User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Sep 29 2014 21:53 IST RSS 2.0
 
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UMass Police Helped Keep Student's Addiction Secret 29.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
AMHERST — Logan’s parents drove all morning from out of state to reach his off-campus apartment that sunny afternoon at the start of UMass Amherst Family Weekend last October.

His father and stepmother arrived first, around lunchtime, hoping to surprise the UMass junior with a cheeseburger when he got out of class. But Logan wasn’t there. Or at his campus job. He didn’t answer the door and he didn’t answer text messages either. Finally, the couple persuaded a maintenance man to let them inside.

There, lying on the bathroom floor was the 20-year-old, a former star hockey player and scholarship student, a needle and a spoon nearby. Logan’s father instantly knew it was too late to save Logan -- his son’s body was already cold -- but he couldn’t comprehend how it could be true. He had no idea Logan was using heroin.
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Truthout Interviews Featuring Paul Armentano on Marijuana, Alcohol, and the Law 28.9.2014 Truthout.com
Paul Armentano has spent a great deal of time writing about cannabis. In this "Truthout Interviews," he compares the deleterious health consequences between cannabis and alcohol by reviewing the medical research on each and finds that when compared side by side, alcohol is much more harmful to one's health than cannabis. As Armentano points out, it's not that cannabis is an innocuous drug, but rather it does not reach the threshold established by the Drug Enforcement Administration in categorizing controlled substances. Indeed, alcohol and tobacco should qualify as controlled substances for their addictive qualities and propensity for abuse. However, Congress exempted both substances from the drug schedules - most likely due to intense lobbying from the industries that profit from them. As Armentano argues, what is needed (and is happening in many parts of the US) are changes in the laws regarding cannabis that impose harsh penalties on users of a drug that should not be classified as a Schedule 1 ...
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Truthout Interviews Featuring Paul Armentano on Marijuana, Alcohol, and the Law 28.9.2014 Truthout - All Articles
Paul Armentano has spent a great deal of time writing about cannabis. In this "Truthout Interviews," he compares the deleterious health consequences between cannabis and alcohol by reviewing the medical research on each and finds that when compared side by side, alcohol is much more harmful to one's health than cannabis. As Armentano points out, it's not that cannabis is an innocuous drug, but rather it does not reach the threshold established by the Drug Enforcement Administration in categorizing controlled substances. Indeed, alcohol and tobacco should qualify as controlled substances for their addictive qualities and propensity for abuse. However, Congress exempted both substances from the drug schedules - most likely due to intense lobbying from the industries that profit from them. As Armentano argues, what is needed (and is happening in many parts of the US) are changes in the laws regarding cannabis that impose harsh penalties on users of a drug that should not be classified as a Schedule 1 ...
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GOP Congressman Warns Of The Real Social Ill Destroying American Values: Marijuana 27.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Conservatives are losing ground on the fight to keep marijuana illegal, a Republican congressman warned in dire terms at the Values Voter Summit. During a conference mostly focused on religious liberty, abolishing the IRS and promoting small government, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) delivered a full speech on the ills of decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. Fleming, a medical doctor, warned of a "growing acceptance" of marijuana -- a fact hard to deny, considering public opinion and state laws. Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational marijuana, and 23 states and the District of Columbia have allowed the substance for medical use. "The time for us to speak up on this issue is now," Fleming told the crowd of conservatives. Fleming linked marijuana to deaths and domestic violence and said legalization supporters spread lies that marijuana is not addictive. Most supporters don't actually say it can't be addictive . Of course, those ills apply even more so to alcohol . Asked ...
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Florida Marijuana Campaign Heats Up, Could Raise Turnout For November Election 26.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Opponents of a proposal to let doctors in Florida prescribe marijuana are poised to launch a $1.6 million advertising campaign on Monday, with potential side effects for the state's heated race for governor in November. Political consultants say a public battle over the proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana, included on this year's midterm election ballot, could boost turnout among young voters for Democrat Charlie Crist, who supports the measure. The extra support may be enough to help him defeat incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott, who opposes it. But opponents of Amendment 2 got a major boost when Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas casino magnate and a major Republican fundraiser, put up $2.5 million of the $3.2 million raised by Drug Free Florida. The ads will attack "loopholes," which law enforcement authorities say could lead to recreational use of the drug, said Sarah Bascom, whose Tallahassee consulting firm is ...
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Military's Tiny Implant Could Give People Self-Healing Powers 26.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
If a tiny device could be implanted in your body to give you self-healing powers, would you want one? That question is on many minds now that the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that just such a device is in the works: an electronic implant, injected via a needle, that would monitor the health of internal organs and help the body heal itself when illness or injury strikes. The implant -- being developed as part of the agency's ElectRx (pronounced “electrics”) program -- would “fundamentally change the manner in which doctors diagnose, monitor and treat injury and illness,” DARPA program manager Doug Weber said in a written statement. “Instead of relying only on medication -- we envision a closed-loop system that would work in concept like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker," Weber continued. "It would continually assess conditions and provide stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function, helping patients get healthy and stay healthy using ...
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Government hackers try to crack HealthCare.gov 23.9.2014 Science / Technology News

The government's own watchdogs tried to hack into HealthCare.gov earlier this year and found what they termed a critical vulnerability - but also came away with respect for some of the health insurance site's security features. Those are among the conclusions of a report being released Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, who focuses on health care fraud.

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Medical Marijuana Advocates Say Bruce Rauner's Blowing Smoke With Criticism Of Illinois Law 18.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Illinois' medical marijuana law "stinks" and should have been vetoed, the state's Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner said during a Tuesday press conference. Reading from prepared statements, Rauner blasted the state's medical marijuana pilot program as incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) "secret, insider process" that "leaves a lot of questions left unanswered." The state, which began accepting applications earlier this month, will grant licenses for up to 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries across Illinois. Under the law, which passed with bipartisan support, applicants' names and certain other information will not be made public. Referring to Illinois' jailed Democratic ex-governor, who is currently serving a 14-year sentence on corruption charges, Rauner called the process for awarding licenses "so overtly corrupt, it would made Rod Blagojevich blush." In addition to saying he would have vetoed medical marijuana, Rauner said the state should auction off licenses to the highest ...
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Five Ways to End the Drug War; Start by Decriminalizing Drug Use 11.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The international drug control regime is broken. Past approaches premised on a punitive law enforcement paradigm have failed, emphatically so. They have resulted in more violence, larger prison populations, and the erosion of governance around the world. The health harms associated with drug use have gotten worse, not better. The Global Commission on Drug Policy instead advocates for an approach to drug policy that puts public health, community safety, human rights and development at the center. Below I have listed the five pathways to ending the drug war recommended by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that I chair. (Other members of the commission, ranging from Kofi Annan to Paul Volcker to former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo are listed after the recommendations.) 1. Putting health and community safety first requires a fundamental reorientation of policy priorities and resources, from failed punitive enforcement to proven health and social interventions. Both the stated goals of drug control ...
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Booze or Pot? No Question Which Substance Is More Harmful to Health 10.9.2014 Truthout - All Articles

Why is marijuana a schedule I controlled substance when all the objective evidence yields the conclusion it is far safer than alcohol? It makes no sense to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate those who choose to responsibly consume an objectively safer alternative.

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Terminal Cancer Patient Sentenced To Probation, Instead Of Prison, For Growing Marijuana 10.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A terminal cancer patient who faced up to 15 years in prison for growing marijuana that he says was used to treat his tumors was instead sentenced to probation by an Iowa judge Tuesday. The Quad-City Times' Brian Wellner first reported the surprise ruling Tuesday afternoon: BREAKING: Judge Latham sentences Benton Mackenzie to probation. #mackenzie #cancer #marijuana — Brian Wellner (@brianwellner) September 9, 2014 Benton Mackenzie, 48, faced at least three and as much as 15 years in prison, but District Judge Henry Latham instead chose to grant Mackenzie a three-year probation, Wellner reported . About a dozen demonstrators rallied in support of Mackenzie outside Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa before the ruling came down, holding signs that read "Stop arresting patients" and "Treating illness is a right." The use of medical marijuana is currently illegal in Iowa in nearly all cases. Since his conviction earlier this year, Mackenzie has been traveling to Oregon, where marijuana is legal for ...
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Citing Failed War on Drugs, World Leaders Call for Widespread Decriminalization 9.9.2014 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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World Leaders Call For Massive Shift In Global Drug Policy 9.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In a report to be released Tuesday, the Global Commission on Drug Policy , a panel of prominent political figures and activists, will call upon governments around the world to decriminalize drug use and legalize marijuana. Members of the commission, including former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, are calling for drug policies shaped by a greater emphasis on public health, as well as alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug crimes. The participating members also say it is time to permit the legal regulation in all countries of psychoactive substances like cannabis and coca leaf. "The import of the Commission's report lies in both the distinction of its members and the boldness of their recommendations," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a partner organization of the commission, in an email to The Huffington ...
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Change Of Habit: How Seattle Cops Fought An Addiction To Locking Up Drug Users 28.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Jeremy Bradford and a friend were walking through downtown Seattle one summer night in 2011, looking for a place where they could share the contents of the baggie in Bradford’s pocket, when they ran into a man who told them about a spot under the freeway. A narrow trail led through a thicket of blackberry brambles to a small clearing. Eight or nine people were sitting around on salvaged chairs and mattresses, smoking cigarettes and talking. Bradford didn’t feel like he belonged there. “You have two types of people in the crack world -- crackheads and smokers,” he said. He still thought of himself as a smoker, someone with too much self-respect to live in the weeds under a highway. But there he was. He took a seat on a mattress, held a flame to the end of a thin glass tube and inhaled. In another life, Bradford supervised 13 soldiers as a corporal in the Marines, and later sold good suits in the men’s section of a department store. He was “a preppy black guy in Armani,” he said, a man who took pride in ...
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Fewer Pain Pill Overdoses In States With Legal Medical Marijuana 26.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
States that have legalized marijuana for medical use have lower rates of prescription painkiller overdose deaths than states that have not, new research suggests. In a study published Monday in the latest issue of JAMA Internal Medicine , researchers found that although overdose deaths from opioid painkillers -- like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin -- have increased in the U.S. over the course of the last decade, they were 25 percent lower in states that implemented medical marijuana laws than other states. The reason for the association was unclear. The study was led by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "Prescription drug abuse and deaths due to overdose have emerged as national public health crises," Colleen L. Barry, senior author of the study and associate professor in the health policy and management department at the Bloomberg School, said in a statement. "As our awareness of the addiction and overdose risks ...
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Female Inmates Should Soon Have This Basic Human Right Protected In California 21.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Legislation sparked by a media report and a state audit that found female prisoners were being unlawfully sterilized in California's prisons heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk this week for the Democrat's signature. The worst allegations suggested that women were coerced into sterilizations. The bill, SB 1135 , would prohibit sterilization for birth control purposes in the state's prisons and jails. The procedure would still be allowed in cases of medical emergency or treatment of a diagnosed condition. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would also be required to provide the women with a follow-up psychological consultation and to report sterilization data on its website. The bill received final yes votes in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate earlier this week. Last year the Center for Investigative Reporting wrote that between 2006 and 2010, 148 female inmates in California received tubal ligations without required state approvals. According to CIR, ...
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No Charges In 3 Deadly Beatings At Rikers Island, Despite Homicide Rulings 20.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
NEW YORK (AP) — Agitated and hallucinating from alcohol and heroin withdrawal, inmate Angel Ramirez took a swing at a jail guard and missed. What followed, according to investigative documents obtained by The Associated Press, was a quick punch back from the guard that put Ramirez on the floor. Then he was dragged away, beyond the view of security cameras, and three other guards were called in. Inmates later told investigators they heard screaming and the sickening crack of nightsticks against bone. Ramirez, 50, died of numerous blunt-impact injuries that included a ruptured spleen, shattered ribs and a stomach filled with blood. When a jail investigator interviewed the guards — eight months later — they insisted Ramirez was struck only once and only in self-defense. That July 2011 case is among three deaths in New York City's jails over the past five years in which inmates were alleged to have been fatally beaten by guards. Yet in none of those cases was anyone ever charged with a crime. "It's ...
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A New Vision to Fix the Tragedy No One Ever Thinks About 19.8.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Florida Group Suggests Medical Marijuana Will Lead To Date Rape By Pot Cookie 18.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
There's been a lot of chatter about Florida's upcoming vote on medical marijuana legalization bill, Amendment 2. But No On 2 , a campaign partially funded by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson , is taking the talk in a new, low direction: suggesting that legalizing marijuana used for people with seizure disorders and diseases would lead to date rape by pot cookie. Post by No On 2 . "Will the new face of 'date rape' look like a cookie?" the ad asks, showing a man and woman facing a picnic table holding a plate of chocolate chip cookies. A large, white arrow points to the man's back pocket, where lurks, through Photoshop, a packet labeled "Marijuana Cookies." The ad received a hefty amount of ridicule on both Facebook and Twitter . " I don't think they understand how pot works ," read one response. “ I absolutely thought it was fake . I thought it was a joke,” Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) told WPTV. “I think any woman should find that offensive to somehow suggest that if you use ...
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What You Need To Know Before You Reuse That Plastic Water Bottle 14.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
If it's just filled with water, what's so bad about not washing my water bottle? The answer: If you have a bottle that you use every day for water-drinking purposes, congratulations! We're all about hydration here at Healthy Living. But here's a question for you: When's the last time you actually washed that water bottle? After all, if it's just filled with water, it's not actually dirty, right? Not exactly, especially if you're using a disposable water bottle that isn't really meant to be used more than once. In an article in a 2007 issue of the journal Practical Gastroenterology , experts pointed out that commercial bottled water manufacturers don't recommend that consumers reuse their disposable bottles. That's because "everyday wear and tear from repeated washings and reuse can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic, such as visible thinning or cracks. Bacteria can harbor in the cracks, posing a health risk," they wrote. In addition, "reuse of plastic water bottles can lead to bacterial ...
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