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Marijuana Breathalyzer Tested On California Drivers

Marijuana Breathalyzer Tested On California Drivers

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva 

As more and more states legalize marijuana, there has been a concern on how to monitor impaired driving. Now, police are testing a marijuana breathalyzer on drivers for the first time. The device is manufactured by Hounds Labs and CEO Mike Lynn who is an emergency room doctor in Oakland, California, and a reserve officer with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

Lynn began pulling over drivers suspected of impaired driving during the initial field tests. However, the use of the breathalyzer was optional.

“Basically everyone agreed because they were curious,” Lynn told US News & World Report. “The objective was not to put people in jail but to educate them and use the device if they volunteered so we could get the data.”

All the drivers tested were not arrested, but they were required to find another ride home. The Hounds Labs breathalyzer can detect marijuana (smoked or ingested) as well as alcohol. Lynn says his breathalyzer can even measure the concentration of the drug.  In the past, other technology could only detect THC.

“It’s not as if every breathalyzer will be replaced overnight [but] it will completely change the ability to recognize stoned drivers,” said Lynn last year, “[and] our technology also will prevent the wrongful arrest of people who have some THC in their system but are not impaired.”

Last year, Alameda County Sherriff Greg Ahern told US News that he is eager to use the new breathalyzer.

“Current methods for testing THC are not practical for the roadside,” Ahern said. “On top of that, results can take weeks and will only tell us if marijuana is in a person’s system. By measuring THC in breath, Hound Labs, Inc. will help us get impaired drivers off the road and also make sure that unimpaired individuals who happen to have some THC in their system aren’t wrongfully arrested.”

Lynn hopes to have the breathalyzers distributed within the next six months. Hounds Labs is not the only one working on this new technology, though, however, it is the closest to market. Another company, Cannabix Technologies said in a July press release that they are working on a reduced size version of their product.

Other devices like Intelligent Fingerprinting detect traces of sweat from one’s fingertips. Their device is likely to come out next year, according to US News.

“We do have a significant stable of cities and counties that are interested in piloting and thus validating our product for roadside [driving under the influence of drugs] stops,” said Duffy Nabors, vice president of sales and marketing at Smartox, the company that distributes the fingerprint technology.

How does marijuana affect driving?

With all this new technology to test drivers, the next question is how much does marijuana impair drivers?  The exact impact of marijuana on driving ability remains a controversial subject. However, while drunk driving is on the decline, driving after consuming marijuana has become more prevalent.

The next question is if there can be a threshold established for marijuana in the same way that alcohol’s threshold is .08. Several studies have been conducted to find out the level of THC that is needed to impair driving ability; however a threshold has yet to be established.

As for driving, marijuana can impair a person’s judgment, motor coordination, the ability to concentrate, and slows down a person’s reaction time. Therefore, using marijuana while driving does pose a significant risk and increases the chance of an accident occurring.

Overall, while more and more states are in the voting stages of marijuana reform, impaired driving remains a serious problem. Driving under the influence of any substance is a major no-no. Do not take this risk. If you are struggling with addiction, do not wait. Call today.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Marijuana Use May Lead to Prediabetes


Author: Shernide Delva

All across the country, marijuana reform continues to stir up controversy and make headlines. A few states have even legalized marijuana for recreational use. Other states remain focused on the medical benefits of the drug. Marijuana has gained significant attention for its medicinal benefits. Various studies show that marijuana can be beneficial for certain health conditions.

However, a new study reveals marijuana could increase the risk of developing prediabetes.  When a person develops prediabetes, their sugar levels become abnormally high yet not high enough to warrant a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

In the study, researchers discovered that people who used a large amount of marijuana in their young adulthood were 40 percent more likely to develop prediabetes as middle-aged adults compared to those who never tried the drugs.

These findings contradict past studies that showed marijuana reducing the risk of diabetes. Previous studies looking at marijuana use had found that users have lower rates of diabetes compared with nonusers. However, those studies only examined marijuana use during the time of the study.  Furthermore, it was unclear if the participants researched were using marijuana before they had diabetes, or afterward.

This is the first study to actually examine marijuana use over a period of years. Michael Bancks, lead author of the study, explained the reason for this new research.

“We felt we could address the potential limitations of previous research and add new information to our understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and subsequent metabolic health,” said Bancks.

It’s important to note that the study does not state that marijuana causes diabetes; it only says that it increases the risk of developing prediabetes. Marijuana was not linked to an increase risk of having type 2 diabetes.

The new study contradicts the recent evidence that marijuana may reduce the risk of diabetes. It’s unclear how marijuana can increase the risk of prediabetes, yet not diabetes, the study explains.

The study offered two possibilities for this observation.

  • For one, it’s likely that people who were more prone to developing diabetes were not included in the study because participants had to be free of diabetes at the time of the study.
  • Secondly, marijuana may have a larger impact on blood sugar levels in the prediabetic range than in the diabetes range.

More research is needed to study the possible link and future studies will look at different groups of people, how marijuana is consumed and the amount consumed.

Still, Bancks encourages doctors to discuss the potential risks of using marijuana with their patients. People who use marijuana should be aware that is could increase their risk of developing prediabetes. Doctors should monitor sugar levels with patients with “an extensive history of marijuana use,” Bancks stated.

As marijuana use becomes more prevalent, researchers are taking a hard look at the health effects of the drug. In 2014, researchers highlighted other health risks of marijuana use like increased risk of cognitive impairment and psychoses.

“There are many questions about the health effects of marijuana use where the answers are unknown,” Bancks said. “The increased legalization and use of marijuana will draw more attention from researchers and users, and we will learn more as research on the health effects of marijuana use increases.”

The study was conducted over 30 years and took into consideration factors such as age, sex, race, tobacco and alcohol use, education level, medication use, psycho-social well-being, and lifestyle factors like diet, exercise frequency, and other drug use. Although many were dropped out of the study over the course of 30 years, the remaining participants made up more than 2500 people.

More than half of the participants developed prediabetes and were 65 percent more likely to have prediabetes than those who did not smoke, the study conclude. Even among those who stopped smoking, their risk was 23 percent more likely than nonsmokers.

So although marijuana reform is a hot topic, marijuana is still a drug that could be detrimental to our health. Abusing any drug is not healthy.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Is There Cannabis in Your Coffee?

Is There Cannabis in Your Coffee?

Author: Justin Mckibben

Edible marijuana is one of the popular subjects in the battle for reform; with some saying it is the future of medical marijuana administration, and others saying it is a devious and deadly method of disguising the dangers of the drug. Well now for all coffee lovers there is another recipe that can be tempting your taste-buds with the drug, and for those in recovery from drug addiction who frequent 12 step meetings with a mug full of Joe this may seem like some kind of sick joke.

We are now living in a world where legal weed is making some serious headway in politics, medicine, commercial business and even fights over religious rights. Marijuana is one of the hot topics sure to be on the ticket for the 2016 presidential election, and while this may be good for some, recovering addicts may find it harder to deal.

Still it’s no surprise that in a few states that have already legalized it there would be a few coffee lovers who came up with a way to put some pot in that morning pot of roasted bean goodness.

  • Catapult Coffee

Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop is a Seattle-based head-shop for users in an area with legalized marijuana, and the shop now sells pods of premium Catapult coffee. Each pod works in standard, single-serve coffee makers and contain 10 mg of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, for anyone who likes a bit of buzz with their morning wake up cup. The pods sell for a pricey $10 a pop, or $37-$42 per 6 servings, apparently depending on the blend.

Previously sold by loose grounds infused with marijuana, the shop stated that now the pods are quickly becoming big sellers. Fairwinds Manufacturing, the company out of Vancouver that actually makes the pods for Uncle Ike’s, reported that the pods now account for 60% of company sales, but Fairwinds isn’t the only company making cannabis-infused coffee.

  • House of Jane

California is home to another pot-shop making a move for cannabis coffee. House of Jane is another hot spot for pot that has four types of cannabis K-cups:

  • Medium roast
  • Dark roast
  • Decaf
  • Mocha café

But House of Jane didn’t stop there, marketing marijuana infused coffees, teas and creamers—one of which recently won a best-edible award at one of the world’s largest medical marijuana trade shows HempCon. Also House of Jane has it’s sights aimed at creating a cannabis-infused “Frappuccino.” But don’t count on catching this one at a Starbucks.

  • Ed Rosenthal’s Select Coffee & Tea

Ed Rosenthal, whose brand is named after its maker, is a marijuana growing celebrity, with growing guides and other information and pot related products. He has his own line and is advocating it as a new frontier.

What Does This Mean?

This new format of marijuana products has been evaluated by a few experts who find that it will in fact be a new way to spread the popularity of legalization. Emily Paxhia, co-founder of Poseidon Asset Management, a asset manager focusing on marijuana-related investments in California, believes that this new cannabis-infused coffee will attribute to a wider appeal for edibles, and probably push the progression of reform. Paxhia said,

“The more that cannabis can be consumed in forms that are familiar to broader populations, the more interesting it’s going to become to a mass market,”

So what does it all mean? Well for the general population it means that they will have another option to consider whether or not they are going to support or reject marijuana use. It may also mean having to worry about young people finding an easier way to consume the drug without being noticed, which could mean a potential for more issues with substance abuse.

For the recovering community, it may be one more adversity to overcome in the near future. As if the temptation wasn’t already pretty real, the further development of these products may cause some internal conflict for the addict who is still uncertain of their condition. Cannabis coffee is no safer to an addict than vodka in your espresso, which is also legal.

Still, at the end of the day for those of us in active recovery who are aware of our addiction and work a solid program of some kind, it just means being more aware of the world around us. As long as we are consistent with our recovery, this isn’t really threatening to us because we know it is not something we can safely consume regardless of the brew or blend. So far Starbucks is still safe, so you don’t have to worry about your barista drugging your coffee.

Despite the fact that marijuana is becoming legal in many states, it doesn’t take away from the dangers of any level or drug use, especially for an alcoholic or drug addict. Understanding that no matter what way you ingest it, the effect it has on someone with addiction doesn’t change. But you don’t have to be a victim, there is help for those who still suffer. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Can Cannabis Candy Kill You?

Can Cannabis Candy Kill You?

Author: Justin Mckibben

Who’s got a sweet tooth? If you are easily excited by anything sugar, you may want to read the warnings before trying cannabis candy. Marijuana is getting more spot-light than ever since the recent reforms that have started to take effect, and the several initiatives that have been sparked by several states across the country. While some persistently advocate for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, others are still not convinced it’s a good idea. Some studies say marijuana is safer than cigarettes and alcohol, but skeptics still believe that it is dangerous and even deadly, depending on how it is consumed.

One story stands out in recent news claiming that edible marijuana can actually kill. 23 year old Luke Goodman was on vacation at a Colorado ski resort when he reportedly shot himself after eating a marijuana candy, and his family is currently blaming the drug for his suicide according to a Denver news source. Luke Goodman reportedly took 5 times the recommended dose of peach-flavored candies infused with marijuana that he purchased from a local dispensary, and some are speculating the over-consumption is the reason for this tragic incident.

More on the Goodman story…

On Saturday, March 21st Goodman supposedly had ingested a couple of the peach-flavored cannabis candies and did not experience an effect, so he proceeded to eat more, chewing several pieces at once.

Hours after ingesting the edibles, Luke’s cousin said he became jittery and incoherent. The members of Luke’s family went on an outing, but Luke himself refused to attend. Instead he stayed in the condo alone, and while there he took his handgun, which he traveled with for protection, and shot himself.

Close family members disclosed that Luke showed no signs of depression or mental illness previous to this incident. According to those closest to him Luke was a well-adjusted individual. But to be fair, not everyone who has depression wears it on their face all the time. A lot of people who suffer from severe depression are the last people you would expect. Not saying that this is the case, but that cannot be ignored when talking about mental health.

The coroner’s office in Summit County where the fatal shooting took place continues to investigate the possible role of the edible marijuana in the case.

This is not the first incident…

Luke Goodman is just one of 3 recent cases in Colorado where officials have attempted to link seemingly nonthreatening cannabis edibles to erratic behaviors that resulted in death.

  • Levy Thamba Pongi

Last year, Levy Thamba Pongi, a nineteen-year old from the Republic of Conga who was attending college in Wyoming when it is said he jumped off a hotel balcony after eating 6 times the recommended dose of cookies containing marijuana.

  • Richard Kirk

Another Denver man by the name of Richard Kirk was charged with first degree murder back in April 2014 after he shot his wife Kristine Kirk, who just moments before the murder had dialed 911 and reported that her husband was hallucinating after he’d eaten both prescription drugs and marijuana candy.

According to a search warrant affidavit, a receipt was later found in the Kirk home for a piece of “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger” marijuana edible.

Lynn Kimbrough the Denver District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman later reported the toxicology reports cited a low-level presence of THC in Kirk’s system after the shooting.

Is the cannabis candy to blame?

While the family of Goodman still insists that this incident was caused by the marijuana edibles, some are still adamant about the fact that in most of the cases of adverse effects from marijuana edibles there is an overdose. In the Goodman case there is a warning on the back of the candy wrappers that tells users the effects of the candy may be delayed by a couple of hours. It’s likely the young college graduate did not read the label, or ignored it and consumed much more than is suggested.

In the other cases, the individual consuming the edibles was mixing alcohol or other drugs with the substance, and taking excessive quantities beyond the recommended dose, so there is still some room for discussion on whether or not the makers of the cannabis candies can be held accountable.

These kinds of products have become extremely popular given the status of marijuana legalization in some states, and companies are rushing to prefect their pot food products to get a foothold in the market. At this point, no sound connecting argument for marijuana edibles being responsible for these deaths has been made, but people are still calling for them to be taken off the market.

So can the drugs be held accountable for these deaths? Are these products a lot more dangerous than previously believed? Or is it the same concept as ‘drink responsibly’ or ‘don’t drink and drive’… if someone gets drunk and crashes their car then the beverage company isn’t being held responsible, so should the cannabis candy companies?

Using drugs is dangerous all together, and you can be certain that excessively drinking or using any substance will have so devastating effects. But everyone has the chance to make a change before its too late. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

In the News: Marijuana Vending Machines

In the News: Marijuana Vending Machines

Marijuana may now become available via vending machine, reports The Huffington Post. With retail sale of marijuana expected in Colorado by January 2014 –- and shortly thereafter in the state of Washington, many retailers are looking at new, and more convenient, ways to sell to consumers.

A Phoenix-based company called Endexx Corp envisions marijuana vending machines at retail outlets. Orders will be placed via a smart phone app, and the customer will then go to the closest marijuana vending machine and use the touch screen to complete the order.

“The way we see it, when you walk into a shop, you don’t need the expert or aficionado to help with selection,” Todd Davis, chief executive officer of Endexx, told The Huffington Post. “The people who are using this in the recreational space — they know what they want, and they don’t want to hear the whole spiel every time.”

Endexx recently bought two smaller firms that provide vending machines to medical marijuana outlets. In the outlets, staff uses the machines do dole out measured portions of marijuana to customers.

Davis tells The Huffington Post he expects his company to be one of perhaps three major players manufacturing marijuana vending machines once marijuana is available for retail sale.

Those, like Davis, hoping to cash in on marijuana vending machines are likely to face competition. California-based Medbox Inc. is currently the industry leader in providing machine dispensing systems to medical marijuana dispensaries. Shops can pay $50,000 and receive two marijuana vending machines, one for dispensing marijuana, and the other for dispensing marijuana laced edibles like cookies and cakes.

Most people report physiological and psychological effects after marijuana use. Short-term physical effects of marijuana include increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and impairment of short-term and working memory. Behaviorally/psychologically, marijuana produces euphoria – a feeling of joy, relaxation, and increased visual, auditory, and taste perceptions. Most users also report an increase in their appetite. Unpleasant reactions that may result from smoking marijuana include acute feelings of panic, disorientation, or paranoia. The effects of THC last from a few seconds to several minutes after it is inhaled. Effects last from 30-60 minutes if marijuana is ingested.

If you or someone you love is in addicted to marijuana, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.



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