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Chief Justice John Roberts issued a report on federal marijuana arrests that showed a significant decline. (Photo public domain)

Federal marijuana prosecutions declining: report

Federal prosecutions for marijuana-related crimes fell significantly from 2018 to 2019, according to a recently released report from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

The 2019 end-of-year report finds that the number of federal defendants charged with cannabis-associated crimes declined by 28 percent from Sept. 30, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019. By contrast, total filings for drug crimes increased five percent over the same time period, totaling over 83,000 cases in 2019.

Separate data compiled by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in July reported a decline in DEA-led marijuana seizures in 2018, but also showed an uptick in DEA-related arrests for marijuana violations. State-level arrests for marijuana violations have increased year-over-year since 2016, according to annual data reported by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

HIV patients see neuroprotection from cannabis

SAN DIEGO — A history of cannabis use among people living with HIV is associated with a lower likelihood of neurocognitive decline, according to data published in the Journal of Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego assessed the association between cannabis use, neurocognitive impairment, and verbal and learning performance in patients with HIV and non-using controls.

Investigators reported that HIV patients who used cannabis were significantly less likely to experience neurocognitive impairment as compared to those patients who had no history of marijuana exposure.
They concluded: “Our findings present evidence that cannabis exposure was associated with lower odds of NCI (neurocognitive impairment) in the context of HIV. … Our results are consistent with the idea that under some circumstances, cannabis might be neuroprotective.”

Cannabis aids sleep in pain patients: study

HAIFA, Israel — The use of plant-derived cannabis is associated with improved sleep among older patients with chronic pain, according to data published in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.
A team of Israeli investigators examined the association between sleep problems and cannabis use in older (50+ years of age) chronic pain patients. A total of 128 patients were enrolled in the study. Of them, 66 used medical cannabis for at least one-year. Sixty-two were non-users.
Researchers reported that cannabis use was associated with an overall “positive effect on maintaining sleep throughout the night.”

They concluded: “This study is among the first to test the link between whole plant MC (medical cannabis) use and sleep quality. … Our findings showed that MC patients were less likely to report problems with staying asleep compared with non-MC patients, independently of potential confounders. … This suggests that MC may have a sleep-promoting characteristic in terms of minimizing awakenings during the night. … These findings may have large public health impacts considering the aging of the population, the relatively high prevalence of sleep problems in this population along with increasing use of MC.”

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Published at Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:30:14 +0000