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 Experts have only a hazy idea of marijuana’s myriad health effects, and federal laws are to blame

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PostSubject: Experts have only a hazy idea of marijuana’s myriad health effects, and federal laws are to blame    Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:33 pm

More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it’s now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year.



Yet for all its ubiquity, a comprehensive new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on those who use it remain something of a mystery — and the federal government continues to erect major barriers to research that would provide much-needed answers. 
If historical patterns are any guide, ballot initiatives that legalized recreational marijuana in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada last year will lead to an increase in cannabis use and drive down public perceptions of the drug’s risks. The result could be a natural experiment on a grand scale, according to the report released Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
“This lack of evidence-based information on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids poses a public health risk,” a panel of 16 experts concluded in the [url=http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report Files/2017/Cannabis-Health-Effects/Cannabis-chapter-highlights.pdf]first comprehensive look at marijuana research[/url] since 1999.

The report, nine months in the making, assessed more than 10,000 studies that examined marijuana’s relationship with cancer, psychiatry, accidents and a host of other health issues. The authors included physicians, public health experts, neurobiologists and addiction specialists.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-marijuana-health-effects-20170112-story.html#
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