Teens who smoke pot at risk for psychosis

By Marilyn Linton, QMI Agency, October 24, 2011
With names like Panama red, stink, and bhang, it's not just new words that today's parents may need to learn when talking to their kids about marijuana. It's also about what's in today's pot.

For while many adults remember (some more fondly than others) the highs of their own youth, today's marijuana is not what it used to be. Not only are we learning that what our kids are smoking may be particularly potent, but doctors are also warning that marijuana can trigger psychosis in vulnerable young people.

Medical marijuana house up in smoke

A two-alarm fire on Wednesday ripped through a tidy two-storey East Vancouver duplex that housed a sanctioned marijuana grow operation, unbeknownst to the fire department.

No one was injured.

The fire on the 2800 block of St. George Street appeared to be accidental in nature, apparently caused by an electrical malfunction in the wiring in the wall, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services said.


Dutch gov't regrets pot liberalism

Dutch classify high-potency marijuana as hard drug
The Associated Press, Oct. 07, 2011
The Dutch government said Friday it would move to classify high-potency marijuana alongside hard drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, the latest step in the country's ongoing reversal of its famed tolerance policies.

The decision means most of the cannabis now sold in the Netherlands' weed cafes would have to be replaced by milder variants. But skeptics said the move would be difficult to enforce, and that it could simply lead many users to smoke more of the less potent weed.

Possession of marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but police do not prosecute people for possession of small amounts, and it is sold openly in designated cafes. Growers are routinely prosecuted if caught.

Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen said weed containing more than 15 per cent of its main active chemical, THC, is so much stronger than what was common a generation ago that it should be considered a different drug entirely.

The high potency weed has “played a role in increasing public health damage,” he said at a press conference in The Hague.

Legalizing delusions

Pot: Why not legalize it?
by MARGARET WENTE, Globe and Mail, July 24, 2008 
We Canadians love our bud. We lead the Western world in marijuana use. More than 10 million of us have inhaled at some time or other, and nearly 17 per cent of us partook in the past year. In B.C. — where entire towns have turned to cultivating cannabis — the economy would suffer without it. Among all illicit drugs, it is by far the most benign. It wrecks far fewer lives than alcohol, and medical marijuana may do some good.

So why not just go ahead and make it legal?

More than half of all Canadians think we should. "Legalize, then tax the hell out of it," says Senator Larry Campbell.

Sounds swell — until you think about it. Then the problems start. Here's one. What about the kids? Do we really want a lot more 15-year-olds getting stoned? Okay, we could prohibit pot for minors. Can you explain why that would work any better than it does with booze and cigarettes?


TTC Driver Charged in Fatal Bus Crash

By Hamutal Dotan, Torontoist, October 12, 2011
At the end of August a TTC bus was involved in a fatal crash, in which one woman, Jadranka Petrova, died, and approximately a dozen more were injured. Today, police charged 51-year-old driver William Ainsworth with criminal negligence causing death, as well as marijuana possession. Ainsworth has been suspended from duty by the TTC, and Petrova’s family is pressing charges against the TTC.


Marijuana Use Increases Risk of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Emaxhealth, Submitted by Jennifer Williams on 2011-10-07
Marijuana use and safety is hotly debated as a focus of government and policy attention on medical marijuana and potential legalization. Researchers know that when people use mind-altering drugs and medications and then get behind the wheel, they have an increased likelihood of involvement in motor vehicle accidents, but few studies have analyzed the relationship between marijuana use and car crashes.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed nine studies that evaluated the link between marijuana use and the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash. They discovered that individuals who use marijuana and then drive within three hours of use experience motor vehicle accidents twice as often as drivers who do not use marijuana. Individuals who test positive for marijuana with higher concentrations of the drug in their systems are at an increased risk of becoming involved in automotive accidents than those who have lower levels of marijuana concentrations.

Cellphone, marijuana use preceded CPR train crash: report

Engineer consumed 10 litres of water in attempt to flush away traces of drug, federal safety board reveals
By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, October 8, 2011
The crew of a Canadian Pacific Railway train failed to obey a stop signal and crashed into another train near Golden after making "numerous" cellphone communications, the federal Transportation Safety Board has found.

The last cellphone communication occurred about one minute before a safety-related radio message that preceded the March 2010 crash, the board's report revealed.

Shortly after the crash, the locomotive engineer consumed about 10 litres of water in an attempt to flush away evidence of marijuana from his system, the report noted.