Monthly Archives: March 2016

Study: Students With Disabilities More Often Suspended At Charter Schools

Continuing the discoveries of discrimination suffered by children, students, and adults with disabilities:

In a first-of-its-kind report, authored by Shaun Heasley, in “DisabilityScoop,” a study shows students in charter schools, who are suffering some disability, are being suspended at a rate higher than typical children in public schools.

When discipline records in nearly 5,000 schools were studied at the University of California, it was found that there are great disparities in all grades, according to a report from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project.

“It’s disturbing to see so many of these schools still reporting such high suspension rates because that indicates charter leaders continue to pursue ‘broken windows,’ ‘no excuses’ and other forms of ‘zero tolerance’ discipline,” said Daniel Losen, the study’s lead author. “And we know from decades of research that frequently suspending children from school is counterproductive.”

“The high-suspending charters need not look very far to find much lower suspending charter schools,” Losen said. “So these findings elevate the need for oversight of charter schools and a continuing review for possible civil rights violations. There should be no excuses for charter schools that fail to comply with civil rights laws.”

It is a sad commentary on our educational system and indeed, our social structure, when children and adults have to be faced with, and suffer, the prejudice and ignorance of citizens who should know better.

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New Study: CBD Prompts Antidepressant-Like Effects

 

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A Spanish study reported on “Marijuana.com’s blog” and taken from “ScienceDirect,” validates the CBD cannabinoid as having rapid acting antidepressant-like effects.

For the study, surgically modified OBX mice were first compared with ordinary mice and then both given the CBD cannabinoid. 30 minutes later, stunned scientists observed a noteworthy decline in hyperactivity, typically associated with anxiety and depression in humans.

There are 14.8 Americans who suffer from major depression, and this research is both encouraging and suggestive of a CBD cannabinoid that could be readily available and at reasonable cost.

According to the report, CBD protects nerves and protects against brain injury; it fights MRSA infections, which are resistant to antibiotics; it takes a preventative role against inflammation; it induces cancer cells to “commit suicide; and has other important significance in administering to human maladies.

For more information, please watch this video:

[ CBD image from bingdotcom ]
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The U.S. State Department May Push for Decriminalization of Drugs at UNGASS Convention

 

As reported in High Times, the U.S. State Department seems confident that prohibition may become unhinged at some point in 2016 and lead to the possible decriminalization of all illegal drugs around the globe.

On Tuesday, William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told reporters that U.S. officials are currently at the drawing board in an attempt to draft an all-powerful piece of documentation — what he calls a “pragmatic reform agenda” — that they intend to present at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs next month in New York City.

Brownfield suggests that the proposed “recommitment” to the international drug conventions would be designed to persuade countries to remove the focus of the Drug War away from arrests and harsh penalties, and instead attack the issue from a public health standpoint.

President Obama has said many times publicly, that “we should decriminalize much of the basic behavior in drug consumption in order to focus law enforcement resources on the greater challenge of the large transnational criminal organizations.”

Major rewrites to the UN’s drug treaties would be necessary before governments could begin exploring new approaches to handling drugs without violating international law.

The details of the Obama Administration’s recommended revisions are not completely clear; however, they may support the philosophies that are in line with the text of the current three major international drug control treaties.

This is a great opportunity for the global community to recognize the realities of drug use in our modern world, and make choices that are more in sync and common-sense related, while prioritizing health issues.

 

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The UN Is Assessing the World’s Drug Problem

 

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An historic opportunity to achieve more humane and effective drug policy is at risk.

The 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem is an initiative that came from sitting presidents of Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.  The UN General Assembly endorsed the call for an open, honest and evidence-based debate.

The UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) will be convening in New York from April 19-21 and is the first such meeting in 18 years.

Since the deliberations began in Vienna in 2015, they have been neither transparent nor inclusive.  In other words, closed doors negotiations ensured that crucial priorities were neglected and outdated policies retained.

It is expected that the outcome of the April meeting will not result in meaningful change; however, there is evidence of ways to put people’s health, safety and human rights first.  These fundamental aspirations cannot be met without:

 Ending the criminalization and incarceration of drug users;

 Abolishing capital punishment for drug-related offenses;

 Empowering the World Health Organization (WHO) to review the scheduling system of drugs on the basis of scientific evidence;

 Ensuring a broad spectrum of treatments for dependent people and services designed to reduce the harms of drugs; and

 Allowing governments to apply different approaches to drug regulation in order to maximize public health, and destroy the power of organized crime.

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Kitten in the Basket

This little kitten is very young – still has its baby blue eyes.  It’s a Persian – adorable.  And such a sweet voice.

 

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HHS awards $94 million to health centers to help treat the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic in America

In this post, I am addressing opioid addiction even though the article addresses heroin addiction as well.

Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services in health centers, with a specific focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in under-served populations.

Source: HHS awards $94 million to health centers to help treat the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic in America

In my opinion, this may well be a waste of much of this money.  What kind of oversight will there be?

This $94 million investment is expected to help awardees hire approximately 800 providers to treat nearly 124,000 new patients.

124,000 new patients is just a drop in the bucket of the amount of opioid addicts, thanks to Big Pharma and the indiscriminate prescribing by doctors.  This lovely bundle of cash will result in lots of nepotism and greed; it’s almost guaranteed.

Medical marijuana is the answer, in my opinion, for pain relief.  It pummels my brain to see opioid addiction resulting from the “pill-pushing” medical community, and marijuana is still a Schedule 1 inhabitant.

Another huge waste of taxpayers’ money.  I pray that I’m wrong with this assumption because there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who are addicted due to the easy way out by the doctors who supposedly were “helping” their patients.

 

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Rapid response for inflammation control in songbirds’ brains could lead to therapies in humans

 

A biological process in the brains of zebra finches shows that the songbirds respond quickly to trauma and are capable of controlling the natural inflammation that occurs to protect the brain from injury. Understanding the process well enough could lead to therapies in humans to control inflammation and hasten recovery from brain injury such as stroke, says American University neuroscientist Colin Saldanha.

Chronic inflammation causes cell damage and the loss of important neurons that regulate memory, mood and movement. Being able to control and limit inflammation in an injured brain may preserve vital brain function.

This information may lead us to believe that possibly the scientific community will expand research on this important development that may affect patients suffering with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and inflammatory diseases, such as M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis).

For more than a decade, National Institutes of Health has funded Saldanha’s research because of the implications it has for treating neurodegenerative conditions.

Source: Rapid response for inflammation control in songbirds’ brains could lead to therapies in humans 

 

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The Physically Disabled in the US Are Overlooked by Colleges

dis clip art

Psychology students in U.S. colleges are educated about the minority group of the disabled, the least.  Oh yes, the mental illnesses are the main focus, but according to a study published by the “Society of the Teaching of Psychology,” and authored by Kathleen Bogart, an assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University:

“We are not properly preparing students to interact with this group.”

“Overall, the study found that all of the colleges in the analysis offered classes on psychiatric disabilities, but just eight had courses focusing on physical disabilities though such issues are more common.”

“Courses tended to take a medical approach, focusing on diagnosis, treatment and cures rather than looking at social issues like coping, acceptance, prejudice and policy implications.”

When a disabled person seeks to join the mainstream of life, he/she does so with the expectation of being accepted for what he/she can do, not for what they cannot.  Unfortunately, whether the disability is obvious or not (hidden – “you don’t look sick”), the majority of the “normal” population is sidelined and doesn’t know how to react to people who are considered “different.”

Not all disabled persons are outwardly disabled – they don’t wear a sign saying, “I am disabled.”  There are many diseases that humans suffer that cannot be discerned just by looking at the patients.

When the disability is found out, a series of circumstances or occurrences can begin to happen.  People will stare; they will be afraid to have conversation; they will ignore; they will assume the disabled person cannot behave or converse in a “normal” way; they lose trust and confidence in the person’s ability to perform the tasks.  The worst part is that the disabled person can be made to feel like a pariah; a person who is unworthy; a person who is not a person at all.

Many disabled persons seek the assistance of psychologists, or “counselors” or “therapists” in order to discover ways to deal with their disappointment, and the prejudice, the discrimination, and yes, the open hostility.

If psychologists are not taught how to counsel people with physical and medical disabilities, in addition to mental problems, when confronted with the above reactions to their disabilities, how can help be forthcoming?

There are many areas lacking attention in the U.S. universities’ educational programs, and more attention and a proactive approach by the psychology and medical advocacy communities should be given to this problem.

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[Disability clip art from:  bingdotcom]

 

 

A Florida Poll On Medical Marijuana

According to a poll, reported on Johnny Green’s blog, “The Weed Blog,” there is enough Florida voters (with wiggle room), that will make our quest a reality.

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This is exciting news, and let’s hope the figures don’t lie, and we will finally see all the hard work come to fruition!

Please read:

Latest Poll Shows 65% Support For 2016 Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative

 

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Dog, You Shall Not Pass Cat!

The following video is one of the best I’ve seen, showing the cowardice of dogs to cats’ existence.  Don’t get me wrong – I love dogs, too – I used to have dogs in my life as well as cats – a long time ago.

Click and enjoy and laugh.

 

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