News On The Green: Those Ol’ Green Blues

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(Alexandru-Bogdan Ghita)
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Those Ol’ Green Blues

Proponents and adversaries of recreational cannabis alike released their collective bated breath on Wednesday night, when the Senate Judiciary Committee tabled
HB 160, the Cannabis Regulation Act. Sponsored by Rep. Javier Martínez during 2020, the second, abbreviated half of the 54th Legislature of the State of New Mexico, HB 160 ultimately seems to have functioned as a reminder to New Mexicans that the economic and cultural momentum necessary to catalyze the movement to legalize recreational cannabis in The Land of Enchantment exists. As coverage by the Santa Fe Reporter notes, “Rep. Javier Martinez is pondering his next moves. Martinez, a Democrat representing Albuquerque in the state House, has been tweaking and re-tweaking the legalization effort for a handful of years now, and while the 6-4 Senate vote to table the bill is a setback, he’s bullish about the long-term future of a recreational cannabis law for New Mexico.”

Moderate Recall

New research published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines susceptibility to false memories under the influence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis’ primary psychoactive compound. In “
Cannabis increases susceptibility to false memory,” Netherlands-based researchers led by Lilian Kloft on Maastricht University’s psychology and neuroscience faculty report the results of their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: “cannabis-intoxicated participants had lower memory accuracy (net accuracy = ratio of true memory to total memory), both in the immediate test [t(62) = 3.67, P < 0.001, Cohen’s d = 0.46] and the delayed test [t(60) = 2.49, P = 0.015, Cohen’s d = 0.32], as compared to placebo.” As noted by the study’s authors, this research has special significance for law enforcement in an era when medical and recreational cannabis are increasingly common: “False-memory effects were mostly restricted to the acute-intoxication phase. Cannabis seems to increase false-memory proneness, with decreasing strength of association between an event and a test item, as assessed by different false-memory paradigms. Our findings have implications for how and when the police should interview suspects and eyewitnesses.”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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