Health

More Medical Marijuana Collective Operators Freed from Criminal Charges

April 17, 2014 by Source
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Vista Prosecutor Dismisses Charges Against Laura Sharp and son Nelson on April 16

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

San Diego, CA – It has been a great day for legal medical marijuana patients Laura Sharp, her son Nelson and an unnamed co-defendant after a Vista prosecutor dismissed the charges against the trio in the interest of justice and the three walked out amid cheers and clapping from their supporters.

SocalPURE, a non-profit mutual benefit corporation and legal medical cannabis collective was raided back in October of 2013. Laura Sharp, a directing member, her son Nelson and a volunteer were all man-handled by the array of law enforcement who conducted the raid. Several patient members were thrown to the ground, screamed at and handcuffed for more than six hours.

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Fukushima Meltdown – US Sailors Sue Japanese Electrical Company

April 14, 2014 by Source

050629-N-5060B-006By Kathleen Gilberd

Three years ago, a massive earthquake led to a triple melt-down and explosions at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was sent to Honshu Island, where the reactor is located, to render aid as part of Operation Tomadachi (Friendship). With the ship as close as a mile off shore, sailors worked 18-hour days to rescue civilians in the radiation area.

Now sailors from the Ronald Reagan have filed a one billion dollar class action suit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner of the nuclear plant, alleging that they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, far in excess of what TEPCO told the Navy to expect. There are over 100 plaintiffs in the class action, which was filed in San Diego on February 6

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5 Popular Home Products That Can Be Surprisingly Toxic

April 14, 2014 by Source
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If you thought you were safe from pollutants around the house, think again.

By Cliff Weathers / AlterNet

We love the convenience and the comfort they bring us, but some of our most popular consumer products can come at a heavy price to our personal health. We all try being careful, removing the known hazards from our households, yet there are many products that you likely have in your home that you probably didn’t know were toxic. Here are five that might shock you:

1. Candles.Few things are better at adding atmosphere to a room than candles. But as those candles fill the room with warm light, they’re also filling it up with harmful gases and sediments. …

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OSHA Wins Case Against SeaWorld Involving Death of Orca Trainer

April 11, 2014 by Source
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From OH&S / Apr 11, 2014

OSHA has won the appellate case involving its enforcement case against SeaWorld of Florida LLC following the death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau on Feb. 24, 2010. A 2-1 decision issued April 11 by a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that SeaWorld “recognized its precautions were inadequate to prevent serious bodily harm or even death to its trainers and that the residual hazard was preventable.”

“The remedy imposed for SeaWorld’s violations does not change the essential nature of its business,” the majority opinion written by Judge Judith W. Rogers states. “There will still be human interactions and performances with killer whales; the remedy will simply require that they continue with increased safety measures.”

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Politicians Who Oppose Marijuana Legalization Are On the Wrong Side of History

April 9, 2014 by Source

marijuanademrepsA majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

By Tony Newman via AlterNet

A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization – yet not one sitting governor or U.S. Senator supports it, according to a New York Times piece.

Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. 43 years after President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” the U.S. arrests 650,000 people a year for marijuana possession – yet marijuana and other illegal drugs are as available as ever. Thanks to the drug war, the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

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Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

April 9, 2014 by Source

cows1By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs – even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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Attacks on Pregnant Women’s Rights on the Rise Across America

March 26, 2014 by Source

Marlise Muñoz was removed from life support, but a growing pattern of state intervention in pregnancies threatens women from Alabama to Wisconsin.

By Michele Bratcher Goodwin / Alternet

pregnant-belly-with-hands-300x3001In Texas, hospital officials refused for over two months to remove 33-year-old Marlise Muñoz, who was declared brain dead, from life support because of her pregnancy. A court ruling on Friday ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to take Munoz off life support in accordance with the family’s wishes, and her body was disconnected from machines on Sunday, Jan. 26.

The tragedy of Muñoz’s case is that it fits a terrible pattern of state interventions in women’s pregnancies.

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Marijuana Legalization is Coming to California, But What Path Will it Take?

March 24, 2014 by Source

MJcaliflagA breakdown of the initiatives in the state

By Chris Conrad / The Leaf Online

With four marijuana legalization initiatives vying for the California ballot, one thing is clear: All four sets of reforms are better than the state’s current prohibition. The initials and names are confusing, but the core question is, which one or ones will voters get to vote on?

The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) has been gathering signatures the longest. TheMarijuana Control, Legalization and Regulation (MCLR) is the longest and took in the greatest amount of direct input from the public. A third version was drafted by a group of long-time reform activists, including remnants of the unsuccessful 2010 Prop 19 campaign. None of these has visible financial backing to make the ballot.

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Another Medical Marijuana Loss for DA Dumanis

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Jury Verdict- Victory in People v Dennis and Deborah Little

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access /March 18, 2014

Dennis and Deborah Little were vindicated in Vista court – March 17th, each of one count of possession for sale of marijuana and one of cultivation. The happy moment was shared with several jurors who lingered and hugged the traumatized couple, their attorneys and supporters in the halls outside Judge Munroy’s courtroom.

The Little trial began in earnest when a jury was finally seated, on March 11, last week. It took quite some time for the judge to find and dismiss those potential jurors who said they would be biased – most of those dismissed directed bias toward prosecutions and one hopes it can’t be long before San Diego District Attorney stops bringing sick patients like the Littles to court.

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There is Still Time to Enroll in Covered California Health Insurance in San Diego

March 20, 2014 by Staff

The March 31st enrollment deadline for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is approaching. The state of California is handling the insurance exchange and enrollment through Covered California. According to the state’s enrollment statistics in February, San Diego has already surpassed its target, reaching 105% of its goal by the end of December.

That doesn’t mean that everyone who is eligible has enrolled. Kaiser Permanente is hosting two events in San Diego, one on Saturday March 22 and the other on Saturday March 29 to assist people who want to enroll.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “I Am Doubling Down On Medical Marijuana”

March 14, 2014 by Source

sanjayguptaweedCannabis prohibition is a “Draconian system where politics override science”

By Paul Armentano / NORML

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is “doubling down” in his advocacy for patients to have legal access to cannabis as a therapeutic agent.

In a commentary featured on the CNN website today, Gupta writes: “I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care that often may involve marijuana. I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.”

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Not one drop of water for fracking in California!

February 26, 2014 by Source
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by Dan Bacher / Daily Kos

Apparently responding to recent articles written by Adam Scow of Food and Water Watch and others about the insanity of using water for fracking during an unprecedented drought, the oil industry has fired back with its standard response claiming that the oil industry uses insignificant amounts of water for fracking and is going out of its way to conserve and recycle the water it uses.

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Point Loma Kelp Forest to Be Tested for Radiation from Fukushima

February 3, 2014 by Source
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The U-T San Diego is running an interesting story about locals testing the kelp off Point Loma and Ocean Beach for signs of radiation from Japan’s Fukushima disaster of 2011.

Local Matt Edwards and students from San Diego State University will test Point Loma’s kelp forest – which reaches 5 miles out – and includes the shores off Ocean Beach – for traces of radioactive material from the earthquake-generated tsunami damaged nuclear power plant. He is one of about 50 such scientists who will be testing kelp up and down the West Coast.

The fear is that the radioisotopes cesium-134 and cesium-137 may have gotten picked up by Pacific Ocean currents that possibly would result in trace amounts to the California coast in 2014. Edwards told the U-T:

“We don’t know if we’re going to find a signal of the radiation. And I personally don’t believe it’ll represent a health threat if there is one. But it’s worth asking whether there’s a reason to be concerned about a disaster that occurred on the other side of the planet some time ago.”

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Gardening Is the New Front Porch in America

February 2, 2014 by Source

By Susan Taylor /

Gardening is the new front porch in America. Scratch not too deeply and we all have agricultural roots from someone, somewhere. San Diego is growing veggies in the front yard, the back yard, a community garden or even on someone else’s property. The “new” hot landscaping is called edible landscaping. Take a walk and look around. See any lettuce, chard or grapevines next to the sidewalk, near the front door?

Our parents remember Victory Gardens started during lean times during WWII to help feed families. Our grandparents might have come from another country or our own Mid-West where their families grew crops for sale and for dinner. My grand pap that lived in North Park (he left Pennsylvania for better weather) grew vegetables and roses all year long and was the happier for it. He taught me how to rake, plant and sweep. When Dad bought us a new house in Rolando in 1954, he planted a fruit tree outside everyone’s bedroom window-the easier to eat a fresh peach!

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What Violence Counts?

January 30, 2014 by Source

Bufo_periglenes2

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

More than 100 species went extinct yesterday. They were my kin.

Despite this, I have been hearing people talk about how the world is getting better, how progress is being made, and how we have a bright future.

For example, CJ Werleman recently wrote an article for AlterNet titled “Humanity is Becoming Increasingly Less Violent, with One Exception – Religious Violence.” His opening line declares, “Studies demonstrate the world is becoming less violent, and that human warfare is on the decline.”

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High Bacterial Counts Make OB Waters Unsafe – Everyone Asked to Stay Out till Results Come Back Tuesday

January 28, 2014 by Staff
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Swimmers, surfers and bathers in Ocean Beach are asked not to go into the ocean until test results are compiled today, Tuesday, Jan. 28.

High bacterial levels have been found through routine tests off Dog Beach. Pollutants coming from the San Diego River are being blamed but lifeguards admit they’re not certain what is causing the problem.

Lifeguards also stated that it’s unusual to have such a high bacteria count without it having rained a good deal.

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Environmental Group Sues Feds for Downplaying Harm to Marine Life With Sonar

January 28, 2014 by Source
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Suit alleges National Marine Fisheries Service ignored ‘best available science’ in ruling against ocean wildlife during during sonar military exercises.

See Petition below to stop Navy from harming wildlife

By Louis Sahagun / LA Times / January 27, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal law when it authorized the Navy’s use of sonar in training exercises off Hawaii and California through 2018, an environmental group said in a lawsuit filed Monday.

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A Personal Story: Anthem Blue Cross Profits by Denying Prescriptions

January 16, 2014 by Brenda McFarlane
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It’s happened again. I have been denied coverage for Modafinil yet again, this time by the exact same company who has already approved it.

I’ve been on a prescription medication that treats my Ideopathic Hypersomnia for several years now. It’s an extremely expensive drug, even the generic form can be more than a $1000 a month. I have been diagnosed by a esteemed sleep doctor in San Diego and he confirms that the drug is both medically necessary and that no effective (and non-narcotic) substitute exists.

Without the drug I suffer from sometimes overwhelming sleepiness. Without it I get a band of sleep deprived headaches, driving may be either impossible or require pulling over to take naps, even after 5 minutes on the road. I grew up with this condition – undiagnosed – and lost years of my life to sleepiness. Smoking cigarettes or eating sugar were the two things I could rely on to help stay awake especially to drive.

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Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns in 2013

January 15, 2014 by Michael Steinberg
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Announcements of US nuclear power plant permanent shutdowns in 2013 came seemingly in a flurry.

Crystal River in Florida on February 13. Kewaunee in Wisconsin on May 4. San Onofre in Southern California on June 13. And Vermont Yankee in the Green Mountain State on August 27.

Together this comprises five nuclear reactors with an electrical generating capacity of nearly 4300 Megawatts.

Yet the lights haven’t gone out, or even dimmed, in any of the communities these plants served.

The causes of these nuclear plant closures are multiple. Ultimately, however, they all add up to an industry in decline, desperate to squeeze as much profit as it can out of aging, increasingly

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Reefer Sanity Takes Hold in Colorado

January 14, 2014 by Source

marijuana_leaf_pic‘For all the sky-will-fall rhetoric about marijuana legalization, there haven’t been piles of dead bodies and overdoses.’

By David Sirota / AlterNet

Seven years before legal marijuana went on sale this month in my home state of Colorado, the drug warriors in President George W. Bush’s administration released an advertisement that is now worth revisiting.

“I smoked weed and nobody died,” intoned the teenage narrator. “I didn’t get into a car accident. I didn’t O.D. on heroin the next day. Nothing happened.”

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Global Warming: How to Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit – Part 2

January 10, 2014 by Source

Offshore Wind TurbineBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

This series of articles is based on an excellent book by Tom Rand: “Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit- 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World.” In Part 1 we dealt with all the possibilities for solar power generation. In this article we will consider wind. For centuries wind powered ships and windmills drew water out of the ground. We are now in a position to reconnect with this form of energy and convert it into electricity. How it works is very simple: As the wind blows, enough force is created to spin a turbine which in turn generates electrical energy. These days a single wind turbine can power a decent sized town.

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Micro-Farm in Point Loma Looking for Community Gardeners

January 8, 2014 by Staff
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A micro-farm that has been producing organic crops on upper Voltaire Street for nearly two years is now opening itself up for community gardeners.

Herb En Routes- run by Paige and Danielle- has been growing sustainable and local produce on .25 acres on a previously vacant lot at 4113 Voltaire. They were selling organically grown produce to local restaurants, such as Tender Greens, To The Point Cafe, Farmhouse Cafe, and the Pearl Hotel and Restaurant.

Paige and Danielle have now decided this endeavor is a bit too time consuming for them. So, they have decided to turn the farm into a community garden to allow them to work towards other careers but still continue to serve the community.

Starting this month, there are garden plots for rent, starting at $16 a month.

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U-T San Diego Shafts its Employees, Blames Obamacare

January 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Employees of the UT-San Diego are the latest casualties in the sordid saga of the right wing’s assault on the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

UT Publisher Doug Manchester has made opposition and denigration of the President’s health insurance reform agenda a top priority since the day he bought the paper. His editorial pages have been (figuratively) screaming about the impending end of Western Civilization for months on end. The ACA’s primary pillar—the individual mandate—was actually a conservative counter-proposal to President Clinton’s attempt to implement universal health care nearly two decades ago.

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Why I’m Breathing Easier in 2014

January 7, 2014 by Source

I know firsthand that the Affordable Care Act can help people

getcoveredpinsBy Jill Richardson / Other Words

For the first time in years, I’ve got health insurance. Before now, my “insurance” was nothing more than exercise, a healthy diet, and medicinal herbs.

I’ve gotten insured through the Affordable Care Act without dealing with a buggy website because I live in California. Our state made its own website because our politicians are more concerned about their citizens’ health than making President Barack Obama look bad.

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OB and Point Loma Brief News In Review

January 3, 2014 by Staff
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Death of Alessandro Speroni Confirmed

It has been confirmed that Alessandro Speroni is the 41 year old man who died after being pulled from the surf along Sunset Cliffs last Sunday, December 29th. He was the owner of the Soleluna Cafe in Cortez Hill and was recently married.

The County Medical Examiner’s investigation is still on-going, so the cause of death has been undetermined. However, Speroni was pulled from the ocean unconscious and paramedics were unable to revive him. This was near the 1200 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

OB’s Slightly Stoopid to Play in Costa Rico

Our best-known local band, Slightly Stoopid, is playing in Jaco, Costa Rica January 16-19, in what is being called the Jungle Jam IV. The band – led by multi-instrumentalists and founding members, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald – be joined by special guest Don Carlos of Black Uhuru.

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The Media Should Stop Pretending Marijuana’s Risks Are a Mystery – the Science Is Clear

January 2, 2014 by Source

MJdoctorWe now know as much about cannabis as we know about alcohol, tobacco and many prescription drugs.

By Paul Armentano / AlterNet

Speaking recently with the Los Angeles Times, UCLA professor and former Washington state “pot czar” Mark Kleiman implied that we as a society are largely ignorant when it comes to the subject of weed. Speaking with Times columnist Patt Morrison, Kleiman stated, “I keep saying we don’t know nearly as much about cannabis as Pillsbury knows about brownie mix.”

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USS Ronald Reagan Sailors to Refile Suit For Fukushima Radiation Poisoning

January 2, 2014 by Source

At least 71 sailors from San Diego-based carrier have reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co.

US Navy Photo

By Brandon Baker / EcoNews

After U.S. Navy sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan responded to the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan for four days, many returned to the U.S. with thyroid cancer, Leukemia, brain tumors and more.

At least 71 sailors—many in their 20s—reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima Daiichi energy plant.

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San Diego vs. SeaWorld: Let the Battle Begin

December 30, 2013 by Source

seaworld

By Eva Posner / San Diego Free Press

Blackfish has been on my DVR since it aired on CNN for the first time in October. I knew I should watch it but I didn’t want to. I’ve never been to SeaWorld, and I wanted to go. I wanted to see the whales. I wanted to watch them jump in the air and wave at me. It’s really selfish, and maybe not the best thing to admit, but I didn’t want to see Blackfish because I didn’t want to feel guilty about thinking the whale show was super cute.

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Fundraiser at Mother’s in Ocean Beach for David DeRyckere – Sat, Dec. 28th

December 28, 2013 by Staff
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