Science Continues to Link Marijuana Use With Health Problems

Scientific research continues to link marijuana use with health problems.

A new study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session found people who used marijuana daily were 34% more likely to develop coronary artery disease compared with people who have never used marijuana.

Researchers arrived at these conclusions based on a review of health and lifestyle information from a group of approximately 175,000 people.

A separate study by the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center recently found that vaping CBD — a substance found in marijuana — can cause more severe lung damage than vaping nicotine.

These studies further underscore how marijuana legalization and marijuana use can harm public health.

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found adults under age 45 who frequently use marijuana are roughly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack as adults who do not use marijuana.

A study published last year in the journal of the Radiological Society of North America found marijuana smoke may be more harmful to lungs than cigarette smoke, after researchers examined some 150 lung scans from marijuana smokers, tobacco-only smokers, and nonsmokers.

A 2019 study found that regular marijuana use increased the risk of heart problems for young people, and a 2017 study reported marijuana smokers were three times more likely to die of hypertension.

A 2022 study published in The Lancet determined that using marijuana with high levels of THC was linked to an increased risk of psychosis.

A 2021 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found self-harm rates rose 46% among men ages 21 to 39 in states where commercial marijuana sales were legalized.

A 2019 study published in The Lancet found using marijuana with THC levels exceeding 10% increased the odds of a person suffering a psychotic episode.

The list goes on and on and on.

All of this underscores what we have said for years: Marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.

Legislation Would Address Delta-8 THC in Arkansas

A bill filed last Friday at the Arkansas Legislature would address Delta-8 THC in state law.

S.B. 358 by Sen. Tyler Dees (R – Siloam Springs) and Rep. Jimmy Gazaway (R – Paragould) would prevent Delta-8 THC from being manufactured via industrial hemp, and it would place Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC on the list of controlled substances in state law.

THC is the primary psychoactive substance found in marijuana.

State and federal laws generally regulate Delta-9 THC, which has led some people to argue that other variants of THC — such as Delta-8 THC — are legal under state or federal law.

Delta-8 THC is still a mind-altering substance, and Arkansas law does not adequately restrict it. S.B. 358 would help address that problem.

Delta-8 THC has been a point of contention since Arkansas legalized medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

A lawsuit filed in state court last year alleged that a Delta-8 THC vape product contained inappropriate levels of Delta-9 THC. The case ultimately was dismissed and closed in January.

Recent news articles have highlighted the risk that children face from Delta-8 THC in Arkansas.

S.B. 358 is a good bill that will strengthen Arkansas law and help protect children from dangerous marijuana products.

Read S.B. 358 Here.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Companies Face Lawsuit Over Labeling, THC Levels in Product

A new lawsuit alleges that a medical marijuana testing company conspired with other members of the marijuana industry to falsely label marijuana products.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit — a self-identified elderly, chronic pain patient — filed a complaint in Pulaski County Circuit Court on February 23 against marijuana testing company Steep Hill Arkansas and marijuana cultivators Bold Team LLC, Natural State Medicinal, and Osage Creek LLC.

Arkansas’ medical marijuana amendment requires marijuana sold in the state to be tested. However, it does not provide for clear regulation or oversight of the laboratory testing process.

The lawsuit alleges that the companies colluded to mislabel medical marijuana products and lead consumers to believe that the marijuana contained more THC than it actually did.

This is at least the second lawsuit against Steep Hill, Natural State Medicinal, Bold Team LLC, and Osage Creek over their testing and labeling practices.

Last July three Arkansas residents filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against the companies, claiming they falsely labeled the marijuana they cultivated by overstating the amount of THC in their marijuana products. Since then the plaintiffs have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit.

The plaintiff in the suit filed in Pulaski County appears to have previously been a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit filed last year.

In 2018 the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission authorized Natural State Medicinal, Bold Team LLC, and Osage Creek to grow marijuana in Arkansas.

Besides being prominent members of the medical marijuana industry, Natural State Medicinal, Bold Team, and Osage Creek have supported recreational marijuana legalization in Arkansas.

According to reports filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission, Bold Team LLC donated $2.2 million toward the campaign to pass marijuana amendment Issue 4 in 2022, while Osage Creak donated $2 million, and Natural State Medicinal donated $700,000.

On November 8, 2022, voters in Arkansas soundly rejected Issue 4, the proposed marijuana amendment, despite the fact that the group supporting it spent more than $14.2 million on the campaign to pass the measure.

Read the Complaint Filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court Here.