March 3, 2000
A Seattle organization that legally supplies marijuana under Washington state’s new medical marijuana statute plans to issue clients photo-ID cards confirming their right to smoke out, according to the SEATTLE WEEKLY. The group hopes the cards will prevent police from mistaking medical marijuana users from folks who toke for fun. The cops have responded positively to the plan. However, police and activists differ over just how much pot can qualify as medicine. Police guidelines say those with a prescription for marijuana can legally possess up to nine plants. But according to Compassion in Action medical director Francis Podrebarac’s reading of the law, card carriers should be allowed to grow up to 144 plants.
March 2, 2000
American coal-fueled power plants release 76 million tons of toxic waste each year. And if that doesn’t cheer you up, consider this: Waste from coal-based plants is completely exempt from federal regulation, according to the ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE. That means that in some states, like Texas, plants can dump their waste anywhere they please within a 50-mile radius, without so much as a permit. The article notes that Americans living within a one-mile radius power plants are twice as likely to live in poverty as the general population.
While the report links coal-plant waste to severely mutated fish, it’s not just the environment that suffers. “The cancer risks for children drinking ground water contaminated with arsenic from power plant wastes have been estimated to be as high as one in 100,” reports a Citizens Coal Council representative.
March 1, 2000
Leave Mohammed out of it and move that mountain!
When a plan to widen a major British highway threatened an old-growth forest in Kent, Britain’s Highways Agency simply scooped up the forest and moved it. According to the ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE, the agency relocated 10,000 tons of ancient woodland soil and used a “giant tree spade” to move 100 grouped hazel trees to a different site. The work was timed to take place while dormice that inhabit the hazel forest were hibernating.
Feb. 29, 2000
If you find yourself in England with a broken bone or a severed limb, you may just want to walk it off. Going to the hospital could be life threatening, the INDEPENDENT reports.
At least 30,000 people in the UK may be dying in hospitals every year as a result of preventable medical accidents, according to the Imperial College School of Medicine. The number is higher than the total number of deaths from all other accidents, including those that occur at home and on the road.
Some doctors explain the staggering death toll by pointing out that modern medical treatments, while more effective, are generally riskier than older forms of treatment. Potential improvements include better training of interns, and reviving the use of leeches and blood letting.
Feb. 28, 2000
A study at a Madrid university — published today in the the journal Nature — has shown that THC, the inebriating ingredient in marijuana, completely eliminated highly lethal cancerous brain tumors in lab rats, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS.
Three of the 15 rats treated with THC saw their tumors disappear completely, while another nine rats treated with the substance outlived cagemates who did not receive THC.
Naturally, practitioners of traditional Western medicine pooh-pooh’d the study, saying trials on rats aren’t relevant to the effects of drugs on humans. This, mind you, from the people who brought you vivisection.