Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Tobacco Research / 07.10.2020 Interview with: Isabella Lanza, PhD Associate Professor of Human Development California State University, Long Beach What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first study to examine both nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping trajectories across adolescence and young adulthood, which allowed us to assess whether poly-substance vaping is common among adolescents and young adults. Poly-substance vaping (nicotine and cannabis vaping) was reported among a significant proportion of participants in the study (25% were identified as poly-substance vapers). For those that either escalated to frequent nicotine vaping use in adolescence or initiated frequent nicotine vaping use in young adulthood, the probability of engaging in cannabis vaping was very high (85%+).    (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 25.09.2020 Interview with: Sarah E. Paul, BA , Graduate Student and Ryan Bogdan, PhD, Associate Professor BRAIN Lab Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 63130 What is the background for this study? Sarah Paul: This study was motivated by several trends in cannabis use, its legal landscape, and people's perception of risk. As more states legalize recreational cannabis use, cannabis has become more accessible as well as more potent. Over the past couple of decades, the percentage of adolescents and adults who think that cannabis use is risky or harmful has fallen substantially. Cannabis dispensaries have been reported to actually recommend cannabis to pregnant women for the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea. And finally, between 2002/2003 and 2016/2017, the percentage of women reporting cannabis use during their pregnancies rose 106%. Given these trends and the mixed literature regarding the potential consequences associated with prenatal cannabis exposure, we aimed to comprehensively examine a range of outcomes in a large, representative sample while accounting for a host of important potentially confounding covariates. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 28.10.2018 Interview with: Prof. Mark A. R. Kleiman PhD Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner; Professor of Public Policy NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: As state after state legalizes the sale of cannabis, the question of cannabis-impaired driving is getting more attention. There is evidence that the practice has become more common, both because cannabis use - and especially heavy, frequent use - has increased and because a distressingly large fraction of cannabis users believe, falsely, that stoned driving is safe. The natural response to the problem is to treat cannabis on a par with alcohol: fairly severe criminal penalties for impaired driving, with impairment defined by a specific level of the drug in the body. The paper argues that this would be a mistake, for four independent reasons: - While cannabis makes driving riskier, it does so by about a factor of two, with no strongly observed dependency on dosage. Alcohol, by contrast, has a steep dose-effect curve. At the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content by weight, the relative risk of drunk driving is at least eight; at 0.15%, which is fairly common, the relative risk has been estimated at 30-50. So there is no justification for punishing stoned driving as severely as we punish drunk driving. - The lack of evidence of a strong dose-effect relationship suggests that a legal standard based on the content of cannabinoids in blood may not be appropriate. - Even if a blood standard were valid, the lack of a breath test would make enforcing that standard nearly impossible as a practical matter. - The long and unpredictable course of cannabis metabolism means that frequent users will be at risk of failing a drug test even when they are neither subjectively intoxicated nor objectively impaired. Worse, they would have no way of judging in advance whether or not driving would be legal. The result would be a re-criminalization of cannabis use through the back door.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 14.06.2017 Interview with: David Kerr PhD Associate professor in the School of Psychological Science College of Liberal Arts Ohio State University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oregon legalized sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes and the part of the law (regarding use) took effect in July 2015. However, there have been no controlled studies of which we’re aware of the possible effects of the Oregon law that take into account the trends toward increased marijuana use across the country and differences in use rates between states that predated the law. We used survey data on college students in Oregon and in 6 states without recreational legalization to examine the issue. (more…)