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25 Feb 2012 09:43


U.S.: New study links medical marijuana laws to lower suicide rates

  • 11% reduction in the suicide rate of men ages 20-29
  • 9% reduction in the suicide rate of men ages 30-39 source
  • » Who would have guessed that getting high reduces stress? While the study stopped short of conclusively saying that medical marijuana was the direct cause of the lower rates, the authors did note that, when used in moderation, cannabis acts as an anti-depressant. The authors also found that states with medical marijuana programs saw a reduction in alcohol consumption by young men, and note that alcohol is a known depressant. Read the full results of the study here.

30 Jan 2012 14:28


Politics: Indiana Democrat foils attempt to mandate drug testing of welfare recipients

  • the planIndiana Republican Jud McMillin (yes, just one “d”) introduced a bill in the Indiana General Assembly that would have required random drug testing of welfare recipients.
  • the sabotageDemocratic legislator Ryan Dvorak added an amendment to also require drug testing for elected officials in the state. McMillin withdrew the bill. source
  • » The nitty-gritty: “If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing,” Dvorak said, “then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.” McMillin claimed that he had to withdraw the bill after Dvorak’s amendment was added, due to a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that it’s unconstitutional to drug test candidates for elected office…but that logic is flawed, as the Dvorak Amendment would have only required testing of officials already in office, not candidates. Surprisingly, McMillin said he plans to introduce a new version of the bill….that requires lawmaker testing as well. “Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test,” McMillin said. (EDIT: corrected spelling error)

18 Oct 2011 11:04


U.S.: Gallup poll: Americans favoring pot legalization at record levels

  • 50% of respondents want to see marijuana legalized — the first time it’s reached a full majority
  • 46% of respondents would rather that marijuana remain illegal … a number that’s been declining for years source
  • » Will we reach a tipping point? Quite possibly, the study suggests: “If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation’s laws into compliance with the people’s wishes,” the summary noted. Considering the current state of affairs in California, public outcry is completely understandable. Think it’ll eventually happen?

13 Jul 2011 23:04


Tech: New AIDS prevention drug shows promising results

  • Headway in the fight against HIV: A drug called Truvada is effective in preventing AIDS contraction up to 73% of the time, according to two new studies carried out in Africa. The drug has been tested before with less stellar results, but researchers now suspect the earlier study may have been flawed. The catch with preventative drugs, of course, is that you have to remember to take them before the risk presents itself, but still, this is great news. source

30 Jun 2011 14:05


U.S.: FDA decides against controversial breast cancer drug

  • 6-0 vote to take the breast cancer indication off Avastin source
  • » Even though lots of people liked the drug, the FDA has decided that it shouldn’t be used to treat breast cancer. However, European regulators allowed its use (as long as it was with another drug) at essentially the same time — which begs the question, why would the FDA be taking a drug off the market that so many people felt so passionate about?

28 Jun 2011 13:50


U.S.: Cancer drug might not be around much longer

  • Avastin saved my life…The studies are saying, they’re saying that people didn’t live for more than five months, you know. And there has to be other people like me that it works on.
  • Kerry Harrington, a breast cancer survivor • Arguing for the case for Avastin, a drug still being tested that treats breast cancer. The drug received accelerated approval for treating breast cancer, but now the FDA is backing away from allowing the drug for breast cancer treatment. This is mainly because Avastin has some pretty horrible side effects, like heart attacks and kidney damage. Many women are saying that the pros outweigh the cons — they’d rather deal with the side effects and know they’re treating their cancer. The FDA will decide after they hear testimony from patients and review other official data. source

01 Jun 2011 16:11


Politics: Eric Holder will do whatever it takes to get more of “The Wire”

  • I want to speak directly to Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon: Do another season of “The Wire.” That’s actually at a minimum… If you don’t do a season, do a movie. We’ve done HBO movies, this is a series that deserves a movie. I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power, Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder • Giving voice to the innermost hopes and dreams of “The Wire” fans everywhere. Holder was at an event featuring members from the revered HBO series, which used clips from the show to illustrate the perils children face in areas rife with drug abuse, when he made his forthright demand. We second this wholeheartedly! Also, for all we know, this could be a message from the top —  President Obama himself has made his love for the series known (his favorite character is Omar). source

30 May 2011 16:13


U.S.: Courtney Love confirms: Crack cocaine improves one’s math skills

  • While the drugs screwed me up in a lot of ways, they improved me in certain others. I’ve never been good with numbers, but when I was on crack I could do math really, really well. I became a fucking whiz at calculus. But I also became kind of psychotic, unfortunately.
  • Courtney Love • In an interview with [h/t: Andrew Sullivan]. source

20 May 2011 16:28


Offbeat: Today in things you should be more careful about

  • Here’s an idea: Don’t pocket dial 911 when you’re in the middle of a drug deal. That’s what a man in Gainesville, Georgia did. He was working the late shift at a Waffle House and made a drug deal on the clock — which ended up being overheard by the 911 operator. An officer was dispatched, found the phone in the guy’s pocket, and realized he pocket dialed 911. Know what else the officer found in the guy’s pocket? Prescription pills. Yeah, he got charged with drug possession. source

10 Mar 2011 12:47


U.S.: The Wire’s Snoop arrested in massive drug arrest

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson
Remember Snoop (aka Felicia Pearson) from The Wire? She and 30 others got arrested in a massive Baltimore drug sting. She’s still totally one of the best parts of Season 4. (thanks Margaret Leist) source