User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Jan 27 2015 04:35 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Florida Republican Aims To Legalize Medical Marijuana 27.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A top Florida Republican filed a bill Monday that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, just months after a similar ballot measure received a majority of voter support , but fell just short of the percentage needed to pass. Florida state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) filed The Florida Medical Marijuana Act , a bill that would allow licensed Florida physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to qualified patients in what would be a far-reaching expansion from the more limited "Charlotte's Web" medical marijuana law that Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed last year . The bill lists nine specific diseases for which patients could qualify for prescribed medical marijuana, including cancer, HIV, AIDS, epilepsy, ALS disease (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis and any medical condition that causes chronic wasting syndrome, pain or severe nausea. Medical marijuana appears to be very popular among state voters. A survey from 2014 found that almost 90 percent of voters supported the legal ...
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A View of Healthcare from Room K 631 23.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Hours before Christmas, at exactly 7:00am on December 24th, I was heading to the Emergency Room at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Montefiore is one of the largest hospitals and medical teaching institutions in the country and closely associated with the prestigious Albert Einstein College of Medicine - a city within a city with a staff of over 20,000 and a hospital bed capacity of nearly 2,000. "Monte" also has additional facilities in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon in Westchester County, while its main facility continues to expand, setting up medical offices and growing like topsy throughout the Bronx, all run by its staff. These ever-expanding medical complexes are a disturbing new trend throughout our country and are adversely affecting private practice doctors and the communities they serve. In Monte's most recent and ongoing expansion is a proposed eleven story building in a residential part of the Bronx that would bring in 1,000 patients per day to a community already burdened with ...
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Obama Predicts Bright Future For Legal Weed 23.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
President Barack Obama said during a YouTube interview Thursday that he believes more states will consider legalizing recreational marijuana, citing his administration's hands-off approach to prohibition-ending cannabis laws in Colorado and Washington state. “What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington, through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana," Obama said in response to host Hank Green. "The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this." Obama went on to say that he has asked his Department of Justice to examine how nonviolent drug offenders are being treated by the justice system. "What we have done is instead of focusing on treatment -- the same way we focused, say, with tobacco or drunk driving ...
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Construction of California's High-Speed Rail Could Increase Risk of Fungal Infection 23.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Depending on who you talk to, the 68 billion dollar high-speed rail project from San Francisco to Los Angeles is either an innovative project that will decrease green house gases and lessen auto travel or is an expensive, under-funded project that will milk taxpayers, negatively impact the environment, and not improve the lives of most Californians. What I don't see people talking about is the potential for an increased risk of valley fever during construction of the rail line. Valley fever , also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a fungal infection that is common in areas with hot summer temperatures and low rain fall. It can be contracted when fungal spores found in the soil become airborne and are inhaled. Symptoms include fatigue, coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, headache, night sweats, muscle pain, and rash. While many who are exposed to the airborne spores don't get ill or have mild symptoms, about 5 to 10 percent of cases develop a chronic lung infection that must be treated with expensive ...
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Of Course Colorado Guesses It Will Cost $420 To Pull Marijuana PSA Records 22.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A recent records request targeting a new series of Colorado public service announcements on legal recreational marijuana has turned up the perfect cost -- $420, obviously. Earlier this month, Beryl Lipton, a reporter at the public-records news site MuckRock, filed a request under Colorado's Open Records Act about the state's $5.7 million campaign regarding recreational marijuana, called "Good to Know." Tallying up the staff time associated with Lipton's request, the Colorado Department of Health found that the minimum charge would be exactly $420. MuckRock reports that the Health Department estimated 21 hours of staff time, at $20 per hour, to retrieve and review the documents. (The agency noted that charge did not cover additional fees for the actual production of the documents, which depend on the format.) The number "420" is significant in pot culture and is celebrated annually on April 20 (4/20) by marijuana enthusiasts around the world. Its origin, however, has been debated for decades. The ...
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Friday Talking Points -- Getting Ready For Obama's Big Speech 17.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This was a busy week in politics, as the Republicans in the new Congress began a bout of legislating and President Obama ramped up his agenda in preparation for next Tuesday's big speech to Congress and the country. So let's just dive in to the week that was, shall we? Let's begin with the most serious news, about terrorism and other stupidity. In non-partisan fashion, we must absolutely condemn the Ohio bartender who was arrested this week for threatening to kill John Boehner. Now, we're not fans of Boehner by a long shot, but violence to solve political problems (in general) and assassination (in particular) should always be universally condemned by all, no matter the political figure involved. Also worth condemning is a story that has so far gotten little media attention -- today will be the second weekly flogging of a Saudi Arabian blogger, for the crime of criticizing his government and (supposedly) Islam. During his trial, not only was he sentenced to a heavy fine, a long jail term, and 1,000 ...
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Washington Man Who Faces Years In Prison For Growing Medical Marijuana Has Cancer 17.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A Washington state man who is facing at least 10 years in prison if convicted in a high-profile federal case over growing medical marijuana for personal use has been diagnosed with cancer. Larry Harvey, 71, has stage 4 cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver, Harvey's wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, told The Huffington Post in a written statement. "Larry's health has been going downhill since this case began," Firestack-Harvey said. "This summer, he was hospitalized for ten days due to blood poisoning. That was the first sign of trouble with his pancreas. Larry took a sudden turn for the worse in December and we learned on his birthday that he has pancreatic cancer. Doctors have since confirmed that it is Stage IV and has started to spread to his liver. Larry had his second round of chemotherapy this Wednesday, followed by a blood transfusion on Thursday. We are trying to stay focused on his recovery, but the stress of trial in February makes this struggle even harder than it already ...
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Cancer Patient Dies After Medical Marijuana Conviction 14.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A cancer patient from Iowa whose conviction for growing medical marijuana made national headlines died from the disease on Monday . Benton Mackenzie, 49, was sentenced to probation in September following his conviction, but his health had rapidly deteriorated during his trial. "I've got a big empty pit right in the middle of my chest right now," Loretta Mackenzie, his wife of 22 years, told the Quad-City Times' Brian Wellner, who first reported Benton Mackenzie's death . Mackenzie stood trial in July for growing medical marijuana to make an oil that he used as treatment of his tumors. He and his wife were convicted in Iowa district court for marijuana manufacturing and conspiracy. Their son, Cody, was convicted of drug possession. In a surprise ruling, the family was sentenced to probation , rather than prison. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) signed a law last year legalizing the use of marijuana-derived CBD oil to treat epilepsy . The law focuses narrowly on "intractable epilepsy" and didn't apply to ...
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Heroin-Linked Deaths Surge 39 Percent, CDC Finds 13.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Overdose deaths linked to heroin jumped 39 percent in 2013 from the year before, according to data released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said 8,257 people died of heroin-related deaths in 2013, compared with 5,925 deaths in 2012. The number of overdose deaths overall increased to 43,982 from 41,340. Many more Americans die from prescription opioids. But the rise in fatal heroin overdoses came as users of prescription painkillers switched to the cheaper, illicit street drug. The heroin deaths contributed to an overall 6 percent jump in drug overdose deaths in 2013 from 2012. "These troubling statistics illustrate a grim reality: that drug, and particularly opioid abuse, represents a growing public health crisis," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. As states cracked down on the illicit use of prescription painkillers in the 2000s, many users shifted to heroin, which sells for a fraction of the cost. The February 2014 death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman ...
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Studies Show Pot Legalization Has Not Impacted Teen Use 6.1.2015 Truthout - All Articles
When Colorado and Washington State legalized the use of marijuana, there were a number of people who decried the dangers of the substance. Most contended that legalizing the substance would increase teen use and highlighted marijuana as a gateway drug. While there is no question that studies have shown that marijuana can cause paranoia and memory issues in some people, a few years on the data is in, and as it turns out, it’s  not what the naysayers expected. Although adult use of marijuana increased following the years of legalization, what’s interesting is that teen use has fallen. According to the  National Institute on Drug Abuse , the use of marijuana has fallen amongst teens in almost every sector. Although the study focused on nationwide statistics, a state by state breakdown in the  National Survey on Drug Use and Health  showed that it still holds true in states that have legalized the drug. It shouldn’t really come as that big of a surprise if we look at drug use on a larger scale. In countries ...
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Medical Marijuana Has Been Legal In Illinois For A Year, But A Single Patient Has Yet To Benefit 6.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois for more than 365 days, but the number of patients that have actually been able to get relief from the drug remains a big fat zero. While 600 local patients have already been approved for a medical marijuana card, there's no place to actually buy the stuff. And after the state recently blew its self-imposed deadline to award business licenses to medical marijuana growers and dispensaries by the end of 2014, not a single business can even plant pot seeds. “Illinois is the worst at anything having to do [with] medicine -- or alternative [treatment],” Claire Mooney, a 39-year-old acupuncturist in Chicago, told The Huffington Post. Mooney applied in November for a medical marijuana card, hoping to ease muscle rigidity, pain and other symptoms caused by her multiple sclerosis. Though she's frustrated by the state's timing, she said she's also not surprised by it. “It goes on the timeline I thought it would be on, given the bureaucracy of Illinois.” Despite the ...
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Anti-Weed Group Uses Pot-Related Illnesses To Call For Stricter Marijuana Laws 6.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE, Jan 5 (Reuters) - The number of children treated annually for accidental pot consumption in Colorado has reached double-digits and a drug treatment chain has seen a surge of teens treated for cannabis abuse, a leading U.S. anti-marijuana group said on Monday. In a report that urged stricter cannabis controls, Smart Approaches to Marijuana also pointed to higher-than-average marijuana use in the first two states to legalize recreational pot, Colorado and Washington, and an increase in burns from butane hash oil production. "We need a pumping-of-the-brakes on the marijuana industry," the group's president, Kevin Sabet, said in an interview. "When we have hospitalizations and burns and deaths, we need to stop many of these products from being sold." The report comes amid rapidly shifting state laws governing the use of marijuana, which voters in four U.S. states have opted to legalize for recreational use, most recently in Oregon and Alaska. The drug remains illegal ...
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Pot Doesn't Even Rank in U.S. Poisonings, But Pills Do 5.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Marijuana, that scourge of America, didn't even earn a mention in the National Poison Control Center's new research paper on poisonings in the United States. The center's report, " Poisoning in the United States ," was published this month in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine. The biggest death-causing drug in the land, responsible for 83 percent of poisonings that ended in death, the study found, was prescription painkillers, namely opioids. Cardiovascular and antidepressant pills also contributed to that finding, the paper states. Though traditional marijuana wasn't even a factor in the report, the researchers found that wannabe pot, a.k.a. synthetic marijuana, along with "bath salts," did their own damage, according to a summary: The family of designer drugs such as "bath salts" (a type of amphetamine), "plant food," synthetic marijuana and others continue to poison users severely enough that they require emergency medical treatment. Although bath salts exposures peaked in 2011, new illicit ...
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The 10 Best Photos From The Department Of The Interior's Instagram Account In 2014 1.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
We've seen some stunning photos of America's public lands pop up on the Department of the Interior's Instagram account over the past year, including some striking animal shots and glorious nightscapes . The agency is tasked with protecting more than 500 million acres of public lands and waterways across the country, including a wide breadth of national parks, from Acadia to Yosemite. Take a look at the top 10 Instagram posts on the Interior Department's account from 2014, and follow along throughout the new year @usinterior . A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on Aug 8, 2014 at 2:18pm PDT Photo by Tom Koerner, USFWS. A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on Nov 11, 2014 at 9:00am PST Photo courtesy of Cameron Patrick. A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on Oct 10, 2014 at 8:01am PDT Photo by Robert Buman ( www.sharetheexperience.org ). A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on Aug 8, 2014 at 3:25pm ...
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8-Year-Old's Death Prompts Medical Marijuana Rally Outside Andrew Cuomo's Office 20.12.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Patients, advocates and family members of sick children staged a rally outside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office Friday to demand that the Democrat establish an emergency-access medical marijuana program for the state, one week after an 8-year-old from Niagara Falls died from brain cancer. "More than five months after Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that was meant to bring vital treatment to our family, my daughter Donella is dead," Nate Nocera, whose daughter died Dec. 12, said at the event. "Governor Cuomo, I know you cannot turn back time to get us the medical marijuana that could have slowed the aggressive growth of the tumor in her brain ... but you have the power to end the needless suffering of so many New York families." Cuomo signed New York's medical marijuana bill into law in July after months of deliberation and negotiations. But the legislation as written is among the strictest in the nation, and the measure won't be fully implemented until 2016 at the earliest. An early ...
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Declaring War on Heroin 18.12.2014 Truthout - All Articles
In a handout photo, 53 pounds of herion, seized from a New York-based drug organization by the Drug Enforcement Administration. More heroin has already been seized by authorities here in 2014 than in any year since 1991, part of a well-documented nationwide rise in heroin use that has seen New York once again become a conduit for suppliers. (Photo: DEA via The New York Times) Even as officials eschew "drug war" language, many states' actions in response to the heroin panic have taken the same old tack. Overwhelming, well-publicized evidence that mandatory minimums do not reduce crime has apparently been cast aside in the swirl of the heroin scare. In a handout photo, 53 pounds of herion, seized from a New York-based drug organization by the Drug Enforcement Administration. More heroin has already been seized by authorities here in 2014 than in any year since 1991, part of a well-documented nationwide rise in heroin use that has seen New York once again become a conduit for suppliers. (Photo: DEA via The ...
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Teen Marijuana Use Declines As Country Moves Toward Marijuana Legalization 17.12.2014 Commondreams.org Newswire
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HUFFPOST HILL - We Tortured So, So Many Folks 10.12.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
James Gruber reminds us that you can't call Americans "stupid" unless it's on an internet comment board and preceded by the word "your." A member of Congress essentially accused Obamacare of killing her spouse, exhibiting the "Visceral hatred of center left political agendas" stage of the Kubler Ross grief model. And congressional negotiators' delays in announcing a bill to fund the government past Thursday reminded us of what a great man once said: "This sucker could go down." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, December 9th, 2014: WHERE IS THE CROMNIBUS? - Politico's @JakeSherman has been on top of the missing legislation to prevent a government shutdown this week: "It is nearly 5:20 p.m., and the government shuts down in 54 hours. We have not seen the omnibus or CR that will keep govt open past Dec. 11…. Rs hoped to release spending bill at various points within last 48 hours, but here we are, just 2 days from govt shutdown & no bill… All that being said, GOP aides are still very, very, very confident ...
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On Drugs, Privacy, and Public Health: Lessons from Alaska 8.12.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Toronto is now home to world's first harm-reduction workers' union 6.12.2014 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
New union takes an inclusive approach to organizing some of health care's most precarious workers. Toronto is home to the world's first ever harm-reduction workers' union: THRWU. On November 11, workers at South Riverdale and Central Toronto Community health centres told their employers that they had joined the Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Union (THRWU) and demanded recognition. With 50 members and counting, the union represents a wide range of professions including HIV/AIDS workers, workers involved in the distribution of safe usage tools, overdose prevention workers, peer workers, Hepatitis C workers, and nurses -- to name only a few. While some THRWU members work in paid positions, others work as volunteers or are ...
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