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Packets of synthetic cannabinoids illegally sold in New York City. Sebastien Malo/Reuters

Labs make new, dangerous synthetic cannabinoid drugs faster than we can ban them

Synthetic cannabinoids – drugs that mimic the psychoactive effect of cannabis – have been linked to injuries and deaths. And when one is banned, another rises to take its place.
Men are more likely to use cannabis because of external factors such as peer use, and women for internal factors such as anxiety. Iriana Shiyan/Shutterstock

Men and women use cannabis for different reasons

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug with more than 181 million consumers worldwide, three quarters of whom are men. Why do men and women use cannabis?
Heavy cannabis use is consistently associated with poorer attention and memory, and increased rates of metal health problems. Pe3k/F/Shutterstock

Remind me again, how does cannabis affect the brain?

The legislative changes poised to increase the availability of cannabis are outpacing our understanding of the impact that the drug has on the brain.
The three states will collaborate on the development of medicinal cannabis, its regulatory framework and clinical research. Prensa 420/Flickr

Trials a step forward for medicinal cannabis but what comes next?

Queenslanders and Victorians with particular chronic illnesses will be eligible to join New South Wales medicinal cannabis trials, due to start mid next year.
Easier access to marijuana doesn’t necessarily lead to more addicts. Image of person smoking via Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock

Will legal marijuana lead to more addicts? Probably not

At present, cannabis is fully legalized in Colorado and Washington and will soon be fully legalized in Oregon and Alaska. Additionally, medical cannabis is legal in 23 states. The writing is on the wall…
Will the feds raid this Christmas tree? Rick Wilking/Reuters

Goliath vs. 24 Davids: federalism and legal marijuana

Abraham Lincoln said that those who shape public opinion exert an even greater influence than judges and lawmakers. In recent years popular sentiment – on issues like marriage equality and legalization…
Many people simply don’t know what legalization means. Gary Cameron/Reuters

Not just potheads: a look at who supports legal marijuana

The United States is experiencing a drastic change in attitudes towards marijuana and marijuana policy. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use and more than…
Prop 91 - just one of three ballot initiatives on marijuana decriminalization Steve Dipaola/Reuters

Ballot initiatives take the pulse of the nation

Editor’s note: There were 146 state-wide ballot measures up for consideration by voters in this week’s midterm elections, covering all manner of controversial issues – from abortion and guns to minimum…
Marijuana is legal in some states, but that doesn’t mean that banks can deal with the proceeds. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Why won’t banks dance with Mary Jane?

In nearly half of US states, marijuana business is booming. Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, 23 states have legalized some marijuana use. Colorado and Washington even allow recreational…
When government revenue is included, legalising appears to trump the status quo. Philippa Willitts

Assessing the costs and benefits of legalising cannabis

About one-quarter of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis. And advocates often point to the potential of raising tax revenue from sales as part of their argument. But there has been limited…
Using industrial hemp for the production of bioenergy has been promoted by enthusiasts for a long time. Shutterstock

Is industrial hemp the ultimate energy crop?

Bioenergy is currently the fastest growing source of renewable energy. Cultivating energy crops on arable land can decrease dependency on depleting fossil resources and it can mitigate climate change…
THC stimulates dopamine. Gareth Fuller/PA

Targeting cannabis reward-effect could help treat addiction

A new drug that targets the rewarding effects of cannabis could help some to overcome their addiction. If promise becomes a reality after clinical trials, it could join medications that are used in the…
There is a large amount of rigorous research evidence for medical marijuana. Rusty Blazenhoff

Legalising medicinal cannabis is a leap forward for compassion

A NSW Parliamentary Committee has recommended legalising the use of medical use of marijuana for people with terminal conditions. This is an approach that should be embraced nationally. For some years…

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