on the mindset of parents that a little weed or a few prescription pills isn’t a big deal. He said that parents are scared about cocaine and heroin and those are the drugs they warn their children about. He said the groups survey has shown that use of those harder drugs among teens has stabilized in recent years.

The percentage of teens that smoke marijuana at least once in the last month rose from 19 percent in 2008 to 27 percent in 2011. The percentage of regular users, those that used marijuana at least 20 times in the last month went from 5% in 2008 to 9 percent last year, an estimate of 1.5 million teens toking up, according to the Partnership. They say that teens who smoke 20 or more times a month are more likely to have substance abuse problems later in life. They also report that kids in that heavy user group of more than 20 times a month are also twice as likely to use ecstasy, cocaine or crack.

Other findings in the report include 1 in 10 teens report using prescription painkillers – Vicodin or OxyContin – in the past year, down from a peak of 15 percent in 2009 and 14 percent in 2010. Just over half of Hispanic teens report using an illicit drug, such as Ecstasy or cocaine, in the past year. That compares to 39 percent for Caucasian teens and 42 percent for African American teens. Past-year alcohol use and past-month drinking is holding steady from the 2008 report at 56 percent and 38 percent respectively.

External Links: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57426249-10391704/report-frequent-marijuana-smoking-up-80-percent-among-teens/

Full report: http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/PATS-FULL-Report-FINAL-May-2-PDF-.pdf


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NORML PSA: Who Would You Rather Your Kids Talk to About Drugs?

This Week in Weed

Now Streaming on NORMLtv:

New PSA – Who Would You Rather Your Kids Talk to About Drugs?

Misinformation about marijuana, from programs such as DARE, distort our children’s understanding of the real world ramifications of marijuana use. It is up to the parents to have a rational conversation with their kids, educate them, and help them to make the right decisions. Legalizing marijuana demystifies the substance, moves it from the street corner to behind the counter, and creates safer communities free of uncontrolled drug violence and circulation. Please watch and share our latest public service announcement.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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