Colorado Officials Unable to Agree on Rules Regulating Edible Marijuana Products

November 25, 2014 Posted by

Officials in Colorado were unable this week to agree on rules to regulate edible marijuana products, The Denver Post reports. The working group charged with drafting the rules decided to submit ideas for new regulations to the legislature.

A law sponsored by State Representative Jonathan Singer requires the Department of Revenue, which oversees the state’s marijuana businesses, to draft rules to limit the accidental ingestion of marijuana-infused edibles sold in recreational marijuana stores. The rules must be in place by 2016. “I wanted to know the difference between a marijuana cookie and a Chips Ahoy! cookie just by looking at it,” said Singer, who was part of the working group.

Full story of edible marijuana products in Colorado at

Washington Poison Center Reports Large Jump in Marijuana Exposures

November 24, 2014 Posted by

The Washington Poison Center reported a large jump in calls about marijuana exposures in October. The majority of exposures likely resulted from marijuana obtained at medical marijuana dispensaries, officials said.

The spikes in exposure were greatest in teenagers, Reuters reports. Marijuana exposures can cause adverse reactions including increased heart rate, paranoia or stomach illness, the Poison Center said.

Only a handful of recreational marijuana stores have opened so far in the state. “The medical marijuana industry is largely unregulated and not subject to the scrutiny and oversight by the Liquor Control Board that recreational marijuana must go through,” Dr. Alexander Garrard, Clinical Managing Director of the Washington Poison Center, noted on its website.

Full story of poison center reports from marijuana exposure at

Soldiers’ Suicide Risk Greatest in Year After Leaving Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment

November 21, 2014 Posted by

U.S. soldiers who have undergone inpatient psychiatric treatment have a greatly increased risk of suicide in the year after they are discharged from the hospital, suggests a new study.

The suicide rate in the U.S. Army is higher than the civilian rate, HealthDay reports.

The study included more than 40,000 active-duty soldiers who received inpatient psychiatric treatment between 2004 and 2009. Within a year of being discharged, 68 of the soldiers committed suicide—12 percent of all U.S. Army suicides during this period.

The researchers identified the 5 percent of soldiers with the highest predicted risk of suicide in the year after hospital discharge. This group of soldiers accounted for 52.9 percent of suicides after hospitalization. Among the soldiers with the highest risk of suicide, risk factors included being male, enlisting at a later age, criminal offenses, weapons possession, previous suicide attempts, and a greater number of antidepressant prescriptions filled in the past year.

Full story of soldier suicide risk after inpatient psychiatric treatment at

Commentary: Combating Tobacco Use Among Lower-Income Families

November 20, 2014 Posted by

Tobacco doesn’t just affect smokers. In fact, 88 million non-smoking adults and children were exposed to secondhand smoke in the U.S. in 2007-08. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at high risk for serious health consequences, such as low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, middle-ear infection and other diseases, affecting not only their health, but also school readiness.

The federal Head Start program was launched in the summer of 1965 as part of the “War on Poverty.” Head Start and Early Head Start (HS/EHS) have since served as models for high quality comprehensive service designed to nurture children and families of lower income levels intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically so that children are prepared to start school and reach their fullest potential.  Recognizing the benefit of partnering with Head Start to address the disparities in reaching individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES), Legacy, in partnership with Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, led and funded the Head Start Tobacco Cessation Initiative. The initiative was designed to work off of the overall mission of HS/EHS by enabling participating sites to incorporate cessation identification and referral protocols into their existing child development. The initiative seeks to increase awareness of the health consequences of tobacco use, reduce children’s exposure to secondhand smoke, and increase the capacity of Head Start programs to address tobacco cessation and secondhand smoke.

Full story of tobacco use among low income families at

Scientists’ Goal: Developing Non-Addictive Opioid Painkillers

November 19, 2014 Posted by

Scientists are working to develop opioid painkillers with a low potential for abuse. About a dozen such drugs are currently in development, according to The Courier Journal.

“Is (a non-addictive opioid) a possibility? Absolutely. And there are a lot of people devoting a lot of time and effort to it,” Dr. Gavril Pasternak, an opioid researcher at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told the newspaper. “It could be ready relatively soon. … In the short-term, it may be a major help.”

One such drug in development is called CR845. Cara Therapeutics, the company that makes the drug, recently released research that suggests it is much less likely to cause patients to feel high compared with pentazocine, another opioid analgesic.

Full story of non addictive opioid painkillers at