User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Apr 18 2015 08:37 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Friday Talking Points -- Chasing The Scooby Van 18.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Strange but true, the "Scooby van" is now part of our political lexicon. Hillary Clinton herself is apparently to blame for this one, as this was the playful name she came up with for the van she used to get from New York to Iowa this week. The media, as it will be doing for the next year and a half over pretty much any new aspect of Hillary Clinton's campaign (and we do mean "any new aspect at all -- even the laughably trivial"), quite predictably, freaked out. Looking at the "Scooby van" through the lens of talking points (as we are wont to do, here), we have to say that one thing struck us about Hillary's choice: her inattention to the proper geeky level of detail. Ask any Scooby Doo fan, and they'll tell you the van in question was actually called "The Mystery Machine." Hillary is showing the same level of cultural tone-deafness as when she flubbed her big opening line, saying: "Live from New York, it is Saturday Night!" She may not have been the only guest host in the entire history of the show ...
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Obama Signals Support For Changing Course In Federal War On Medical Marijuana 18.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In an interview that will air for the first time this weekend as part of CNN's latest installment of its medical marijuana documentary series "WEED 3," President Barack Obama signals support for medical marijuana and for rolling back the federal government's war on drugs. CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, a vocal supporter of the legalization of medical marijuana , asks Obama in the documentary if he supports the goals of a historic Senate bill introduced in March that seeks to make several major changes in federal law, including drastically reducing the federal government's ability to crack down on state-legal medical marijuana programs, encouraging more research into the plant and reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug. "You know, I think I'd have to take a look at the details," Obama began in response, "but I'm on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ...
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Mother Fighting for Custody, Son Taken by Police After Classroom Comments About Marijuana's Benefits 18.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A mother already suffering from a debilitating medical condition now must fight the state of Kansas to maintain her parental rights . Shona Banda, a well-known activist, published a book "Live Free or Die" detailing how she found relief from Crohn's disease after using cannabis oil. Banda's primary concern now is keeping custody of her son. This because her son's school contacted child protective services after he attempted to argue about the harms of marijuana during a classroom talk. Child Protective Services then removed Banda's son from the school. This story may seem ridiculous to some. The reality is this happens all the time in our country and it is a lesser-known atrocity of the drug war. Due to mandatory reporting requirements, the staff at the school may have been under a duty to involve Child Protective Services if Banda's son admitted marijuana was in his home. This type of blanket approach is rarely in the immediate best interests of the child and reflects the immense amount of stigma ...
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Indiana Families Deserve an Effective Syringe Exchange Policy 15.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Indiana's Republican Governor, Mike Pence, is implementing a 30-day syringe exchange program in Scott County to combat escalating HIV/AIDS infection rates. It is part of a public health emergency he declared to keep Hoosiers safe. This plan is welcome news but one program operating in one county for one month is not going to stop an epidemic. Some legislators want real reform and the governor should work with them. Thousands of lives are at stake. Syringe exchange programs are not new. They operate in dozens of U.S. states and are the cornerstone of fighting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other infectious diseases in many countries around the world. In addition to preventing the spread of infectious diseases these programs offer critical health services to people who inject drugs, and often are a bridge to drug treatment. The programs also help get contaminated syringes off the streets, keeping neighborhoods safe, while ensuring that when police officers search suspects they don't accidentally prick ...
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Earth May Be on the Brink of a Mass Extinction, and More 14.4.2015 Truthout - All Articles
In today's On the News segment: If we want any chance to prevent the next mass extinction, we'd better break our addiction to fossil fuels; a new report says medical marijuana works on brain tumors, but that won't stop the Justice Department from going after pot users; ALEC is threatening to sue groups like Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters; and more. TRANSCRIPT: Thom Hartmann here - on the best of the rest of....Science and Green news..... You need to know this. The more we learn about previous mass extinctions, the more we recognize that we're on the brink of triggering the next one. Earlier this month, an team of international researchers say that changes in the biochemical makeup of the ocean were a primary factor in the Triassic mass extinction 200 million years ago. According to their study, which will appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Geology, the ocean around the supercontinent Pangaea became toxic because of oxygen-depletion. Although previous studies have documented ...
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Devil's Bargain: A Former Medellin Cartel Official Has Been A DEA Informant For 27 Years. Now He Wants Out. 9.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Carlos Toro, seen at his Miami home in 1982, has been on both sides of the drug war, first as a Medellín cartel member and later as a confidential DEA informant. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Toro) “You're lying to me," the man said. Carlos Toro took a gulp of wine and tried to maintain his composure. For years, he had dreaded hearing those words. It was February 2011, and Toro, who was then 61, had come to this upscale steakhouse in Madrid expecting a casual meal between two friends with business to discuss. His companion was a South American diplomat and high-level cocaine trafficker eager to break into the European drug market, where a kilo purchased for less than $1,000 wholesale back home could sell for more than $40,000 on the street. Toro was a onetime top official in the Colombia-based Medellín cartel, which dominated the global cocaine market in the 1970s and '80s. In his sharply tailored blazer and slacks, a shock of thinning, gray hair atop his head, Toro certainly looked the part of a ...
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Antioxidant Effects differ by Leaf Color 28.3.2015 Environmental News Network
Lettuce, one of the indispensable vegetables in the Mediterranean diet, is a food that greatly benefits health, mainly because it is rich in antioxidants. But not all lettuce varieties have the same antioxidant effect. According to a study led by the researcher Usue Pérez-López of the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology of the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Science and Technology, the colour of the leaves of these vegetables determines the speed at which their compounds act. So lettuces with green leaves have antioxidants that react more slowly while red-leaf ones have a faster effect. The results of this study have been set out in a paper "Phenolic Composition and Related Antioxidant Properties in Differently Coloured Lettuces: A Study by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Kinetics" recently published by the ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry'.
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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Overrides State Law To Authorize Needle-Exchange Program 27.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence overrode state law and his own anti-drug policies Thursday to authorize a short-term needle-exchange program designed to help contain HIV infections in a rural county where more than six dozen cases have been reported, all of them tied to intravenous drug use. Pence issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency in Scott County, an economically depressed area about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, that has seen 79 new infections since December. The county typically sees only about five HIV cases each year, health officials said. All of those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the county, and all of the infections have been linked to needle sharing among drug users. Most of the infections involve people who injected a liquefied form of the prescription painkiller Opana. Methamphetamine and heroin account for the remaining cases, health officials said. Pence, a Republican, said officials from the Centers for Disease Control ...
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Feds May Spend Nearly $70 Million On Marijuana For Research 27.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The federal government announced Monday that it is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on marijuana research through the University of Mississippi, which houses the only federally legal cannabis garden in the United States. The new contract, worth a maximum of $68.7 million over five years, was awarded by the National Institutes of Health Monday and posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website . The award is a renewal of a contract with the university that the federal government has held for more than 40 years. In a statement provided to The Huffington Post, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an arm of NIH that oversees the marijuana operation at Ole Miss, said, "To serve the research community, NIDA has tried to build farm capacity flexible enough to accommodate various levels of demand for research marijuana and marijuana products over the next five years." NIDA is already obligated to spend $1.5 million on Ole Miss marijuana research for the 2015 fiscal year, the organization told ...
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Kentucky's New Heroin Law Makes A 'Culture Shift' 26.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday night, Kentucky lawmakers passed wide-ranging legislation to combat the state’s heroin epidemic. The bipartisan measure represents a significant policy shift away from more punitive measures toward a focus on treating addicts, not jailing them. The state will now allow local health departments to set up needle exchanges and increase the number of people who can carry naloxone, the drug that paramedics use to save a person suffering an opioid overdose. Addicts who survive an overdose will no longer be charged with a crime after being revived. Instead, they will be connected to treatment services and community mental health workers. At a Wednesday morning press conference before he signed the bill into law, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said the legislation sent a simple message to addicts across Kentucky: "We’re coming to help you. Work with us. Help us to help you to get on the road to recovery." In the past, help along the road to recovery in Kentucky typically meant an abstinence-only ...
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HIV Outbreak In Indiana To Be Declared Public Health Emergency 26.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Faced with a growing HIV outbreak tied to intravenous drug use, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Wednesday he's considering a needle-exchange program as part of a public health emergency he's preparing to declare in a county that's at the epicenter of the cases. Pence, a Republican, said he generally opposes needle exchanges but is listening to health officials to determine the best way to stop the outbreak in Scott County in southern Indiana. Health officials say 72 cases of HIV have been confirmed in southern Indiana and seven other people have preliminary positive HIV infections. All of those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the county. Pence, who plans to issue an executive order Thursday morning outlining a range of state actions, noted Scott County typically sees five HIV cases each year. "What I'm thinking about carefully and thoughtfully is what's needed in a public health emergency, what's necessary to really get control of this in the immediate future," ...
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Harper government moves to block supervised injection services for drug users in Canada 25.3.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 The newly passed and ironically titled 'Respect for Communities Act' will effectively block the establishment of new supervised injection facilities across Canada. The House of Commons passed  Bill C-2, the Respect for Communities Act . Pretty title, but like so much Conservative legislation, the meaning of the title, like the bill, is  cruelly ironic ...
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Through Smart Drug Policies, We Can Change Our Communities for the Better 25.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a staggering and tragic statistic: Heroin overdose deaths tripled from 2010 to 2013. These numbers are shocking, but they unfortunately come as no surprise to the communities across the U.S. that have been torn apart by drug abuse and deaths from overdose. Addiction to opioids including heroin and prescription pills like Vicodin and OxyContin is an epidemic sweeping our nation. This epidemic is hurting millions of Americans who are struggling with or have lost a loved one to the disease of addiction. I share this pain. I felt it personally when I lost my son, who was just 25 years old at the time, to the crippling disease of addiction. I feel this pain every day. After my son's passing, I refocused my life to lessening the pain and stigma associated with this disease in our communities. I founded Shatterproof in the hopes of turning a story of tragedy into one of hope. There's a lack of resources for Americans struggling with addiction, and ...
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As Heroin Deaths Skyrocket, Prescription Monitoring Programs May Do More Harm 18.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This post was co-authored by Michael Gilbert. When it comes to drug overdose, we may be winning one battle, but losing the war. As deaths involving prescription painkillers are leveling off, the latest stats on heroin fatalities could not be more dire. These deaths have quadrupled between 2000 and 2013, doubling just between 2010 and 2012. What's often lost behind the headlines is that the trends in prescription painkiller and heroin abuse are linked. There is evidence to suggest that the raging heroin problem is being fueled by the crackdown on painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Shuttering pill-mills, tightening restrictions on certain analgesics, and making products harder to snort and inject all seem to be curbing prescription drug abuse. But addiction does not simply go away when the pills do, which is why people dependent on prescription opioids have been switching to heroin in record numbers. From a chemical standpoint, heroin is very similar to its prescription drug cousins. Its uncontained ...
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Nevada Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Sick Pets 18.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada senator has introduced a bill that would allow pets to use pot.

Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring the bill that was introduced Tuesday. SB372 calls on state officials to issue medical marijuana cards for animals if the animal's owner is a Nevada resident and a veterinarian certifies that the animal has an illness that might be alleviated by marijuana.

Segerblom says the provision is part of a larger bill that cleans up the state's medical marijuana statute.

Sen. Mark Manendo, a fellow Democrat and animal rights advocate, says he's concerned that marijuana might not be a safe treatment for sick animals.

Segerblom says he's also concerned that marijuana might have adverse effects on animals, but he says veterinarians won't know unless they try.
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Make the Stop Overdose Stat Act a Priority for 2015 6.3.2015 Truthout - All Articles
It's time for Congress to take an evidence-based and public health focused approach to the epidemic of opioid overdoses. Opioid overdose is an epidemic in the United States. Drug overdose death rates have more than tripled since 1990, with the vast majority of these deaths attributable to an increase in the prescription and sale of opioid medications. The death rate from heroin overdose doubled between 2010 and 2012, and young people are now more likely to die from drug overdose than from motor vehicle crashes. These statistics may be surprising, but their causes are familiar – commonly abused prescription opioid medications include names such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, or codeine, as well as the illicit drug heroin, which creates similar pain-relieving effects. Prescription drugs are often considered a "gateway" to heroin use as heroin addiction often begins as a cheaper alternative to prescription painkillers. In March 2014, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) introduced the Stop Overdose Stat (SOS) Act to ...
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Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare 4.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Obamacare faces its strangest challenge yet when the Supreme Court takes up the law for the third time Wednesday, but the oddity of the lawsuit shouldn’t obscure the cataclysm that a loss for President Barack Obama would provoke. The Supreme Court case is the latest legal effort by political opponents of the Affordable Care Act to ruin Obama’s signature domestic achievement. If successful, the suit would tarnish Obama’s legacy, foment infighting among Republicans, aggravate bitter partisanship between the GOP Congress and the White House, and threaten chaos in the health insurance market. But the worst consequences would fall on the estimated 9.6 million people who would lose their health insurance . The lawsuit, King v. Burwell , isn’t like the previous two Obamacare cases that came before the Supreme Court. Three years ago, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in upholding the constitutionality of the ...
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Despite U.N. Treaties, War Against Drugs a Losing Battle 28.2.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Utah Medical Marijuana Bill Moving Forward 28.2.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Kentucky Considers Changes To Drug Courts For Heroin Addicts 25.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The Kentucky court system is reconsidering how its drug courts treat defendants thanks to a new federal policy that is pushing them to offer medications to opiate addicts. The state currently bars medication-assisted treatments for addicts in its drug courts. State judges order defendants off medications like Suboxone and methadone when placing them in their diversion programs. In early February, Michael Botticelli, the director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, said that drug courts that receive federal money can no longer ban defendants from using treatments like Suboxone. The medication can eliminate cravings and, along with methadone, is seen by the medical establishment as the standard of care for opiate addicts. Although the vast majority of Kentucky’s drug courts do not receive federal funding, a state spokeswoman for the court system said they are currently reviewing their practices. “Kentucky drug court is evaluating the very recent news regarding federal ...
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