Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 15:57:40 EST in Drugs
Jason Dearen Read More...
Some drought-stricken rivers and streams in Northern California's coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms, wildlife officials say -- an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal grows.
State fish and wildlife officials say much of the marijuana being grown in northern counties under the state's medical pot law is not being used for legal, personal use, but for sale both in California and states where pot is still illegal.
This demand is fueling backyard and larger-scale pot farming, especially in remote Lake, Humboldt and Mendocino counties on the densely forested North Coast, officials said.
"People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds," said Denise Rushing, a Lake County supervisor who supports an ordinance essentially banning outdoor grows in populated areas.
"When rains come, it flows downstream into the lake and our water supply," she said.
Many affected waterways also contain endangered salmon, steelhead and other creatures protected by state and federal law.
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 22:42:00 EDT in Drugs
(Photo: MGN Online)
The state of Colorado launched a website Thursday that aims to answer numerous questions about the legalization of retail marijuana and the health impacts of the use of marijuana.
The website — colorado.gov/marijuana — includes answers to questions such as marijuana’s long-term health impacts, its effect on adolescents, whether can it be consumed in public places, if motorists be charged while driving under the influence of marijuana and how to talk to children about marijuana.
“State agencies worked together to develop this website as a reliable resource for parents, consumers, tourists and others who want the facts about marijuana’s health effects and the laws in Colorado, ” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
There is content on the site from the Colorado departments of Transportation, Education, Revenue, Human Services, and Public Health and Environment.
The Department of Public Health and Environment will have education campaigns as well as TV, radio and social media spots over the next year.
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 @ 23:06:50 EST in Drugs
Mexican cartels dispatch agents deep inside US - spread into non-border states
Mexican drug cartels whose operatives once rarely ventured beyond the US border are dispatching some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States — an emboldened presence that experts believe is meant to tighten their grip on the world's most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits.
If left unchecked, authorities say, the cartels' move into the American interior could render the syndicates harder than ever to dislodge and pave the way for them to expand into other criminal enterprises such as prostitution, kidnapping-and-extortion rackets and money laundering.
Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Chicago, points out local Mexican drug cartel problem areas. Read More...
Cartel activity in the US is certainly not new. Starting in the 1990s, the ruthless syndicates became the nation's No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs, using unaffiliated middlemen to smuggle cocaine, marijuana and heroin beyond the border or even to grow pot here.
But a wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the US Cartel operatives are suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.
"It's probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime," said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago office.
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 23:11:09 EST in Drugs
The link between the use of cannabis and mental health problems is an issue that receives a great deal of attention in the research and general media. Although severe illnesses such as schizophrenia have received a large portion of this attention, there is also debate about whether the use of cannabis can lead to more common psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Read More...
There have been a number of studies that have explored the link between cannabis use and mental health symptoms. Strong associations are often found but this is not the same as a causal link (i.e. one causes the other).
Psychoses refers to a group of mental illnesses where people experience difficulty in distinguishing what is real and what is not real. Someone suffering from a psychosis might hear voices or see/taste/smell things that are not really there (hallucinations), or have beliefs that are not true (delusions). Hallucinations and delusions are usually accompanied by confused thinking and speech, making it difficult for other people to understand the person and for the person to function in life. Schizophrenia is the best known of the group and is one type of psychosis.
There have been reports of people experiencing psychotic symptoms after smoking a lot of cannabis or more cannabis than they are used to. This is called drug-induced psychosis. It is uncommon and the symptoms, although frightening at the time, go away when cannabis use is stopped.
Does smoking cannabis cause schizophrenia?
Evidence suggests that using cannabis may trigger schizophrenia in those who are already at risk of developing the disorder, and they may experience psychosis earlier. Any use of cannabis can double the risk of schizophrenia in those who are vulnerable, and bring on a first episode up to two and a half years earlier. Use of cannabis at a young age and heavy use of cannabis are associated with up to six times the risk for schizophrenia; especially smoking three or more times per week before the age of fifteen. Those with a vulnerability to developing schizophrenia, such as having a family history of the illness, should be strongly advised against using cannabis for this reason. Cannabis has been clearly shown to make psychotic symptoms worse in people who already have a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. People with existing psychotic disorders should be strongly advised and assisted to cut-down and/or cease their cannabis use.