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Important Facts About Marijuana Legalization ~ " Century Fox Post "

Important Facts About Marijuana Legalization ~ " Century Fox Post " | Lifestyle&fashion | Scoop.it
If alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, what’s the logical justification for one being legal and the other illegal?  Uruguay's president has made it clear that his plan for legalizing marijuana in the South American nation does not mean he favors legalizing any other illicit drugs. If we were making laws for a planet whose population had never experienced either marijuana or alcohol, and we had to choose one of the two drugs to make available, there would be a strong case for choosing marijuana, which has lower organic toxicity, lower addictive risk, and a much weaker link with accidents and violence. But that’s not the planet we inhabit. Here on this planet, alcohol has been an ingrained part of many cultures since the Neolithic revolution (which may have been driven in part by the discovery that grain could be brewed into beer). People have used cannabis plant products for thousands of years, but its widespread use as an intoxicant in the United States is a phenomenon of the last hundred years. Even today only about one in sixteen American adults used marijuana at all in the course of a typical year; for alcohol, that figure is more than half. History matters. Custom matters. Practicality matters. Even if there were public support for it, going back to Prohibition wouldn’t work—without a truly ferocious degree of law enforcement—precisely because centuries of tradition and decades of marketing have left alcohol use a deeply ingrained feature of most social systems outside the Islamic world.

The technical term for this is “path dependence.” If alcohol had just been invented and no one was yet using it, it would go straight into Schedule I: high potential for abuse, and no accepted medical value. And that ban might make sense. But once there is an established user base, prohibition becomes impractical. Marijuana is not, or at least not yet, equally entrenched.

It’s true that the arguments for maintaining marijuana prohibition also point strongly toward tighter controls on alcohol: higher taxes, limits on marketing, bans on sales to people convicted of driving drunk or other crimes committed under the influence. So it’s fair to mock the “drug warriors” who worry about every drug except the one that does the most damage. But, by the same token, advocates of marijuana legalization who point to the horrible amount of damage alcohol does are pointing to precisely the strongest argument for maintaining marijuana prohibition: the one drug we legalized is the most harmful of all despite all our efforts at regulation.

Can it be defensible to support legalizing marijuana but not other drugs?

Absolutely.

There is no logical reason to apply the same policies to all psychoactives. Most people support prohibiting crack but not caffeine, and that is an entirely defensible position.

A key reason someone might be more willing to legalize marijuana than the other major drugs is that legalizing marijuana is less risky. Relative to the other major drugs, marijuana enforcement is already lax, and as a result prices are much less inflated. Also, social disapprobation is rather modest, and dependence is easier to break. So legalizing marijuana is far less likely to produce highly problematic increases in dependence than legalizing any of those other substances.

Can two reasonable people sensibly disagree about marijuana legalization?

Certainly.

Even if we could accurately estimate all the gains and losses—which we can’t—there’s no reason two people holding different values couldn’t reasonably disagree on whether that change represented progress. One person might care enormously about reducing dependence for the sake of the children of those who are dependent; another might place greater emphasis on reducing street violence or incarceration. Those two people could make the same predictions about the likely consequences of legalization but reach different conclusions about its desirability. Can marijuana use lead to dependence or addiction? Yes, but even among frequent marijuana users only a minority suffers from a substance abuse disorder. “Addiction” is no longer a term in medical use; the technical terms are “abuse” and “dependence,” where dependence is the more severe condition. Sometimes “addiction” is used to refer to dependence in its chronic, relapsing form.

Abuse and dependence are defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, currently in its fourth edition (and thus called DSM-IV). To simplify, the DSM-IV definition of drug abuse is continued use of a substance in the face of adverse consequences. Dependence is defined as current use meeting three or more of the conditions: 1. Tolerance (needing more to get same effect)
2. Withdrawal (cessation causes a characteristic set of symptoms)
3. Using more than intended
4. Wanting to or having tried unsuccessfully to cut down on use
5. Spending considerable time obtaining and using the substance
6. Interference with important work, social, or other activities
7. Continued use despite knowledge of adverse consequences Survey responses suggest that more than 8 million current marijuana users meet criteria 4 and 5; far fewer mention the other issues. For example, only 1.5 million report that their marijuana use is causing problems with work / school / home and with family or friends.

Taking all the criteria into account, the self-report data suggest that 2.7 million Americans met clinical criteria for marijuana dependence in 2009, and another 1.7 million met the criteria for abuse, so 4.4 million met the criteria for abuse or dependence (that’s 1.7 percent of the population aged 12 and older). 

Estimates from Europe and Australia also find rates of marijuana abuse and dependence in the general population between 1 percent and 2 percent. This relatively small group accounts for a considerable share of total consumption.

But regular marijuana use does not necessarily indicate dependence. Only about 30 percent of those who are estimated to have used on more than half the days in the last year self-report symptoms that suggest a diagnosis of abuse or dependence. The corresponding figure for cocaine is 88 percent. Someone who uses cocaine every other day or more often is probably cocaine dependent; someone who uses marijuana every other day or more often is probably not cannabis dependent. In this regard, marijuana resembles alcohol more than it does the “hard” drugs.
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International Bikini Day ~ " Century Fox Post "

International Bikini Day ~ " Century Fox Post " | Lifestyle&fashion | Scoop.it
Hope you're not sick of birthdays, what with America's big bash yesterday. Today the bikini turns 66, having been ushered into the world by French designer Louis R'earden on July 5th,1946.   So to the bikini we say: happy birthday, old friend! Or foe really -- because has there ever been a garment we so love to hate and hate to love? We wrestle with its dark powers in poorly-lit dressing rooms and let it haunt us it as we sweat on the elliptical.   And yet the bikini has had some glorious moments that we can't help but adore, from Halle Berry's killer orange suit in "Die Another Day" to Carrie Fisher's geek-chic ensemble in "Return of the Jedi." Teen boys will never forget Phoebe Cates emerging from the swimming pool in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," nor will little girls ever let go of Ariel in "The Little Mermaid."   So in honor of the swimsuit's big day, here's a look back at the most memorable bikini moments ever. Enjoy as every woman looks exceptionally Hot and Attractive.
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Gisele's Sexiest Bra ~ " Century Fox Post "

Gisele's Sexiest Bra ~ " Century Fox Post " | Lifestyle&fashion | Scoop.it
Gisele Bundchen made her mark strutting in Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows wearing gigantic wings and sky-high heels. But the Brazilian supermodel envisioned being much more than a designer's muse, as she told Vanity Fair, "I would never want to be one of those girls who is 30, and modeling is all they know how to do. I want to do my best, and then I want to close the chapter on this job." Now in her early thirties, the former Angel has certainly stayed true to her word. Aside a highly-publicized relationship with ex-boyfriend Leonardo Dicaprio and marriage to football star Tom Brady, the bronzed beauty has taken on acting, philanthropy and motherhood. And after seeing her sport everything from bedazzled bras to silk gowns to Fancy Flip-flops, Gisele's proven that she looks downright amazing, covered up or not.
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Fitness and Lifestyle (Extreme Nutrition and Training Blog): 2012 Summer Update

Fitness and Lifestyle (Extreme Nutrition and Training Blog): 2012 Summer Update | Lifestyle&fashion | Scoop.it
Fitness and Lifestyle (Extreme Nutrition and Training Blog): 2012 ...: http://t.co/ouc4x611...
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The Trouble Diagnosing Diabetes ~ " Century Fox Post "

The Trouble Diagnosing Diabetes ~ " Century Fox Post " | Lifestyle&fashion | Scoop.it
With cases of diabetes growing each year, many adults are getting caught in a potentially dangerous situation: they are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes when they actually have Type 1 diabetes, a substantially different condition. Alissa Kaplan Michaels, who has Type 1 diabetes, lived for 3½ years with the wrong diagnosis. The New York public-relations consultant says she complained to her doctor in 2008 of blurry vision and was told she had Type 2 diabetes after a blood test showed high sugar levels. She changed her diet and exercised more, but her blood-sugar levels kept rising. She started taking several oral diabetes medications. She stopped eating bread and pasta. She changed doctors—three times. And she still felt terrible.Both types of diabetes make it difficult for patients to control blood-sugar levels, which can lead to complications that include blindness, kidney failure and death. But Type 1 and Type 2 require different forms of treatment. Don't Confuse These Despite the similar sounding names, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are substantially different conditions. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the body's ability to make insulin. In Type 2, brought on by inactivity and obesity, the body can't make efficient use of insulin to control blood sugar. Type 1 Diabetes The condition begins mainly in childhood and adolescence, but increasingly in adults. People with Type 1 are often thin or normal weight. Patients are prone to ketoacidosis, a dangerous buildup of acids in the blood. Regular insulin injections are required treatment. Source: National Institutes of Health Type 2 Diabetes Onset is primarily in people over 40 years old, but increasingly in younger patients. People with Type 2 are often obese. There is no ketoacidosis. Treatment involves healthy diet and exercise, diabetes medications, and sometimes insulin injections. Last fall, a covering doctor at her endocrinologist's practice started asking about her health history, childhood weight patterns, her recent struggles with her blood sugar and family history of Type 2 diabetes, of which there was none. That day, Ms. Kaplan Michaels got a new diagnosis. She didn't have Type 2 diabetes, she had Type 1. Ms. Kaplan Michaels, 44 years old, immediately dropped the oral medications that had upset her stomach. Instead, she increased her daily insulin injections. She also resumed eating carbohydrates. Within weeks, her energy was back. "At first I was relieved and then I was very angry," she says. "Nobody should have to go to four doctors to get a diagnosis for something that isn't that difficult to diagnose." Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the body's ability to make insulin, which allows the body to properly process glucose. The disorder, once called juvenile diabetes, begins mainly in children and adolescents, but is increasingly occurring in adults. Type 1 diabetics need daily insulin injections to survive. If patients manage their blood-sugar levels well, they can live for decades without encountering the dangerous complications associated with the disease. Type 2 diabetes, by contrast, is brought on by inactivity and obesity, mainly in adults, and is characterized by the body's inability to make efficient use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which is beginning to occur in teenagers, can be kept at bay in some cases with lifestyle changes and is widely treated with oral medications to improve insulin absorption. Type 2 diabetics also can require insulin injections. "Most of my [adult Type 1 patients] have been misdiagnosed as having Type 2," says Robin Goland, co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. "Once the right diagnosis is made the patient feels much, much better, but they are distrustful of doctors and who could blame them?" An incorrect diagnosis usually occurs in the offices of primary-care doctors, many of whom haven't received adequate education in medical school about rising rates of Type 1 in adults and how to diagnose it. "It is not on their radar because they see so much diabetes and it is by far mostly Type 2," said Irl B. Hirsch, professor of medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.Estimates of the number of people with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. range from 1.3 million to 2.6 million people, accounting for 5% to 10% of the total diabetic population. Incidence of Type 1 has been rising in the U.S. and in parts of Europe by about 2.5% to 4% a year for reasons scientists can't explain, according to several large-scale studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Scientists say Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors but they don't know what the trigger is. After elevated blood sugars are detected, diagnosing which diabetes a person has usually is done by looking at the patient, assessing family history, weight and age, doctors say. "It's not a good way to make a diagnosis. You'd like to measure something that represents the disease process," says Jerry Palmer, director of endocrinology at VA Puget Sound Health Care System. To properly diagnose Type 1, doctors need to test for antibodies that indicate the presence of the autoimmune disorder. But few order such tests. Cherie Serota, 48, was told by her primary-care doctor in early 2009 that she was on the brink of having Type 2 diabetes. Weighing just 120 pounds, Ms. Serota, of Brookville, N.Y., didn't fit the profile of a typical Type 2 patient. She revved up her exercise regime and watched her diet. One night after Chinese takeout sent her blood-sugar levels high, she called her doctor who told her this was normal and not to eat Chinese food anymore. Eventually she stopped eating carbohydrates. "That really did me in," says the mother of three. "I had no energy." Six months later, feeling drained and now down to 113 pounds, the former fashion executive sought out an endocrinologist at New York University who told her she had Type 1. When she told her primary-care doctor, he was so surprised she made him call the specialist, she says. "I understand why I was misdiagnosed; it is a very small amount of people who are diagnosed as an adult," Ms. Serota says. Benjamin Jones, a 63-year-old retired probation officer, likely had the slow-onset form of the disease. For six years, Mr. Jones treated what had been diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. He changed his diet and took three oral medications daily. An avid exerciser, Mr. Jones says for several years he was able to keep his blood-sugar levels in check in part by Rollerblading, swimming, playing tennis and basketball, and cycling. Still, rarely did his blood-sugar level dip below 120, which is high for a non-diabetic person.In some adults with Type 1, the loss of insulin-producing cells, located in the pancreas, is much slower than for children, making the onset of the disease more gradual. Some researchers consider the slow onset a distinct form of Type 1 called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, or Lada. Because the disease progresses more slowly, it can be more easily confused with Type 2, researchers say. After a bad reaction to a flu shot earlier this year, Mr. Jones says his sugar levels surged to 500. He says he asked to be put on insulin, but his primary-care doctor refused, fearing that Mr. Jones could risk hypoglycemia, a condition in which blood sugars go too low. That was when Mr. Jones sought out a specialist at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. He was immediately put on insulin, given an antibody test and told he had Type 1. "When your sugar is high you don't feel right. You feel on edge," Mr. Jones says. "I feel like a new person, like I should feel.

 

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