An open letter to Tucson about complicity in White supremacy

11/18/17 – An open letter to Tucson about your complicity in white supremacy: Steve Bannon is receiving a warm welcome today by 80-degree temperatures and an immobilized indifference by the liberal self-image of Tucsonans. While emotions are high about the ceremonalizing of fascism, bigotry and hatred in our town, very little has been done to prevent the event from occurring […]

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210,000 gallons of oil leaks from Keystone Pipeline after Trump gives OK #NoDAPL #WeToldYouSo

The Keystone pipeline running from Canada across the Great Plains leaked Thursday morning, spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil — or 210,000 gallons — southeast of the small town of Amherst in northeast South Dakota. The spill comes just days before a crucial decision next Monday by the Public Service Commission in Nebraska over whether to grant a permit for […]

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Massive protests in Tucson planned for Saturday visit by Steve Bannon at Starr Pass Marriott

Whenever I think of “deplorables” on the conservative side of the political spectrum, President Donald Trump’s former right-hand man Steve Bannon is the first image to pop into my head. Saturday Night Live used to portray him as the Grim Reaper. Bannon is to Trump what Karl Rove was to George Bush; not the older perverted man who is now […]

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Sessions’ DOJ suffers loss after judge rules sanctuary cities cannot have federal monies withheld

A federal judge has blocked the U.S. government from withholding a major grant because Philadelphia is a “sanctuary city.” U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson says in his decision issued Wednesday that he weighed the public interest and possible harm that could come from the withholding of such funds. A spokesman says the Justice Department is reviewing the ruling and determining […]

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Unfounded Pot Hysteria Spreads on the Internet

Headlines declaring the “first marijuana overdose” are sensational and misleading.


A local Colorado NBC-affiliated news station recently ran a misleading and irresponsible story with the headline “Colorado doctors claim first marijuana overdose death.” In reality, experts have drawn no scientific or otherwise solid correlation has been drawn between cannabis and the death in question.

The sensationalized story is based on to a recent case report on the death of an 11-month-old who experienced a seizure and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. The baby who died was exposed to cannabis prior to dying and had “cannabis toxicity” according to the case study, but there is no further connection—no cause and effect scenario—to speak of. The researchers said they found no other cause for the death, and recommend further investigation.

Noah Kaufman, a Northern Colorado emergency room physician said to Washington Post of the “first marijuana overdose” claims:

“It’s not based on reality. It’s based on somebody kind of jumping the gun and making a conclusion, and scientifically you can’t do that.”

The Washington Postreports that Thomas Nappe, the co-author of the case study, said: “We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child.” Nappe is the director of medical toxicology at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pa. and as the Post notes in a recent story about the case study in question:

“[Nappe] explained that the doctors simply observed this unusual sequence of events, documented it and alerted the medical community that it is worth studying a possible relationship between cannabis and the child’s cause of death…”

The Post article also notes that the observation was not part of a scientific study or research report, but a case study—which is not enough evidence to establish a causal relationship.

The case study report states that the baby’s parents admitted to drug possession and lived in an “unstable motel-living situation.” The baby’s death occurred following exposure to cannabis, but thus far there is no direct evidence to speak of that the baby’s death was related to ingesting cannabis and the case report calls for further study.

Experts and lawmakers agree every possible effort should be made to avoid childhood exposure to cannabis, as with any adult-use substance, and cannabis should be kept out of reach of children (unless they’ are using it for its potentially life-saving medical capabilities).

If further investigation does reveal the infant’s heart failure stemmed from cannabis ingestion, it would be a one-off incident, and “very unusual” as Keith Humphreys, Stanford University psychiatry professor who served as a senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Obama administration said to Washington Post.

There has never been an overdose death from cannabis according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). One researcher found that in order to die from too much cannabis, an adult person would have to consume 15 hundred pounds of weed  in 15 minutes (which is obviously physically impossible for anyone, as author David Schmader notes in his book “Weed: The User’s Guide“).  

Meanwhile, several other news channels have picked up and started to run with the sensationalized “first marijuana overdose” headline and story angle, facts and evidence be damned.

 

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