Why states are wary of allowing sports betting on phones

For states looking to profit off the new world of legal sports betting, there’s an app for that. The question for state lawmakers: Should they allow it?

As state legislatures across the U.S. decide whether to authorize sports gambling, lawmakers are debating whether the bets — like almost everything else in daily life — should be allowed to happen online or made only in-person.

Among their concerns is that the accessibility of online betting, especially on mobile devices, could be a pathway for minors to start gambling and make sports betting more addictive.

The debate was on display this past week in Rhode Island, where the Legislature sent a bill to the governor that expands the state’s sports betting law by allowing wagers to take place online.

Rep. Teresa Tanzi, who voted against the bill, said she worries about giving people unlimited access to an activity that can be highly addictive.

“We know cellphones are addictive and gambling is addictive,” said Tanzi, a Democrat. “It’s two corrosive elements together, and we don’t know what those two things together will exponentially produce. I just don’t see that there’s adequate caution moving forward.”

She wants the state to launch a public awareness campaign to educate people about the signs of gambling addiction and to dedicate sports betting revenue to help problem gamblers. Tanzi also said that any mobile app designed to take sports bets should include information about how people can get help if they are developing an addiction.

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Experts say inexperienced marijuana users eat too much because edibles take longer to kick in

Panic attacks, heart attacks, and dangerous behavior in Colorado after people have been eating food that contains marijuana.

While “edibles” account for less than 1 percent of the recreational marijuana consumption in Colorado, it is responsible for more than 10 percent of the hospital visits related to marijuana.

Experts say people who eat the marijuana-laced food don’t think it’s working, so they eat more than they should.

This results in users getting so high that they can have panic attacks, that lead to heart attacks. In other cases, users act irrationally, doing things that can result in serious injuries or even death.

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Why Marlboro Maker Bet on Juul, the Vaping Upstart Aiming to Kill Cigarettes

The biggest U.S. tobacco company has made a $12.8 billion bet on a company whose stated goal is to get smokers to drop cigarettes. The calculated gamble: The move will help the Marlboro maker keep up with a quickly changing market. The risk: It could hasten its own decline.

Facing an accelerating fall in cigarette sales, Altria Group Inc. in December put billions into Juul Labs Inc., a controversial startup whose sleek, nicotine-packed vaporizers have fueled a surge in the e-cigarette market.

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Cannabis-related ER visits in Colorado jump threefold after legalization, study says

Cannabis use in Colorado has been on the rise since medical cannabis was liberalized in 2009 and recreational cannabis went on sale in 2014, and it has led to an increase in emergency department visits, according to a new study.

Although inhaled cannabis leads to more visits overall, new research says, edibles — foods containing cannabis extract — account for more visits for psychiatric and cardiovascular symptoms.

Research has shed light on increasing safety concerns related to cannabis. The researchers identified 9,973 cannabis-related emergency department visits at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital from 2012 to 2016, a more than threefold increase in such visits.

Lead study author Dr. Andrew A. Monte, a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, and his colleagues were motivated by their own experiences. “We observed a higher number of visits attributable to edibles than expected, and there was no data to determine if this was indeed true,” he said.

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Walgreens will sell CBD products in nearly 1,500 stores

Walgreens will begin selling CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states.

CNBC was the first to report the news Wednesday, which came about a week after CVS announced some of its stores will sell CBD topical products.

CBD, a hemp-derived cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive ingredient in cannabis that is becoming increasingly mainstream.

“This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith said in a statement to USA TODAY.

The drugstore chain will sell the cannabis-based products in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana, Faith said.

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Marijuana as a cure for opioid use? Nation’s top drug scientist says she’s skeptical

The head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said there’s no evidence that marijuana weans people from opioid addiction – and promoting such treatment might deny people a chance at recovery.

The nation’s research agency on drug use wants to assess cannabis ingredients as possible treatments for more than 2 million Americans with opioid-use disorder, NIDA Director Nora Volkow said this week. But there’s not any evidence that marijuana works for opioid addiction, she said.

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois allow marijuana as a treatment for addiction to opioids such as heroin, fentanyl and OxyContin. The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would add opioid-use disorder to the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions for marijuana.

Volkow said she worries people who substitute marijuana for the Food and Drug Administration-approved medications buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone might be more likely to relapse.

“If you don’t treat it properly, your risk of dying is quite high,” Volkow told the USA TODAY Editorial Board in a wide-ranging interview. “My main concern is by basically misinforming potential patients about the supposedly beneficial effects of cannabis, they may forgo a treatment that is lifesaving.”

Ohio medical marijuana patients will have their first access to processed materials

Tinctures, which are liquid extracts taken orally, will be available at select dispensaries such as Grow Ohio in Zanesville starting Wednesday. Grow Ohio also confirmed they delivered tinctures to The Botanist locations in Canton and Wickliffe and Ohio Cannabis Company in Coshocton. In the coming week, more products are expected to be available.

Previously only raw flower has been available to Ohio patients. The raw flower has been grown by cultivators which, with a special license, have been able to sell that flower directly to dispensaries, after the flower is tested at state labs.

With the state’s first processor, Grow Ohio, getting its Certificate of Operation earlier in March, the dispensary will have tinctures available to patients. Grow Ohio will have a line of medical marijuana products that will include tinctures, oil in syringes, gummies, capsules, and topical creams.

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