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Marijuana Industry Using Tobacco’s Old Tactics of Preying on Kids, Study Says

A study by PHI researchers published in JAMA Network Open reviewed local cannabis laws in all of California's 534 cities and counties, finding that lawmakers are failing to heed lessons from tobacco control to reduce demand, limit harm, and prevent marijuana use by young people.

  • NJ.com

A new study from PHI researchers has found that the unethical choices the tobacco industry made decades ago marketing its addictive and harmful products to kids and the lax government oversight that allowed it to happen are playing out again in California’s legal cannabis industry.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, an international, peer-reviewed, open access medical journal, reviewed local cannabis laws in all of California’s 534 cities and counties, finding that lawmakers are failing to heed lessons from tobacco control to reduce demand, limit harm, and prevent marijuana use by young people.

Cannabis-infused soda and gummies and other products with names like “girl scout cookie” appear to target youth, much in the way “Joe Camel” lured young smokers and cherry and bubble gum-flavored nicotine vapes targeted minors. Billboards promoting marijuana products are commonplace, and cannabis consumption at concerts and fairs is permitted, according to the study.

Dr. Lynn Silver, the lead author of the study, pointed to the 2017 research analysis by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that identified evidence that found marijuana use is associated with psychosis, schizophrenia, drug dependence and low-birth weight.

 

“The perception of harm [from cannabis] has fallen very rapidly over the last decade and at the same time, the products have become more dangerous. There should be product by product approval to make sure it is not excessively harmful or marketed to young people." Lynn Silver, senior adviser at PHI and lead author of the JAMA Network Open study.

Silver recommended limiting the products sold that appeal to youth, such as cannabis-infused soda and gummies candies, and insuring that packaging has clear warning labels.

Click below to read the full story in NJ.com.

Originally published by NJ.com


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