Oregon decriminalizes drugs: Here are 3 metrics other states will track

It's "the biggest blow to the war on drugs to date," said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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  • Oregon voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • The state also legalized the therapeutic use and sale of psilocybin mushrooms.
  • As the laws go into effect, other U.S. states will be watching to see how the experiment plays out, influencing future votes across the country.
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Study: Smoking weed while pregnant lowers infant birth weight

While many people don't think its all that bad, a new study suggests you should lay off while expecting.

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  • A new study suggests that smoking weed during pregnancy reduces birth weight and gestational age.
  • The study follows on the heels of several others suggesting that marijuana has a variety of negative side effects.
  • Despite this, many people still consider marijuana to be harmless.
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Early marijuana use 'primes' the brain to enjoy cocaine, study suggests

A new study on rats suggests that using marijuana as an adolescent "reprograms the initial behavioral, molecular, and epigenetic response to cocaine."

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  • In the study, adolescent and adult rats were first given a synthetic cannabinoid and then cocaine.
  • The results showed that the young rats' brains were more sensitive to the effects of cocaine, but these effects weren't observed in the adult rats.
  • The researchers suggest that research like this can help to develop better treatments for substance abuse disorders.

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What will the first weed degree program in the U.S. look like?

Check out the curriculum for the nation's first cannabis-focused bachelor's program.

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  • Colorado State University-Pueblo will offer the first undergraduate weed degree in the U.S.
  • The program will include intensive coursework focused on chemistry and advanced biology.
  • Cannabis has become one of the fastest-growing job markets.
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The 2020s: The decade of psychedelic breakthroughs?

Clinical studies are underway. How we treat them moving forward matters.

  • Michael Ehlers, a former executive at Biogen and Pfizer, has assumed an advisory role with Field Trip, a psychedelics research organization.
  • Ehlers has followed the science of psychedelics for more than a decade and is excited by the potential for therapeutic applications.
  • MDMA and psilocybin have been granted breakthrough therapy status by the FDA, signaling a shift in the future of mental health treatment.
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