Pasadena, Ucla, California Department Public Health, Department Of Canada discussed on Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Right. Right. And even here in Pasadena. So the question really begs is what has that done to our culture? What has it done to young people? What is under addiction or is it under mental health? Was it done for cannabis as medication? And all those things are things we're interested in at the UCLA cannabis research initiative, which we started in 2017 as a direct response to try and study these things. So I boiled it down to the main themes I want people to know about cannabis. Is that number one? Cannabis is a spectacular plan. And inside this plant are well over 80 different kinds of compounds called cannabinoids. Have all sorts of interesting effects on our body and our brain and our mind. That's the real thing. It's however therapeutically potential. It's not yet fully realized as medicine. And I think that's where we miss it. And I wish I could say, with confidence, this is what I would recommend for sleep or for pain or for depression or anxiety or just a good time. But we're not there yet. So that's number one. So it's an incredibly potent and spectacularly interesting plant. But we don't yet have therapeutic medicines. I think that can be routinely accepted as medicines from Doc. We have a few, but not a lot. Number two, the risk of cannabis use disorder or cannabis addiction is very, very real. It's not zero. Now, compared to smoking, and better meaning and cocaine. Yes, the risk is lower. But still, we know that approximately 9% of people who start using cannabis will develop a cannabis use disorder. That means 9 out of a hundred people who start using are going to develop problems in their life from cannabis addiction. I think that's where we've missed the boat where people are like, well, what is cannabis addiction look like? They don't die from overdose. They don't commit crimes. We see it under a spectacular through the years. But they don't function well. They don't work. They don't finish school. They sit around, they're depressed, they don't sleep well, their health isn't good. And I think people are shocked to hear that cannabis addiction is one of the top addictions that people enter drug rehabilitations for. Their lives have really been screwed up. So we know that what percentage of California right now meet criteria for cannabis addiction. It's probably on the order of about two, 3%. What percent use cannabis somewhere on the order of 30, 40%? I want to say to the story it's the same that it is for tobacco and cocaine is out for young people. This is not a young person's product. That's where I think I'm concerned about most. We've accelerated and made it seem like this is a product for teenagers and young people, and it's okay. It is not. In fact, instead of California, you got to be 21 to buy. But when was the last time you heard any public health initiatives or promotions about keeping cannabis out of young people? Underage cannabis use. It's not even a thing. Underaged tobacco underage drinking absolutely, but under aged cannabis? Yes. That's my point. Yeah. I heard that. It's nothing burger. Right, but I think to that end though, I think the state is starting to do more. California department public health, department of Canada's control are very concerned about these issues. But we need to definitely do more in terms of really minimizing the glamorous if you will to say this is great for sleep. This is better than tobacco. This is not without harm. That's number two. So again, cannabis, as a medicine, we're not quite ready. Cannabis does have addictive potential for sure. And thirdly, I would argue that cannabis and its impact on just what are we doing as a society in terms of making our lives better? So the whole proposition was geared for social equity. It was to allow persons of color to get businesses to own cannabis dispensaries. That's number one. Number two, it was supposed to eliminate misdemeanors and felonies for cannabis possessions. How well we really done that? I think I'm an addiction psychiatrist and I'm not a sociologist or a health services researcher. But what we look at is kind of here. You think about all the dispensaries that are open out there? How many are really owned by persons of colors? People who disproportionately did not get a chance to get into the business. It's not many. And there was an article in the LA times just last Sunday. I read it. Talking about how wait a minute, what about the communities that were disproportionately damaged by addiction, racism, lack of equality? And they're not getting a chance to get cannabis license either to grow, so distribute market or sell. I think that same article was saying those who have been trying to get their permits and everything. The bar is so high that they're being undercut by the illegal business and dealing with it. And so as anything else it's a very complicated story here in California where we know that I think second quarter, the revenue was somewhere I want to say two, $3 billion brought in something like that. That's just revenue. So yes, we're getting a lot of taxes on it. But the unregulated market is still thriving. Yeah. It's going wild. You hear a lot of cannabis dispensaries and manufacturers talking about taxation really limiting their ability to do their job well..

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