Alibi V.29 No.27 • July 2-8, 2020 

News on the Green

Congress Votes to Allow Study at Dispensaries

The House of Representatives voted to let researchers study cannabis sourced from actual legal dispensaries instead of from the only government-approved source.

Marijuana Moment reports that the provision was attached to a 2,000-plus-page infrastructure bill, the INVEST in America Act. The bill is meant to “authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs.” It’s also earmarked for “other purposes.” The provision allows for interstate distribution of cannabis products to scientists—even if they are in a state where cannabis is illegal.

The provision would require that the Department of Transportation, the attorney general and the Department of Health and Human Services come together to produce a yearly report providing recommendations on how to improve researcher access to “samples and strains of marijuana and products containing marijuana lawfully being offered to patients or consumers” in legal states.

The bill also includes language suggesting that states that have legalized cannabis should consider adding additional highway safety programs to educate drivers on the dangers of drugged driving. NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said, “It is somewhat absurd to draw a differentiation between states when it comes to the current legal status, because it is entirely feasible that every state will be legalized by the end of this decade. And regardless, I have heard rumors that some Texans consume cannabis despite its prohibited status.”

Cannabis Use While Pregnant Leads to Complications

A new study has found that cannabis use while pregnant could increase the risk of children’s sleep problems.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder recently published a paper in Sleep Health: The Journal of The National Sleep Foundation that claims that using cannabis while pregnant can lead to developmental problems in children that can negatively impact their sleep cycles.

“As a society, it took us a while to understand that smoking and drinking alcohol are not advisable during pregnancy, but it is now seen as common sense,” said senior author John Hewitt, director of the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at CU Boulder. “Studies like this suggest that it is prudent to extend that common sense advice to cannabis, even if use is now legal.”

The researchers analyzed baseline data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study—which is following 11,875 youth from age 9 or 10 into early adulthood. Participants' mothers were asked if they had used cannabis while pregnant and how often. The mothers were also asked to fill out a survey regarding their child's sleep patterns. The study analyzed 26 different data points including how easily the children fell asleep and how long they slept. The study found that mothers who reported using cannabis while pregnant were significantly more likely to report having children with clinical sleep problems.

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