Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It’s time to end the drug war

 Here is an excerpt from my latest opinion piece in the Daily Opinion:

According to a fairly recent Gallup poll, 50% of Americans are now in favor of legalising marijuana, a number that is up from the 12% that supported legalisation back in 1969. A growing number of Americans are also in favour of decriminalising the simple possession of all illegal drugs. Growing support for the legalisation of marijuana is so wide in fact, that support now includes endorsements from some very unlikely public figures. It’s hard to believe, but television evangelist Pat Robertson has come out not only in favor of decriminalisation, but for all out legalisation. “Regulate it like alcohol”, he says emphatically. Indeed, we are living in changing times, for it is clear that we are witnessing a monumental sea change in public opinion that has expanded exponentially beyond that of young liberals and libertarians. The common denominator has become such: End the drug war!

You can read the rest here:

It’s time to end the drug war

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Loud Music Attracts Risk Taking Demographic

Listening to loud music linked with pot use, unsafe sex, study says - latimes.com

The researchers found that compared with young adults who listened to music responsibly, those who put themselves at risk with digital music players were:
* 1.99 times more likely to say they had used cannabis in the last four weeks;
* 1.19 times more likely to smoke cigarettes daily; and
* 1.10 times more likely to have sex without using a condom every time.

...and it doesn't end there, for the study goes on to say that going to concerts and music clubs is now bad for your health as well!!! For the love of God, now the puritans are coming to take our music away.

Oh my! ...Here comes the call for intervention:

With regard to digital music players, the researchers noted that “music sounds better with cannabis use” and noted that manufacturers “should be encouraged to create a safer listening environments” by creating players that produce high-quality sound at lower dBA levels.
"Encouraged"? We all know that this is code for more busy body legislation. Is there any place or terrain that is off limits to the Neo-Do-Gooders of (Counter) Do-Gooderism?

The study was published in The Official Journal of of the American Academy of Pediatrics:


Risky Music-Listening Behaviors and Associated Health-Risk Behaviors

...cannabis generates feelings of happiness and
relaxation.29 Furthermore, it enhances
activities, that is, music sounds better
with cannabis use. It could be that this
subgroup of listeners want to experience
a feeling of “getting lost” in the
music and to cut oneself off from one’s
surroundings...
Oh, how horrible! Isn't that the purpose of music and all art forms? What are these people, anti-art? Anti-relaxation? Relaxation lowers stress, and lowering one's stress levels (even at a young age) is good for one's health.

Second, frequent visitors of discotheques
and pop concerts reported less often
the use of cannabis...

Have the researchers pondered the thought that maybe there is a circumstantial reason for this?  Using cannabis at such venues is illegal, no ? No, there just has to be some deep, existential meaning in there somewhere that requires more research funding! Oh, and does anyone really refer to nightclubs as discotheques anymore? What century are these people living in?

Furthermore, alcohol has a greater impact on attitudes
and intentions toward unprotected sex when individuals are sexually aroused.32
Isn't youth also a co-factor in this equation?

High-volume music in music venues
provides its visitors with an opportunity
to congregate without having to
communicate; this is referred to as the
social noise phenomenon.”33 Because
loud music prevents communication at
distances of,1 m, it enables people to
move inside the personal space of
members of the opposite sex to communicate
with them, however limited
the mode of communication may be.33
 I didn't realize that there was such a thing as "social noise phenomenon". It sounds really scary!

Thus, interventions to reduce the
occurrence of unprotected sex, for example,
might best be implemented in
contexts where people will be making
the decision to have unprotected sex,
such as in discotheques or at pop
concerts. A discotheque or pop concert
could not only be a place where hearing
protection is provided, but also where
condoms are provided. In addition,
inhibiting cues could be provided by
posters with warnings against alcohol
abuse and unsafe sex at discotheque
entrances or by printing messages on
admission tickets.
That's the goal: Big, scary signs everywhere you go, even in the "discotheques" were alcohol is served. Forgive me if I'm missing something here, but isn't it illegal for "children" to drink alcohol in "discotheques"? Hmmm...Well, golly gee, of course it is. So why is this study, which is published in a pediatric publication pressing for the intervention of adult behavior at adult venues? Oh, I get it, this group is referred to as "emerging adults". Legally, you're an adult, but mentally....well...you're a child that needs to be guided by the state. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for passing out condoms to prevent the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancies, but there has got to be a limit to how far "public" health can go.

So ultimately, the message is: there is nothing that exists on this green earth that the health despots cannot connect in some way, shape, or form to something that is deemed to be unhealthy, thereby "justifying" the need for intervention at all levels of society. "It's for the children."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Congratulations, you are part of Big Tobacco

This is a great article. Please read:

One of the main problems with this call to arms is that Big Tobacco has nothing to do with House Bill 2690.

I'm sure that many of us wouldn't mind a paycheck, lol:-)

Congratulations, you are part of Big Tobacco

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kansas Bill Would Ease Smoking Ban

A measure was introduced in Topeka on Wednesday that would allow smoking in private businesses as long as the clientele and employees are of legal age.
Finally, a common sense approach to the smoking issue!

Kansas Bill Would Ease Smoking Ban - Kansas City News Story - KMBC Kansas City

Second Hand Smoke Bullshit - Penn & Teller

Thanks to Silk Ziggy for posting this on Facebook via NYC Clash-

If you haven't already seen this video, check it out. If you have already seen it, it's worth a second watch.

Simply brilliant!!

Second Hand Smoke Bullshit - Penn & Teller - YouTube

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan submits brief to the Kansas House of Representatives

 This shameful situation needs to be changed by allowing truthful communication about the relative risks of the spectrum of smokeless tobacco products and alternative low-risk nicotine delivery systems that can actually help smokers quit.
I wish that this statement included all tobacco products, but it's a start. Thank you Dr. Whelan.

Smoked-out: Science obscured by public policy on quitting > Facts & Fears > ACSH

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kansas Lawmakers Consider Resolution on Harm Reduction

Smokeless Tobacco Study Weighed By Kansas Lawmakers In R.J. Reynolds-Backed Resolution

Slowly but surely, the tide is turning in the direction of tobacco harm reduction. The antiquated approach of quit or die that has been foisted upon smokers by the sheer force and muscle of anti-tobacco lobbyists is slowly coming to an end, as it should. Tobacco is a legal product and the people who use tobacco products are law abiding citizens who have the right to be armed with all of the information available with regards to the varying relative risks of tobacco products. While I am not personally into smokeless tobacco or snus, I believe that this sets an important precedent for all users of tobacco in all of its forms. If one product is 90+% less risky than another, we have the right to know about it. If vaporized tobacco cigarettes are less risky, then we have the right to know about that as well, for it would enable many smokers to switch to less hazardous alternatives which could very well mean the difference between life and death itself. Combustible cigarettes are not the same either. If one cigarette brand is 30, 40, 50, 60% more or less risky, we have the right to know about it. If a tobacco product only carries a 10% reduction in risk, I want to know about it. In fact, we have the right to know about it all. In addition to being a freedom of speech issue, this also amounts to what has evolved into a human rights issue. We smokers are taxed beyond what we put into the system, yet we are told that we have no rights. Where has all of that tax money been going to and why hasn't it been going into research and resolutions such as what's been proposed above? Wait a minute...I know why.. It's largely due to pro-death groups such as this:
The cancer society opposes the measure, citing concern about smokeless tobacco's potential cancer link, including a risk for oral cancer, Masoner said. State public health officials should not conduct research for an industry, he said. Supporters of the measure have said the study would not cost additional taxpayer funds.
Of course they oppose the idea. If people stopped getting cancer, they'd be out of business. If tobacco use were to become a benign habit, then how would they justify extorting all of that tax money from smokers? Never mind that the fact that a Swedish study that followed 280,000 snus users from 1978 to 1992 found that there was no increased risk of lung or oral cancer in Swedish snus users as compared to that of never smokers. How is it possible for a group that purports to be about health to be against the study of something that may have the potential to eradicate much of what society has come to despise about tobacco? Hasn't that been the point all along, to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use? It is clear that the Neo Bishops of (Counter) Do-Gooderism have been walking in our midst with blinders on. The world is not flat and there will never be a world free of smokers. Using science, rather than blind dogma and politics, is the only practical solution that lies before us. Besides, it is our lives and our money at stake here; therefore, the direction and the trajectory that tobacco harm reduction sets out on is ultimately our decision to make, not theirs.

Thankfully, there are a number of lawmakers that are beginning to realize the importance of an alternative approach in reducing tobacco related illness(s), for Kansas is now the fourth state, behind Indiana, Nebraska, and Kentucky, to recognize the importance of tobacco harm reduction. They are beginning to realize that science, in its absolute form, is what is needed to increase the quality of life for smokers everywhere. The social relativism and religious fervor of the anti-science and anti-free speech crowd has only served to do the public great harm. The dissemination of truthful information is the backbone of progress itself. It is time that we smokers witness a bit of that progress that we have been hearing so much about.

Change is coming.
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