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New Marijuana Research – SD Union Tribune

The topic of marijuana got a serious scientific treatment Wednesday at the University of California San Diego, where researchers outlined the latest evidence about the drug.

The federal government estimates that 22.2 million Americans use cannabis today, an increase of about 4.4 million since 2002. The rise comes amid a growing medical marijuana movement that has culminated with full legalization in Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C.

California could join those ranks in November if the state’s voters approve marijuana for recreational use.

Science is trying to catch up with the public’s growing acceptance and use of a plant that contains 400 chemical compounds, including more than 60 cannabinoids known to act directly on specialized receptors in the brain.

Understanding just how these compounds work – how they influence issues such as addiction, pain relief and even control of severe childhood seizures – is an evolving effort.

Click here for the full story by Paul Sisson, San Diego Union Tribune.