LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for the ‘Health/Mental Care’ Category

Diabetes, obesity, cancer linked to common chemicals – health group


RT America | Setember 30, 2015

The Endocrine Society has released a statement linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals(EDCs) to obesity, infertility and breast cancer. However, EDCs are found in countless food and household products. RT’s Manuel Rapalo reports.

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Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Flat, Use Of Alcohol, Cigarettes at Record Lows

NORML | September 17, 2015

Washington, DC: Current use of marijuana by those between the ages of 12 to 17 has remained largely unchanged over the past decade, while young people’s self-reported consumption of alcohol and cigarettes has fallen to record lows, according to federal data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and released Friday.

According to SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the percentage of respondents ages 12 to 17 who reported past-month use of marijuana remained steady from 7.6 percent in 2004 to 7.4 percent in 2014. By contrast, teens’ use of tobacco, cigarettes, and alcohol fell dramatically during this same period. Over the past ten years, adolescents’ use of tobacco fell from 14.4 percent to 7 percent, their use of cigarettes fell from 11.9 percent to 4.9 percent, and their use of alcohol fell from 17.6 percent to 11.5 percent. Binge drinking by young people fell from 11.1 percent in 2004 to 6.1 percent in 2014.

Self-reported marijuana use by older respondents, particularly among those age 26 and older has increased in recent years. By contrast, since 2012, when voters in Colorado and Washington decided to permit the commercial production and sale of cannabis to adults, youth marijuana use in the past 30 days is virtually unchanged (7.2 percent in 2012, 7.4 percent in 2014).

Of all estimated past-month illicit drug consumers, 82 percent are users of marijuana, the survey reported.

Commenting on the findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “The data once again undermines the concern that liberalizing marijuana laws for adults will inherently increase youth marijuana use.” He added, “These findings affirm that a pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for the legal, licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults but restricts its use among young people – coupled with a legal environment that fosters open, honest dialogue between parents and children about cannabis’ potential harms – best reduces the risks associated with the plant’s use or abuse.”

Despite the study’s findings, several prohibitionist organizations – including the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and Project SAM – issued press releases falsely stating that youth cannabis use had risen.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at:

Federal health program for 9/11 first responders comes to a halt


RT America | September 11, 2015

First responders to the 9/11 attacks still face fatal illnesses after risking their lives to save others at Ground Zero. Over a thousand have died over the years from 9/11 related illnesses and are memorialized at 9/11 Responders Remembered Park in Long Island. First responder John Feal talks to RT’s Egor Piskunov about the memorial and the importance of renewing the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act before it expires in October of this year.

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Gay Men Who Take Truvada Daily Remain Free Of HIV, According To New Study

Justin Hernandez | Queerty | September 4, 2015

A recent study performed by Kaiser Permanente of San Francisco has helped show the effectiveness of a daily regimen of Truvada in the prevention against HIV infection. After monitoring 657 of its clients who were on PrEP over a two year period, the insurer announced that none of the subjects had contracted the virus, reports The New York Times.

The study began shortly after the F.D.A. approved the use of Truvada for HIV prevention in mid-2012 and was completed in February of this year. Dr. Jonathan E. Volk, an epidemiologist for Kaiser Permanente of San Francisco, and his colleagues monitored a group of men who engaged in risky sexual behavior. While the men used fewer condoms during this time period, none of them became HIV-positive.

“This is very reassuring data,” Dr. Jonathan E. Volk stated. “It tells us that PrEP works even in a high-risk population.”

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5 Reasons You May Be Surprised By Your Marijuana Edibles

Phillip Smith | AlterNet | August 29, 2015


Edibles are an increasing share of the marijuana market, yet we really don’t know much about how they work.

The popularity of marijuana edibles has been one of the big surprises of the seismic culture shift we are undergoing around weed. Maybe it’s because of the increasing social disdain around smoking anything, or maybe it’s part of that whole foodie thing, but edibles are big business.

In Colorado alone, more than five million edible marijuana products were sold (and presumably consumed) last year. Edibles didn’t go on sale in Washington state until mid-year last year, but they’re reporting going gangbuster up there, too. And they make up an increasing share of the market in medical marijuana states, particularly California.

But edibles can be problematic. People unfamiliar with them get can way too messed up—witness Maureen Dowd and her infamous marijuana candy bar episode, or, more tragically, the case of the college student who leapt to his death after consuming them.

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Landmark settlement sets new standard for treating transgender patients

HEATHER STAUFFER | Lancaster Online | August 26, 2015

A recent federal crackdown is being hailed as a landmark in establishing standards for nondiscriminatory care of transgender patients, and industry experts say every health-care provider should take it as a warning and ensure compliance.

The recent settlement reached between The Brooklyn Hospital Center and Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights marked the first time the federal agency actively enforced a part of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination.

The Brooklyn Hospital Center was accused of putting a transgender patient who identified as female in a double room with a male. As part of the settlement, the center agreed to update its transgender nondiscrimination policy and provide appropriate training to staff.

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New Study Fails To Support Past Claims About Marijuana And Brain Health

NORML | August 27, 2015

St. Louis, MO: Cannabis exposure is not a cause of alterations in brain structure, according to clinical data published this week in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Psychiatry.

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri, and Kings College in London assessed the effects of cannabis exposure on brain volume in the hippocampus, amygdala, ventral striatum, and orbitofrontal cortex in groups of exposed and unexposed sibling pairs. Investigators reported that all of the volumetric differences identified “were within the range of normal variation,” and that they were attributable to “shared genetic factors,” not cannabis exposure.

Authors concluded, “[W]e found no evidence for the causal influence of cannabis exposure on amygdala volume.”

The trial is “the largest study to date examining the association between cannabis exposure (ever versus never used) and brain volumes.”

The study is one of two recent clinical trials to be published in recent months rebutting the claims of a widely publicized 2014 paper which alleged that even casual marijuana exposure may be linked to brain abnormalities, particularly in the region of the brain known as the amygdala, which plays a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions.

In January, researchers writing in The Journal of Neuroscience reported “no statistically significant differences … between daily [marijuana] users and nonusers on [brain] volume or shape in the regions of interest” after researchers controlled for participants’ use of alcohol. They concluded: “[I]t seems unlikely that marijuana use has the same level of long-term deleterious effects on brain morphology as other drugs like alcohol. … The press may not cite studies that do not find sensational effects, but these studies are still extremely important.”

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Shared predisposition in the association between cannabis use and subcortical brain structure,” appears in JAMA Psychiatry.

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