Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Dime.
Louisiana Senate Candidate Lights up Senate Race
On January 18th, Gary Chambers — a democrat who’s running for Senate in Louisiana — released a video titled 37 Seconds. In the video (which is appropriately 37 seconds in length) Chambers lights up a blunt while discussing cannabis criminalization. “Every 37, someone is arrested for marijuana,” he continues. “Since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws.” Most of these arrests are not drug dealers, they are ordinary people; and a disproportionate rate of arrests are people of color, he explains. The now viral video, Chambers hopes, will force a new conversation about cannabis, and grab people’s attention, he told NPR. In just two days, the video has garnered more than 6 million views and counting.
Utah Lawmaker Proposes Psychotherapy Task Force
This week, GOP Rep. Brady Brammer filed a bill aimed at studying substances that may benefit mental health issues. H.B. 167 — the Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force — “would set up a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their lawful use,” reports Marijuana Moment. In an interview with Fox 13, Brammer clarified that the “doesn’t legalize anything. It asks our Huntsman Mental Health Institute and other experts in the field to review the science that’s out there, […] and make any recommendations that they have if they feel psychedelics can be safely administered through a prescription basis and under what circumstances.” He also addressed hesitation about the bill. “The world isn’t falling apart with medical cannabis and this is a very different type of treatment and would likely require more medical supervision than medical cannabis requires,” he said.
New Study Suggest Cannabis may Impair Brain Function
A new study in the journal Addiction suggests that cannabis use may impair brain function. According to a Healthline report on the research, “people using cannabis can have acute cognitive impairments lasting beyond the period of intoxication.” More specifically, researchers said these “small to moderate cognitive impairments” affect decision making; suppression of inappropriate responses; learning through reading and listening; remembering what one reads or hears; and time needed to complete a task, the study writes. While results are particularly concerning for youths, it’s worth mentioning that this was a systematic review of other studies. As Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained in an interview last year, much research has a bias to focus on the negative effects of cannabis.
Australia Researchers Given Funds to Study MDMA and Psilocybin
As the psychedelic revolution heats up in the U.S., other countries are also looking to use entheogens to combat illnesses. For example, the Australian government “has awarded two Sydney research teams a total of over [$2.24 million] to study MDMA and psilocybin therapies for mental illness,” Forbes reports. The funds will help conduct studies on MDMA’s efficacy to treat alcohol use disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. Funds will also support a clinical trial that examines psilocybin-assisted therapy in the treatment of anorexia. In a press release about the announcement from University of Sydney, one professor, Iain McGregor, said: “it is hoped that this psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy trial will be able to demonstrate improved clinical outcomes, especially in those patients where other treatments have failed,” he added. “What is particularly exciting with psychedelics is the political will for Australia to take an international lead in this area […].”