Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Keep Smoking Dope, Dopes

From the October 6th edition of The Vancouver Province, and syndicated around the world, an article by Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen.

Not that I have ever met any brain-dead pot heads or anything.

Pot Legality Doesn't Mean It's Smart to Use

October 6, 2014

With clever names like Peace of Mind, Girl Scout Cookies, Train Wreck and Tsunami, it's a good bet that the marketers of legal marijuana finished high school.

That's less certain for their younger customers.

New research shows daily marijuana use before the age of 17 cuts your chances of graduating from high school or getting a college degree by 60 percent. And that info's just the tip of the joint.

Now that marijuana is legal for recreational use in Washington and Colorado, and for medical purposes in 19 other states plus the District of Columbia, scientists are able to study the drug more closely.

The result is an outpouring of data on marijuana's formerly unknown or underappreciated risks.

One new study found that 40 percent of cannabis-using adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse report symptoms of withdrawal - a true marker for drug dependence (addiction).

And kids are eight times more likely to use illicit drugs later in life if they smoke marijuana regularly.

Another study found that adolescents who smoke pot daily shed an average of six IQ points by adulthood; points you're not getting back, and that can mean the difference between an engaged, rewarding life and not!

Just because the drug is legal in some places, doesn't mean it's smart to use it. As Derek Jeter says: "If you have dreams and aspirations to be successful, drugs and alcohol are only going to alter those dreams. Try to stay away from them and find something more productive to do with your time."

The Cure For Death By Sadness

Stop Flights From Africa Now!

Epidemiologists say stop flights from Africa now. The White House says no. Who are you going to believe?

From the Washington Post.

Epidemiologist: Stop the flights now

Infected men and women may not be contagious on the plane, but they could wreak havoc when they arrive.

October 6

David Dausey, a Yale-trained epidemiologist who works on controlling pandemics, is dean of the School of Health Professions and Public Health at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.


The United States got its first scare from Ebola last week when Thomas Eric Duncan, a man sick with the virus, traveled from Liberia to Dallas. This man was feared to have been in contact with up to 100 people after he became contagious, all of whom had to be individually evaluated by public health professionals for their exposure risk. Half of these individuals are currently under observation. Nine of them considered to be at highest risk are being checked twice daily for symptoms.

Bodily fluids including vomit spread Ebola, and Duncan — who presented himself to a Dallas hospital only to be misdiagnosed and sent home — vomited on the sidewalk outside of his home. It took days before a properly trained Hazmat crew was sent to the apartment to clean it. The human errors in this single case highlight why it is urgent that we ban all commercial flights from the impacted countries to all non-affected countries until the outbreak is contained. *

Individuals who suspect they have been exposed to Ebola and have the means to travel to the United States have every reason to get on a plane to the United States as soon as possible. There are no direct flights from the three most-affected nations, but passengers can transfer elsewhere, as Duncan did. If they stay in Africa, the probability that they will survive the illness if they have it is quite low. If they make it to the United States, they can expect to receive the best medical care the world can provide, and they will have a much higher probability of survival. So they are motivated to lie about their exposure status (wouldn’t you, in their shoes?) to airlines and public health officials and travel to the United States. *

The incubation period for Ebola is up to 21 days, so a person could get on a plane the day he or she is exposed and spend three weeks in the United States or elsewhere before exhibiting symptoms. Then he or she could potentially infect any number of people here before the disease is properly diagnosed, and they are isolated or quarantined. *

Top U.S. government health officials have spoken strongly against creating a travel ban (though members of Congress increasingly disagree). They say restricting flights will also restrict aid to affected countries and will increase the amount of ongoing unrest. But commercial airlines are not the only ways for the United States to send aid and aid workers. The United States has the most advanced military in the entire world; we can transport people and supplies without commercial carriers.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been compared to a war zone. The disease is now being viewed as a national security threat on par with nuclear weapons. The United States has committed nearly 4,000 troops to impacted countries. It’s time to take security precautions that align with the gravity of the threat. That means doing whatever it takes to keep infected people from coming here.

Correction: Language was added to the paragraphs marked by an asterisk (*) to clarify that there are no direct flights to the United States, though flights stop in other non-affected nations.


Joe Biden

Joe Biden arrived in Los Angeles this morning to speak at the annual Orange County Dementia Foundation benefit dinner.

He was a day late.