(CounterCurrentNews) Bolivia — After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Bolivia, the country was able to drastically reduce the amount of coca (cocaine) produced within its borders. According to data released by the United Nations, cocaine production in the country declined by 11% in the past year, marking the fourth year in a row of steady decrease.
It was just seven years ago that the DEA left Bolivia — and only three years after that, progress was finally made. The strategy employed by the Bolivian government may be a surprise to many prohibitionists because it did not involve any strong-arm police state tactics. Instead, they worked to find alternative crops for farmers to grow that would actually make them more money.
“Bolivia has adopted a policy based on dialogue, where coca cultivation is allowed in traditional areas alongside alternative development [in others],”Antonino de Leo, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s representative in Bolivia, told VICE News.
“It’s not only about making money off a crop. In the old fashioned alternative development approach, we substitute one illicit crop for a licit crop. It’s about a more comprehensive approach that includes access to essential services like schools, hospitals, and roads in areas that traditionally have been hard to reach,” Leo added.
There are unfortunately still harsh laws against drug trafficking in Bolivia, but these have been active since the height of the drug war and have had no effect on the recent decline in production. Bolivian president, Evo Morales — a former coca farmer himself — has been less heavy handed since the DEA left the country, a move that allowed the government to develop alternatives for the struggling farmers instead.
The drug war is one of the most misunderstood subjects in mainstream political discourse, even among people who are sympathetic to the plight of responsible drug users. It is rare for someone to come out and say that all drugs should be legal, but in all honesty, this is the only logically consistent stance on the issue. To say that some drugs should be legal while others should not is still giving credence to the punishment paradigm and overlooking the external consequences of drug prohibition — or prohibition of any object, for that matter.
As I explained in an earlier article, there are many external factors that are affected by the drug war that many people don’t take into account. That is because when you carry out acts of violence, even in the form of punishment, you then create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the bounds of the original circumstance to affect many innocent people down the line. The list in my previous article delves into those external factors to illustrate how drug users and non-users alike would be a lot better off if prohibition ended immediately.
The list includes the following advantages of full legalization:
(1) Reduce violent crime
(2) Improve seller accountability and drug safety
(3) Reduce drug availability to children
(FTP)Waimea, HI – Doctors are sounding the alarm after noticing a disturbing trend happening in Waimea, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Over the past five years, the number of severe heart malformations has risen to more than ten times the national rate, according to an analysis by local physicians.
Pediatrician Carla Nelson, after seeing four of these defects in three years, is extremely concerned with the severe health anomalies manifesting in the local population.
Nelson, as well as a number of other local doctors, find themselves at the center of a growing controversy about whether the substantial increase in severe illness and birth defects in Waimea stem from the main cash crop on four of the six islands, genetically modified corn, which has been altered to resist pesticide.
Hawaii has historically been used as a testing ground for almost all GMO corn grown in the United States. Over 90% of GMO corn grown in the mainland U.S. was first developed in Hawaii, with the island of Kauai having the largest area used.
According to a report in The Guardian:
In Kauai, chemical companies Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont spray 17 times more pesticide per acre (mostly herbicides, along with insecticides and fungicides) than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland, according to the most detailed study of the sector, by the Center for Food Safety.
That’s because they are precisely testing the strain’s resistance to herbicides that kill other plants. About a fourth of the total are called Restricted Use Pesticides because of their harmfulness. Just in Kauai, 18 tons – mostly atrazine, paraquat (both banned in Europe) and chlorpyrifos – were applied in 2012. The World Health Organization this year announced that glyphosate, sold as Roundup, the most common of the non-restricted herbicides, is “probably carcinogenic in humans”.
Waimea is a small town that lies directly downhill from the 12,000 acres of GMO test fields leased mainly from the state. Spraying takes place often, sometimes every couple of days. Residents have complained that when the wind blows downhill from the fields, the chemicals have caused headaches, vomiting, and stinging eyes.
“Your eyes and lungs hurt, you feel dizzy and nauseous. It’s awful,” local middle school special education teacher Howard Hurst told the Guardian. “Here, 10% of the students get special-ed services, but the state average is 6.3%,” he says. “It’s hard to think the pesticides don’t play a role.”
To add insult to injury, Dow AgraSciences’ main lobbyist in Honolulu, until recently, actually ran the main hospital in town. Although only 1,700ft away from a Syngenta field, the hospital has never done any research into the effects of pesticides on its patients.
Hawaiians have attempted to reign in the industrial chemical/farming machine on four separate occasions over the past two years. On August 9 an estimated 10,000 people marched through Honolulu’s main tourist district to protest the collusion of big business and state putting profits over citizens’ health.
“The turnout and the number of groups marching showed how many people are very frustrated with the situation,” native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte said.
Hawaiians have also attempted to use a ballot initiative to force a moratorium on the planting of GMO crops, according to The Guardian:
In Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui and Molokai, both with large GMO corn fields, a group of residents calling themselves the Shaka Movement sidestepped the company-friendly council and launched a ballot initiative that called for a moratorium on all GMO farming until a full environmental impact statement is completed there.
The companies, primarily Monsanto, spent $7.2m on the campaign ($327.95 per “no” vote, reported to be the most expensive political campaign in Hawaii history) and still lost.
Again, they sued in federal court, and, a judge found that the Maui County initiative was preempted by federal law. Those rulings are also being appealed.
Even amidst strong public pressure, the chemical companies that grow the GMO corn have continued to refuse to disclose the chemicals they are using, as well as the specific amounts of each chemical being used. The industry and its political cronies have continually insisted that pesticides are safe.
“We have not seen any credible source of statistical health information to support the claims,” said Bennette Misalucha, executive director of Hawaii Crop Improvement Association in a written statement distributed by a publicist.
Nelson pointed out that American Academy of Pediatrics’ report, Pesticide Exposure in Children, found “an association between pesticides and adverse birth outcomes, including physical birth defects,” going on to note that local schools have twice been evacuated and kids sent to the hospital due to pesticide drift. “It’s hard to treat a child when you don’t know which chemical he’s been exposed to.”
Sidney Johnson, a pediatric surgeon at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children who oversees all children born in Hawaii with major birth defects says he’s noticed that the number of babies born here with their abdominal organs outside. This is a rare condition known as gastroschisis and has grown from three a year in the 1980s to about a dozen now, according to The Guardian.
Johnson and a team of medical students have been studying hospital records to determine if any of the parents of the infants with gastroschisis were residing near fields that were undergoing spraying during conception and early pregnancy.
“We have cleanest water and air in the world,” Johnson said. “You kind of wonder why this wasn’t done before,” he says. “Data from other states show there might be a link, and Hawaii might be the best place to prove it.”
It was recently revealed that these chemical companies, unlike farmers, are allowed to operate under an antiquated decades-old Environmental Protection Agency permit. This permit was grandfathered in from the days of sugar plantations when the amounts and toxicities were significantly lower, and which allowed for toxic chemicals to be discharged into water. Tellingly the state of Hawaii has asked for a federal exemption to allow these companies to continue to not comply with modern standards.
The ominous reality of collusion between these mega-corporations and the political class in Hawaii has seemingly left the citizens of the state with virtually no ability to safeguard their children’s health. We tread dangerously close to corporate fascism when profits are put above the health of the people.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on BenSwann’s Truth in Media, Chris Hedges’s Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPress News and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/hawaii-sees-10-fold-increase-birth-defects-gm-corn-testing-ground/#cL2wKjd4UusKKvO8.99
(Organiclifestyle) Vaccines get all the glory, but most plumbers will tell you that it was water infrastructure – sewage systems and clean water – that eradicated disease, and they’re right.
Disease Before Plumbing
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europeans despised all things Roman, including bathing. There was a widespread belief that getting wet caused illness. This contempt and fear of bathing persisted through the Dark Ages.
Some Europeans defied local customs by bathing, but this was usually done over great protest. When Queen Elizabeth bathed, her servants panicked, fearing she would become ill and die.
This resistance to bathing was brought across the Atlantic to America, influencing habits all the way into the 1800s. In 1835, Philadelphia almost passed an ordinance forbidding wintertime bathing. Ten years later, Boston did outlaw bathing, except by medical directive. (Though this law was not widely enforced, it does illustrate the American resistance to bathing as late as the mid 1800s.)
How Plumbing Eradicated Disease
Before plumbing was widely used, indoor facilities consisted of a washstand and a washbowl, a pitcher, and a chamber pot or commode. Human waste was thrown into the street or anywhere convenient.
This total lack of sanitation in urban areas filled with rats and other vermin provided the perfect environment to spread disease. The Black Plague alone killed 75 million – 200 million people – including 1/3 of Europe’s population. Though this disease is not entirely eradicated, human infection has become a rare occurrence. The last plague epidemic in America was in the early 1900’s.
Polio and Plumbing
Polio thrives in fecal matter and is easily transmitted through human waste. Plumbing and water sanitation in India is way behind the rest of the industrialized world. In areas where sanitation and hygiene are good, polio is rare. In areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor, the disease can spread rapidly.
Immunization efforts have received a lot of publicity and have garnered most of the credit for India being declared “polio free” by the World Health Organization. As recently as 2009, India reported 762 cases of polio, and at that time, these numbers made India the polio capital of the world. In 2014, there are currently no “official” documented cases of polio, but without proper sanitation there is no way this can last.
A Polio Breeding Ground
India is the second most populous nation in the world, with an estimated population of 1.2 billion. Currently, 780 million Indians do not have a toilet; 96 million Indians do not have access to clean drinking water. In rural areas, open defecation is still more common than attempting to dispose of human waste in a more sanitary fashion, such as burying it.
There have been some efforts to improve sanitation, but they pale in comparison to the extensive efforts to vaccinate Indians. Over 9 billion has been spent in this vaccination public health campaign. In some parts of India, children have received as many as 30 doses of the oral polio vaccine before their fifth birthday. Bill Gates, the World Health Organization, and GAVI have ardently been pushing vaccines on people who still don’t have access to clean drinking water or the sanitary means to dispose of human waste.
They Say Tomato, I say Tomatoe
The current polio vaccine campaign in India is highly controversial due to the high rate of vaccine injury and death. There were 53,000 cases of NPAFP, a non-polio acute flaccid paralysis, among those vaccinated. NPAFP is a disease that is clinically indistinguishable from polio and twice as deadly that is caused by the live, weakened, polio viruses in the vaccine. Incidences of the disease rose and fell with the number of doses of the vaccine administered. To call this disease anything other than polio is semantic subterfuge, a whitewash for Big Pharma’s image.
In the past 13 months, India has reported 53,563 cases of NPAFP at a national rate of 12 per 100,000 children—way above the global benchmark set by WHO of 2 per 100,000.” – Jan, 13 2014 quote from LiveMint Newpaper, the second largest business newspaper in India.
It would be less expensive in human cost and far more effective to improve India’s water infrastructure, improving India’s sanitation and hygiene.
London England and Cholera
In the 1800’s the European infant mortality rate was very high, from 25% to 70%. In the early-to-mid 1800s, London had little in the way of water infrastructure. The majority of people used town pumps and communal wells to get their drinking water. Waste disposal was far from adequate. Most Londoners dumped raw sewage and animal wastes into open pits known as “cesspools” or directly into the Thames River. Unfortunately, the Thames River was also the source of drinking water for many Londoners.
Cholera spreads easily through contaminated water and food and kills very quickly; it often proves fatal within hours of the first symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea.
In 1854, yet another outbreak struck London, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of Europeans. In Soho, a suburb of London, there were more than 500 fatal cases of cholera in ten days.
Dr. John Snow, who lived near Soho, was able to directly investigate what was causing the outbreak. Five years earlier, Dr. Snow had written an article about what he believed caused cholera. It was in the water, he argued. This idea flew in the face of the “wisdom” of his time. In the 1850s, doctors believed that bad vapors, or a “miasma in the atmosphere” caused disease. Dr. Snow dared to believe something different, to try something different, believing he might see different results.
Dr. John Snow Traced Cholera To Its Source
Dr. Snow traced the cholera outbreak to the Broad Street pump. He persuaded the town officials to remove the pump handle, and the cholera outbreak abruptly ended. Some time later, the outbreak was traced back to a woman cleaning a dirty diaper in the well.
Though it took some time, Dr. Snow convinced the authorities that fecal matter was contaminating the water supply. Today Dr. John Snow is widely regarded as the father of epidemiology.
Refugee Camps, Dysentery Epidemic, and Poor Sanitation
The Rwandan refugee camps set up in Zaire in 1994 struggled with outbreaks of dysentery. Sanitation was poor; the refugees defecated openly in common areas. Human waste built up in the same areas where the refugees drew water that was used for cooking and drinking. Heavy rain flooded the area and dysentery became epidemic, at its peak it was killing 2,000 people a day.
Refugee camps have always been a haven for diseases related to poor sanitation. Once U.S. and UN officials brought in purified water and encouraged people to use outhouses and latrines for defecation, the incidences of dysentery fell.
Chicago’s Population Grew from 350 in 1835 to More than 60,000 by 1850
The industrial revolution drove rapid population growth. Chicago’s water infrastructure wasn’t designed to handle such a rapid rise in population. Chicago was dealing with many different diseases, but it had especially high rates of typhoid fever. The source of the rapid increase in disease was traced to the city’s water and sanitation.
The majority of the city’s sewage was directed to the Chicago River, which flowed right back into Lake Michigan, which provided the city’s drinking water. This, of course, contaminated Chicago’s drinking water and created a cycle of disease.
It took many years to solve the problem, but in the early 1900s Chicago modernized their water infrastructure. They reversed the flow of several rivers and streams, and as a result, typhoid fever and all other infectious diseases plummeted.
Sanitation prevents disease by removing the cause of disease transmission, but this is not new information. Moses taught sanitation. He made many rules for encampments. The Greeks and the Romans created elaborate systems of aqueducts, baths, and drainage. When the Roman Empire crumbled, sanitation became a lost art. Civilization paid the price: plague after plague struck areas of dense population.
Smallpox continued to infect Europe’s population until plumbing infrastructure became commonplace. Although, sanitation ended this disease, the smallpox vaccine takes the credit.
When most of us think of a conscientious objector, we think of someone who refused military service for moral or religious reasons. In the 1800s, the term came into use for someone who refused vaccinations for their children. There was a great deal of resistance to the smallpox vaccine. Some statistics placed fatalities from the vaccine as high as 1 in 200
In modern times, objections to vaccines are mounting. Refusing to vaccinate is as controversial today as it was when the first vaccines were forced on British citizens almost 200 years ago.
Vaccines often contain toxins like aluminum and mercury, and many vaccines contain aborted fetal tissues. The reality of vaccine injury and death is making the news, though the propaganda and out and out lies from pharmaceutical companies cause a polarized division between those who are pro vaccine and those who are against.
If you are reading this, you probably have access to running water and a working toilet. If you choose to forego vaccines for yourself or your children, bear in mind that you will need additional protection to avoid contracting illnesses. Exercise, sleep, stress management, and a truly healthy diet are all essential for an immune system to work at optimal efficiency.
While the medical professionals and the pharmaceutical companies are quick to take credit for our increased life expectancy, in truth, they are not the heroes. Have you thanked a plumber lately?
(cultureofawareness.com) We have been led to believe that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug that destroys lives and is a far greater risk than other recreational drugs such as alcohol. Governments have tried diligently to to convince the public that people who use pot are more at risk to themselves and the public than those who use alcohol. As the debate over marijuana legalization continues, a new study now shows that smoking the controversial plant is about 114 times safer than drinking alcohol.
In fact, alcohol was found to be the deadliest drug on an individual level, at least when it comes to the likelihood of a person dying due to consuming a lethal dose. Heroin and cocaine were the next most deadly substances, followed by tobacco, ecstasy, and meth. Trailing up the rear was marijuana.
According to the team of international researchers behind the study, published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports,’ the findings suggest that marijuana risks — at least those related to mortality — are trumped when compared to substances like alcohol.
“The results confirm that the risk of cannabis may have been overestimated in the past,” the report reads. “At least for the endpoint of mortality, the [margin of exposure] for THC/cannabis in both individual and population-based assessments would be above safety thresholds (e.g. 100 for data based on animal experiments). In contrast, the risk of alcohol may have been commonly underestimated.”
Both alcohol and cannabis can be considered a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction. But there are major differences in how each reacts with the human body.
As reported by the Washington Post, the study’s results aren’t exactly new, though they do confirm similar findings first reported a decade ago. In a separate story last year, the Post noted that Wayne Hall of the World Health Organization said it’s nearly impossible for even those who smoke large amounts of cannabis to overdose on the drug.
“The estimated fatal dose [of THC, the primary active compound in marijuana] in humans derived from animal studies is between 15 and 70 grams. This is a far greater amount of cannabis that even a very heavy cannabis user could use in a day,” Hall wrote last year.
Even alcohol’s unsafe margin of exposure (MOE) ratio isn’t all that surprising since, unlike heroin and cocaine, it is legal and much more readily available and accepted.
Alcohol, regardless of its type (i.e. beer, wine, liquor, etc) is a class A1 carcinogen which are confirmed human carcinogens. Alcohol consumption has been causally related with breast cancer for some time. Increasing evidence indicates a stronger association with neoplasms, though the risk is elevated for other types of breast cancers too. Regardless of how much alcohol is consumed, it will always be a class A1 carcinogen. That doesn’t mean you will get cancer from drinking a beer or a glass wine, but the classification for the substance is clear.
Marijuana legalization advocates are welcoming the new study, using it to suggest that America’s current ban on the drug is wrong and misguided, considering the mortality rates associated with alcohol and tobacco — both of which are legal and easily accessible to those of age. Marijuana, meanwhile, is still illegal on the federal level and largely illegal on the state level — except in Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.
Even the researchers noted that compared to other drugs, their findings support regulating pot as a legal substance instead of a banned one.
“Currently, the MOE results point to risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs,” the report reads. “The high MOE values of cannabis, which are in a low-risk range, suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach.”
10 REASONS CANNABIS IS SAFER THAN ALCOHOL
1. Many people die from alcohol use. Nobody dies from cannabis use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 37,000 annual U.S. deaths, including more than 1,400 in Colorado, are attributed to alcohol use alone (i.e. this figure does not include accidental deaths). On the other hand, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of cannabis.
2. People die from alcohol overdoses. There has never been a fatal cannabis overdose. The official publication of the Scientific Research Society,American Scientist, reported that alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs and using just 10 times what one would use to get the desired effect could lead to death. Cannabis is one of — if not the — least toxic drugs, requiring thousands of times the dose one would use to get the desired effect to lead to death. This “thousands of times” is actually theoretical, since there has never been a case of an individual dying from a cannabis overdose. Meanwhile, according to the CDC, hundreds of alcohol overdose deaths occur in the United States each year.
3. The health-related costs associated with alcohol use far exceed those for cannabis use. Health-related costs for alcohol consumers are eight times greater than those for cannabis consumers, according to an assessment recently published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal. More specifically, the annual cost of alcohol consumption is $165 per user, compared to just $20 per user for cannabis. This should not come as a surprise given the vast amount of research that shows alcohol poses far more — and more significant — health problems than cannabis.
4. Alcohol use damages the brain. Cannabis use does not. Despite the myths we’ve heard throughout our lives about cannabis killing brain cells, it turns out that a growing number of studies seem to indicate that cannabis actually has neuroprotective properties. This means that it works to protectbrain cells from harm. Research published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research demonstrated that even extremely low doses of THC (cannabis’s psychoactive component) — around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional cannabis cigarette — can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function say researchers from Tel Aviv University(TAU). Another example is one recent studywhich found that teens who used cannabis as well as alcohol suffered significantly less damage to the white matter in their brains. Of course, what is beyond question is that alcohol damages brain cells. Scripps scientists discovered that eleven months of alcohol consumption that produced a blood alcohol level sufficient to be considered intoxicated decreased neurogenesis by more than fifty percent! Furthermore, the decrease in neurogenesis lasted for many weeks of abstinence. In contrast to the effects of alcohol, a series of publications during the past few years suggest that stimulating the brain’s cannabis neurotransmitter system appears to have the exact opposite effects upon neurogenesis in the hippocampus of both young and old laboratory animals and humans, i.e. neurogenesis is increased by stimulation of our brain’s cannabis receptors. When we are elderly, our brain displays a dramatic decline in neurogenesis within the hippocampus. This decline may underlie age-associated memory impairments as well as depression. Research has demonstrated that stimulating the brain’s cannabis receptors restores neurogenesis. Thus, later in life, cannabis might actually help your brain, rather than harm it.
5. Alcohol use is linked to cancer. Cannabis use is not. Alcohol use is associated with a wide variety of cancers, including cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lungs, pancreas, liver and prostate. Cannabis use has not been conclusively associated with any form of cancer. In fact,one study recently contradicted the long-time government claim that cannabis use is associated with head and neck cancers. It found that cannabis use actually reduced the likelihood of head and neck cancers. If you are concerned about cannabis being associated with lung cancer, you may be interested in the results of the largest case-controlled study everconducted to investigate the respiratory effects of cannabis smoking and cigarette smoking. Released in 2006, the study, conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin at the University of California at Los Angeles, found that cannabis smoking was not associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Surprisingly, the researchers found that people who smoked cannabis actually had lower incidences of cancer compared to non-users of the drug. THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. Researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to actually treat lung cancer.
6. Alcohol is more addictive than cannabis. Addiction researchers have consistently reported that cannabis is far less addictive than alcohol based on a number of factors. In particular, alcohol use can result in significant and potentially fatal physical withdrawal, whereas cannabis has not been found to produce any symptoms of physical withdrawal. Those who use alcohol are also much more likely to develop dependence and build tolerance. Also when cannabis is more available, studies show that the use of hard drugs like heroin and cocaine actually decreases.
7. Alcohol use increases the risk of injury to the consumer. Cannabis use does not. Many people who have consumed alcohol or know others who have consumed alcohol would not be surprised to hear that it greatly increases the risk of serious injury. Research published this year in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that 36 percent of hospitalized assaults and 21 percent of all injuries are attributable to alcohol use by the injured person. Meanwhile, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that lifetime use of cannabis is rarely associated with emergency room visits. According to the British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, this is because: “Cannabis differs from alcohol … in one major respect. It does not seem to increase risk-taking behavior. This means that cannabis rarely contributes to violence either to others or to oneself, whereas alcohol use is a major factor in deliberate self-harm, domestic accidents and violence.” Interestingly enough, some research has even shown that cannabis use has been associated with a decreased risk of injury.
8. Alcohol use contributes to aggressive and violent behavior. Cannabis use does not. Studies have repeatedly shown that alcohol, unlike cannabis, contributes to the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior. An articlepublished in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors reported that “alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication-violence relationship,” whereas “cannabis reduces the likelihood of violence during intoxication.”
9. Alcohol use is a major factor in violent crimes. Cannabis use is not. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 25-30% of violent crimes in the United States are linked to the use of alcohol. According to a report from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, that translates to about 5,000,000 alcohol-related violent crimes per year. By contrast, the government does not even track violent acts specifically related to cannabis use, as the use of cannabis has not been associated with violence. (Of course, we should note that cannabis prohibition, by creating a widespread criminal market, is associated with acts of violence.)
10 Alcohol use contributes to the likelihood of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Cannabis use does not. Alcohol is a major contributing factor in the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault. This is not to say that alcohol causes these problems; rather, its use makes it more likely that an individual prone to such behavior will act on it. For example, a studyconducted by the Research Institute on Addictions found that among individuals who were chronic partner abusers, the use of alcohol was associated with significant increases in the daily likelihood of male-to-female physical aggression, but the use of cannabis was not. Specifically, the odds of abuse were eight times higher on days when men were drinking; the odds of severe abuse were 11 times higher. According to theRape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) website highlights alcohol as the “most commonly used chemical in crimes of sexual assault” and provides information on an array of other drugs that have been linked to sexual violence. Given the fact that cannabis is so accessible and widely used, it is quite telling that the word “cannabis” does not appear anywhere on the page.
In this video Luke Rudkowski begins his journey from London to the new Banksy #Dismaland theme park after not even sleeping. Follow along in the video as Luke takes you through his day and experiences the theme park for the 1st time as it opens to the public.
Artist Banksy, has put together a new theme-park that embodies actual insight with a side of brutal reality – it’s awesome. (more…)
When Japan decided it was going to begin the process of restarting many of their mothballed nuclear reactors last week, there was certainly cause for alarm. After all, it’s not unheard of for a nuclear reactor to run into problems shortly after being started. When Japan made this announcement, The World Nuclear Association noted that “Of 14 reactors that resumed operations after four years offline, all had emergency shutdowns and technical failures.” So it’s safe to say that when 25 Japanese plants applied for restart permits, the international community was a little worried.
Now it appears that some of those fears have been validated, though not in the way most people were expecting. The Sendai nuclear power plant was the first of those reactors to be restarted on Tuesday, an event which couldn’t have come at a worse time. A volcano near the plant appears ready to blow its top.
Japan’s weather agency on Saturday told thousands of residents near a southern city to prepare for a possible evacuation as it upgraded a volcanic eruption warning.
Officials raised their alert to its second-highest level after picking up increasing seismic activity around the volcano Sakurajima, which sits just off the coast of Kagoshima, a city of more than 600,000 people.
The volcano is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from a nuclear reactor that was switched on this week, as Japan restarted its nuclear power programme following the 2011 Fukushima crisis when a quake-sparked tsunami set off reactor meltdowns at the now-crippled site.
Critics have said the restarted reactor at Sendai was still at risk from natural disasters.
“The possibility for a large-scale eruption has become extremely high for Sakurajima,” the agency said, warning residents to exercise “strict caution” and prepare for a possible evacuation. The warning applies to a part of the island, which is home to more than 4,000 people.
If that’s not a terrible omen for Japan’s resurgent nuclear program, I don’t know what is. Considering that the Japanese are so well-known for their superstitions, perhaps they should take a hint from this event, and rethink the idea of reopening dozens of nuclear power plants across one of the most seismic, and volcanically active regions on the planet.