Pharmacology

Fat bastards could lose benefits in UK, what a great policy

David Cameron says UK taxpayers shouldn’t have to??fund the benefits? of fatties?or drug and alcohol addicts who refuse treatment?that could help them get back into employment.

Obese people could have their benefits stripped if they refuse treatment in a bid to ensure they can lead a ?fulfilling life?, David Cameron has said.

A Conservative government will attempt to ensure that tens of thousands of people who claim welfare on the grounds of obesity, drug or alcohol addiction are ?incentivised? to go back to work, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron said that taxpayers should no longer ?fund the benefits? of people who refuse to accept the treatment that could help them get back into employment.

He has asked Professor Dame Carol Black, a senior Government adviser of health, to conduct a review into how best to get people with treatable conditions back into work.

The review will focus on how to incentivise the people to get back to work and consider whether their benefits should be stopped if they refuse treatment.

Currently, almost 100,000 people are claiming sickness benefits because they say they are suffering from conditions such as drug or alcohol addiction, or obesity.

However, there is no requirement for such people to undertake treatment, meaning it is possible to claim without making efforts at recovery.

Of the 2.5 million claiming sickness benefits, around 1.5 million have been claiming for more than 5 years.? Read more »

Cannabis – Helping the kids, A journey for oil

Time has a released a documentary about how cannabis is providing medical treatment for kids where legal medicines have failed dramatically.

Kate Pickert investigates the world of medical marijuana for children.

The story?focuses on the Stanley family, who began selling ?Charlotte?s Web? ? a strain high in CBD but low in THC ? through their Colorado business after the mother of a girl with epilepsy approached them. We have looked before at the remarkable story of Charlotte Figi, this story however delves a little deeper.

Read more »

Medicinal Cannabis coming to Australia

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As more states and countries around the world start legalising cannabis the pressure is going to come on John Key to look at legalisation of cannabis sooner rather than later.

Tony Abbott is a convert and his government is moving to legislate for the introduction of medicinal cannabis.

The federal government would be given oversight over the production and distribution of medical cannabis under new legislation to make the make the drug available to patients with chronic pain.

The push to legalise medical cannabis is gathering pace, with Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, chairman of the cross-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, now finalising a bill that is set to be introduced into Parliament next month.

Supporters of legalised medical cannabis have been buoyed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s strong public support for the legalisation of the drug for medical use.

“I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates,” Mr Abbott wrote in a letter to 2GB radio host Alan Jones, dated August 23.

“If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose ? and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality.”

Jones, who has been campaigning in support of medical cannabis, read Mr Abbott’s letter on air earlier this month.

Senator Di Natale, a former GP, is also pushing for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to create a special category for the drug so that it can be available with a doctor’s prescription. The TGA currently lists cannabis as a prohibited substance. ? Read more »

Dissent of the Day – Legalisation of Cannabis

Another reader emails on the issue of cannabis legalisation?responding?to William’s email.

Brett makes some good points too:

Hi Cam.

After reading your correspondents argument for legalisation of cannabis I thought the alternative view was worth considering as well. The concept that legalising cannabis removes the ?cost of fighting violent cartels? ?. and ?prevent ordinary otherwise law abiding citizens from consuming public resources? is simplistic in its approach and overstates the potential benefits.

Firstly the concept of violent cartels doesn?t really apply in NZ to the extent it does in South America for example. For sure organised criminal gangs are actively involved in distribution of cannabis but legalising cannabis would not remove them from the NZ crime scene, it would simply cause them to focus on other revenue streams such as meth, heroin etc. It would however create another method to launder revenue from the other illegal activities as legitimate cannabis revenue. it would probably also increase their business opportunities as a flow on effect.? More legal drug users mean more potential illegal drug users as there is plenty of evidence supporting the concept of Cannabis increasing the susceptibility to addiction. Its simply about growing target markets.

By creating a legal cannabis industry you are creating an industry that has a vested interest in increasing cannabis use.?The more people who smoke, the more profit they generate.?The last thing our economy needs is an increased population of hop heads who cant function to reasonable levels of productivity. There is absolutely no doubt that cannabis use results in poorer cognitive performance. While Alcohol is metabolised out of the body in a matter of hours, cannabis takes six weeks or more. Due to the fact that the THC deposits itself in certain body fats, particularly those around the brain, its effects are cumulative. Some studies indicate that regular use of cannabis? lowers the average IQ of the user by 6 points. Just what we need in NZ , more dumbasses who don?t contribute to society!

Think that legalisation wouldn?t increase its use? Did lowering the drinking age contribute to increased youth binge drinking and the associated social problems? Did legalised synthetic cannabis create a new population of drug users because ?it was legal? and promoted by greedy manufacturers with no ethics? ? Read more »

Simple really, but one is legal and one is not

Pew Research has some interesting results in a poll that shows the public get it when it comes to cannabis vs alcohol.

 

If only our law makers could get it too.

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[T]here has been a major shift in attitudes on whether or not the use of marijuana should be legal. As recently as four years ago, about half (52%) said they thought the use of marijuana should not be legal; 41% said marijuana use should be legal. Today those numbers are roughly reversed ? 54% favor marijuana legalization while 42% are opposed. ? Read more »

Synthetic, Organic, why banning doesn’t work

New Zealand right now has the bizarre situation where synthetic cannabis is legal and can be sold across the counter of approved stores with products that are suitably licensed.

Meanwhile organic cannabis, with none of the medical side effects reported of the synthetic kind remains illegal.

This was the politician’s bizarre answer to the rise of synthetic cannabis products. While I support them being legal, leaving organic cannabis illegal is stupid int he extreme. The politicians are effectively saying that chemical facsimiles of cannabis are ok but the organic and natural product is not.

Josh Drummond outlines why banning of the products won’t work and why we must move to legalisation of cannabis.

Then there’s the question of what’s actually in the stuff the shop is selling. The ones that seem to be getting the most attention are THC substitutes, which are chemicals that mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Synthetic THC substitutes have a bad reputation, with severe adverse effects being reported by medical staff at emergency rooms. Most alarmingly, these include seizures and psychosis.

So what’s the obvious solution? Well. It’s obvious. The indisputable facts are that the shop is causing problems, and legal highs themselves are dangerous. Ban them outright! It’s the common-sense thing to do. Obviously.

Except this would be a terrible idea.

Of course it is a terrible idea…prohibition anywhere has ben a total failure.? Read more »

What if cannabis was legal? [POLL]

Further to our posts on cannabis use and the readers comments, Jmac also proposed a little survey for readers. ? Read more »

Cannabis and Obesity, the surprising link

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There is some research out that suggest that regular cannabis users are slimmer than those who do not use.

A new?study?published in the?American Journal of Epidemiology?finds an intriguing connection between marijuana use and body weight, showing that rates of obesity are lower by roughly a third in people who smoke pot at least three times a week, compared with those who don?t use marijuana at all. ? Read more »

Prohibition to blame for potent pot [VIDEO]

For the 50% of readers who answered that they have smoked cannabis here is and interesting?analysis?that prohibition of cannabis has led to the increase in potency:

“The plant hasn’t changed, the consumers haven’t changed,” says Auburn University’s Mark Thornton, “it’s prohibition and the difficulties and risks of getting it from the growing stage to the consumer.”

Thornton, author of The Economics of Prohibtion, sat down with ReasonTV’s Tracy Oppenheimer to discuss how prohibition distorts the market for marijuana, and why potency levels are on the rise. He says that the potency of other illegal drugs has also increased and that this even included alcohol during prohibition.

“It’s a phenomenon that exists anytime government tries to prevent the consumption of something.” ?? Read more »

Flies on Meth just like People…rooted

? Boing Boing

People who use methamphetamine exhibit all sorts of strange behaviour, tests on fruit flies?show the same behaviours. Once a frier?always?frier. Of course the tests couldn’t establish tweakers propensity to continually lie, cheat even after they have stopped using the drug. The pathology of the drug is such that once rooted their brains remain rooted:

A new study published in the?Journal of Toxicological Sciences?shows that fruit flies on methamphetamine “drastically reduce their food intake and increase their physical activity, just as humans do.” The U. of Illinois study tracked metabolic and behavioral changes in fruit flies on meth, and suggests that starvation is a primary driver of methamphetamine-related death in the little winged tweekers. Meth is, of course,?not all that great for humans either. It “burdens the body with toxic metabolic byproducts and weakens the heart, muscles and bones,” and “alters energy metabolism in the brain and kills brain cells.”