Posted by Kendall Harmon

Earlier this month, when Ellen Epstein arrived at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo., for the wedding of her friends Lauren Meisels and Bradley Melshenker, she, like the other guests, found a gift bag waiting for her in her hotel room. But rather than a guide to activities in the area or a jar of locally made honey, the canvas bag contained a rolled joint, a lighter and lip balm infused with mango butter and cannabis, along with this note: “We wanted to show you some of the things we love the best.”

She knew then that the wedding of her fellow Boulder residents would be just a little different from the ones she had attended in the past.

The Meisels and Melshenker nuptials looked as if their inspiration had come not from the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings but from High Times. All of the floral arrangements, including the bride’s bouquet, contained a variety of white flowers mixed with marijuana buds and leaves. Mr. Melshenker and his groomsmen wore boutonnieres crafted out of twine and marijuana buds, and Mr. Melshenker’s three dogs, who were also in attendance, wore collars made of cannabis buds, eucalyptus leaves and pink ribbons.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted July 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the past ten years, the number of teenagers with depression has doubled, according to the mental health charity YoungMinds. If you listen to parents of teenagers, they all seem to have a story of someone they know – a family at a loss about how to deal with their child’s depression. The figures seem to back up the anecdotal evidence. One in ten children and young people aged between five and sixteen suffers from a diagnosable mental-health disorder – the easiest way to imagine this is around three children in every class in Britain. Around 7 per cent of British teenagers have tried to kill or harm themselves, yet only 6 per cent of the mental health budget is spent on under- eighteens. One of the most alarming statistics is the number of admissions to A&E departments for self-harm: over the past ten years, it has increased by 68 per cent. One expert tells me there is an “epidemic” of cutting.

Without help, the majority of children with mental-health problems go on to become mentally ill as adults. This is, Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of the charity SANE, tells me, “the age of desperation”.

“If you really listen to what some of these young people are saying, there is a huge element of despair,” says Wallace. “Growing up has always been difficult, but the sense of desperation? That is new. There is a degree of alienation in this generation. There is no sense of belonging. They are much more isolated, partly due to social media. They are not connected to community, to families, to siblings, and that brings more disillusionment.” For Wallace, the dramatic rise in reports of self-harm is indicative of the amount of distress. “It is not a cry for help. It’s to stop themselves from doing something much worse.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyMental IllnessStressSuicideTeens / YouthYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 19, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the past several years, the conversation about gay life has been, to a large degree, a conversation about gay marriage. This summer—on social media, on Fire Island, at the Christopher Street pier, and in certain cohorts around the ­country—what many gay men are talking about among themselves is Truvada. And what’s surprising them is how fraught the conversation can be. For some, like [Damon] Jacobs, the advent of this drug is nothing short of miraculous, freeing bodies and minds. For doctors, public-health officials, and politicians, it is a highly promising tool for stopping the spread of HIV.

But for others, a drug that can alleviate so much anxiety around sex is itself a source of concern. They worry that Truvada will invite men to have as much condom­less sex as they want, which could lead to a rise in diseases like syphilis. Or they fret that not everyone will take it as religiously as they ought to, reducing its effectiveness and maybe even creating resistance to the drug if those users later become HIV-positive and need it for treatment.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMenSexualityUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

William "Jackrabbit" Large pulls his SUV onto the side of a downtown Seattle street, parking behind an Amazon Fresh delivery truck and carrying a product the online retailer doesn't offer: marijuana.

The thin, bespectacled Large is a delivery man for Winterlife, a Seattle company that is among a group of new businesses pushing the limits of Washington state's recreational pot industry by offering to bring marijuana to almost any doorstep.

"It's an opportunity that should not be missed," Large says with the kind of fast-talking voice meant for radio.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new study suggests marijuana blunts the brain’s reaction to dopamine, making users less responsive to the chemical responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure.

In the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS), the researchers studied the brains of 24 marijuana abusers—that is, people who smoked multiple times a day—and how they reacted to methylphenidate, a stimulant often used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Using personality tests and brain imaging, the researchers found the pot users had blunted behavioral, cardiovascular, and brain responses to methylphenidate compared to control participants. Marijuana abusers scored lower on tests of positive emotional activity and higher on negative emotional reactions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine

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Posted July 15, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I just don’t think the evidence is there for these long lists,” said Dr. Molly Cooke, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who helped research a position paper on cannabis for the American College of Physicians. “It’s been so hard to study marijuana. Policy makers are responding to thin data.”

Even some advocates of medical marijuana acknowledge that the state laws legalizing it did not result from careful reviews of the medical literature.

“I wish it were that rational,” said Mitch Earleywine, chairman of the executive board of directors for Norml, a national marijuana advocacy group. Dr. Earleywine said state lawmakers more often ask themselves, “What disease does the person in a wheelchair in my office have?”

Read it all from the front page of today's NY Times paper copy.

Also, make sure you did not miss this post earlier this week on the same topic featuring Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyTaxesPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentHouse of RepresentativesSenateState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

RNS: In my experience, redemption for evangelicals means “work harder,” do more good stuff, and stave off bad behavior. But this isn’t your message, is it?

MC: No, because redemption isn’t you working harder. Redemption is you having been saved from your error by someone else. In fact, you don’t possess the ability to redeem yourself in any way. This is the great lie of moralistic deism, that you can be good enough. Men from the Bible–from the prophet Isaiah to Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount–teach that you cannot be righteous enough to save yourself. One of the more terrifying verses in the Bible is when Jesus said to a crowd, “Unless your righteousness supersedes the Pharisees, you have no part of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The Pharisees were tithing their mint and dill and were more righteous, externally speaking, than anyone reading this has even tried to be. Jesus is exposing the truth that you and I will never be good enough, that all of our righteous deeds are worthless. So, this can’t be the message of redemption because the Scriptures are clear that redemption doesn’t work that way.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBooksDrugs/Drug AddictionPsychologyReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted June 25, 2014 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For those who argue that marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, [Nora] Volkow has two main answers: We don’t entirely know , and, simultaneously, that is precisely the point .

“Look at the evidence,” Volkow said in an interview on the National Institutes of Health campus, pointing to the harms already inflicted by tobacco and alcohol. “It’s not subtle — it’s huge. Legal drugs are the main problem that we have in our country as it relates to morbidity and mortality. By far. Many more people die of tobacco than all of the drugs together. Many more people die of alcohol than all of the illicit drugs together.

“And it’s not because they are more dangerous or addictive. Not at all — they are less dangerous. It’s because they are legal. . . . The legalization process generates a much greater exposure of people and hence of negative consequences that will emerge. And that’s why I always say, ‘Can we as a country afford to have a third legal drug? Can we?’ We know the costs already on health care, we know the costs on accidents, on lost productivity. I let the numbers speak for themselves.”

Read it all from Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 25, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Prescriptions for narcotic painkillers have surged in recent years. Fatal overdoses and abuse of the drugs have risen, too. Doctors and patients are grappling with how to balance the need for pain relief with the potential for trouble...

Our survey shows that most Americans have taken these kinds of medicines at some point in their lives. A little more that half of the people surveyed said that. The most common reason by far was to relieve some kind of temporary pain: a sprained ankle, surgery, dental procedure. About 1 in 5 said they had taken the drugs for chronic pain.

Seventy-eight percent said they believe there is a link between drug addiction and narcotic painkillers.

A little more than a third, or 36 percent, who had taken narcotic painkillers had concerns about them. And the concern about these drugs was a bit lower for people who hadn't taken them, at about 30 percent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Five months after Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, the battle over legalization is still raging.

Law enforcement officers in Colorado and neighboring states, emergency room doctors and legalization opponents increasingly are highlighting a series of recent problems as cautionary lessons for other states flirting with loosening marijuana laws.

There is the Denver man who, hours after buying a package of marijuana-infused Karma Kandy from one of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana shops, began raving about the end of the world and then pulled a handgun from the family safe and killed his wife, the authorities say. Some hospital officials say they are treating growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana. Sheriffs in neighboring states complain about stoned drivers streaming out of Colorado and through their towns.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Heroin was once the scourge of the urban poor, but today the typical user is a young, white suburbanite, a study finds. And the path to addiction usually starts with prescription painkillers.

A survey of 9,000 patients at treatment centers around the country found that 90 percent of heroin users were white men and women. Most were relatively young — their average age was 23. And three-quarters said they first started not with heroin but with prescription opioids like OxyContin.

In contrast, when heroin first became popular in the '60s and '70s, most users were young minority men who lived in cities. "Heroin is not an inner-city problem anymore," says , a psychiatrist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who led the study.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionPsychologyTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In contrast to the widening cultural mainstream, most practicing Christians oppose legalization. Even mainline Protestants, who often trend more liberal on social issues than their Catholic and non-mainline brethren, are less likely (45%) than the national average to say pot should be legal in the U.S. Non-mainline Protestants (32%) and Catholics (39%) are far less likely to favor legalization than the general American population.

Those who favor legalization and those who do not each have good reasons for their position. Among those in favor of legal pot, one in seven (14%) say it is not any worse than alcohol or tobacco (which are both legal), or at least not as bad as other drugs (9%). Another one in seven (14%) say legalization could be good for the economy. A smaller percentage cites possible medical benefits (13%) or the fact that people will use it regardless of its legality (8%).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSociology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Underage male college students who report using marijuana in the month before they were surveyed had a high prevalence of driving under its influence and of riding with a marijuana-using driver, at a rate more than double that of driving or riding after alcohol use, say researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences and University of Washington pediatrics department.

Among other things, this study found that among marijuana-using students, 44 percent of males and 9 percent of females drove after using the drug, and 51 percent of males and 35 percent of females rode as a passenger with a marijuana-using driver.

Lead author Jennifer Whitehill at UMass Amherst and colleagues say their findings probably reflect the widespread myth that driving after marijuana use is safe. The researchers suggest that developing strategies to combat this belief could help to change social norms and encourage using a designated driver not only after alcohol use, but after a driver has used any risky substance. Study findings are in the current issue of the JAMA Pediatrics.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMenPsychologyTravelYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 13, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The destruction of the weapons would be one of the few positive developments in three years of war that has left tens of thousands of Syrians dead and forced millions from their homes. And it would allow the Obama administration to claim a success in its response to the use of chemical weapons in suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, last August.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 23, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Young adults who occasionally smoke marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation, and decision making, raising concerns that they could be damaging their developing minds at a critical time, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual smokers.

The Boston scientists also found that the degree of brain changes appeared to be directly related to the amount participants smoked per week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It’s said that nobody ever died from a marijuana overdose. Nobody ever died from a tobacco overdose either, but that doesn’t prove tobacco safe. Of all the dangers connected to marijuana, the most lethal is the risk of automobile accident. Marijuana-related fatal car crashes have nearly tripled across the United States in the past decade.Marijuana legalizers may counter: Can’t we just extend laws against drunk driving to stoned driving?

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy. What exactly defines marijuana impairment remains fiercely contested by an increasingly assertive marijuana industry. It took Colorado four tries to enact a legal definition of marijuana impairment: five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Yet even once enacted, the standard remains very difficult to enforce. Alcohol impairment can be detected with a Breathalyzer. Marijuana impairment is revealed only by a blood test, and long-established law requires police to obtain a search warrant before a blood test is administered.

More important than catching impaired drivers after the fact is deterring them before they get behind the wheel. In the absence of a blood-testing kit, marijuana users themselves will find it difficult to know how much is too much.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 6, 2014 at 11:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(For those interested in these sorts of things, the newspaper headline is "Puff by puff, a puritan land is learning not all drugs are evil"--KSH.

I got a text the other day from a close friend. He was excited. “I just bought legal weed in Colorado! A small step for me but a giant leap for mankind. They had a huge line. All dudes. Busy all day every day, the women behind the counter said.”

And here’s the thing. My friend is not a slacker. He’s a father of two, a hugely successful media entrepreneur with a constant stream of ideas, arguments and facts. He’s hard to keep up with on most days we spend together, and he’s a near fanatic on the need to legalise cannabis across the US.

He represents in one small way a seismic social shift in America on the status and use of some recreational drugs. To give you a simple example, the Pew Research Centre just released an extensive study of attitudes toward drugs and found the following statistic: 67% of Americans favour treatment rather than prison for users of hard drugs. In 2001, the country was evenly divided, 47% versus 45%, on the question of harsh minimum sentences for drug offenders. Today, we’re in a different universe.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 6, 2014 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even those who advocate most strongly for the legalization of marijuana concede the impaired functioning that research has shown. One such site acknowledges,

The short-term effects of marijuana include immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of marijuana have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication. There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term marijuana use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions.

Other studies suggest that the effect on diminished brain function is more lasting, especially for teenagers.

Thus, unlike caffeine, marijuana is not generally thought of as an empowering drug that enables you to be a more alert dad, or a more aware mother, or a more competent employee. Rather, for most users, it is a recreational escape, which produces diminished accuracy of observation, memory, and reasoning. And it may have lasting negative effects on the mind’s ability to do what God created it to do.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 29, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pharmacy chiefs say the new systems also help improve patient safety by helping to identify staffers who are siphoning drugs for their own use, a problem known as "diversion." By some estimates, 15% of health-care professionals may be addicted to prescription drugs at some point in their career. Drugs may also be stolen by patients and visitors. Secure dispensing systems and tracking programs make it easier to meet increasingly strict federal regulations for documenting "chain of custody" for controlled substances.

Although there are no precise figures for drug diversion from hospitals, industry experts say drug-inventory losses cost hospitals millions of dollars a year. The most commonly diverted drugs are narcotic painkillers such as hydrocodone and morphine and the sedative fentanyl. In Minnesota, there were 250 reports to the Drug Enforcement Administration concerning theft or loss of controlled substances from 2005 to 2011. Reports grew to 52 in 2010 from 16 in 2006.

A 2011 study in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy noted that widespread adoption of automated dispensing machines has greatly improved the security of controlled substances and made it possible to electronically document the dispensing of doses and the disposal of unused medications and expired medications.

Read it all from the WSJ.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine

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Posted February 25, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A close look at the right corner of Ikenda’s mouth reveals a green coloration. Were it not for the fact that he had been introduced to me as a church elder and that we were now seated in the office of the East African Pentecostal Church, I would have seen him as an ordinary Kenyan user of khat.

Putting his right hand into the inner left pocket of his leather jacket, Ikenda fetched a small bunch of khat leaves, called miraa in Kenya, and carefully placed it on the table, as if welcoming all to join him in the feast. A bottle of canned soda stood on the table, an aid in chewing the stimulant. Picking one tip at a time, he plucked off the lower leaves and chewed the soft parts, continually adding khat to his already bulging mouth.

Khat is a plant native to East Africa which is said to cause a sense of excitement and euphoria. In 1980, the World Health Organization classified it as a mildly addictive drug.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

0 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana...to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications—including those for her cancer—would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not—unbelievable though this may seem—have access to the "coverage formularies" for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan.

[My mother].. is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren't happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn't cover her condition and it's completely unaffordable.

Though I'm no expert on ObamaCare (at 10,000 pages, who could be?), I understand that the intention—or at least the rhetorical justification—of this legislation was to provide coverage for those who didn't have it. But there is something deeply and incontestably perverse about a law that so distorts and undermines the free activity of individuals that they can no longer buy and sell the goods and services that keep them alive. ObamaCare made my mother's old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death. She awaits an appeal with her insurer.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine--The 2009 American Health Care Reform DebateMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

8 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It changed medicine forever. But less than 90 years on is the golden age of antibiotics about to come to a spectacular end? Sarah Freeman reports.

Antibiotics revolutionised global medicine. Since Alexander Fleming made his almost accidental discovery of penicillin in a small London laboratory back in 1928, they’ve saved millions of lives, prevented countless infections turning fatal and seen off a thousand diseases. Yet they’re also in danger of being too successful for their own good.

Suffering a bout of flu? We demand our GP writes a prescription for a course of antibiotics we probably won’t see through to the end. As the unused tablets sit in bathroom cabinets, the bacteria it was designed to kill grows just that little bit stronger. It’s not just humans who have become reliant on them. With disease spreading rapidly through intensively farmed pigs, sheep and chickens, antibiotics have been used to keep the wheels of British factory farming turning for years.

And that’s not all. We pump antibiotics into everything from toothpaste to washing up liquid...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineHistoryPsychology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 23, 2014 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the wake of the prescription painkiller epidemic, heroin, much of it Mexican, has wormed its way into unsuspecting communities far from the Southwestern border as a cheaper and often more easily obtained alternative. Ms. Ivy’s was believed to be the seventh fatal heroin overdose in eight months in this town of 13,000 on the St. Croix River near Minneapolis. Two months after her death, and before yet another young Hudson woman died — at a “sober house” — of a heroin overdose in October, nearly 500 townspeople crowded into the First Presbyterian Church for a forum called “Heroin in Hudson: A Community in Crisis.”

Ms. Ivy’s death certificate, recently released, revealed that a mix of drugs was to blame; the police declined to specify the drugs since her death remains under investigation. But “Alysa was a heroin abuser, and her addiction to drugs killed her,” said Patty Schachtner, the St. Croix County medical examiner.

“It’s a tightknit community, and these kids all knew each other,” Ms. Schachtner said of those who overdosed. “They were not what you might expect. They were not the faces of heroin addiction we see on television.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMarriage & FamilyRural/Town LifeYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 12, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some of the language here not the best, be advised, but the content really is solid--KSH.

What was so painful about Amy [Winehouse]'s death is that I know that there is something I could have done. I could have passed on to her the solution that was freely given to me. Don't pick up a drink or drug, one day at a time. It sounds so simple. It actually is simple but it isn't easy: it requires incredible support and fastidious structuring. Not to mention that the whole infrastructure of abstinence based recovery is shrouded in necessary secrecy. There are support fellowships that are easy to find and open to anyone who needs them but they eschew promotion of any kind in order to preserve the purity of their purpose, which is for people with alcoholism and addiction to help one another stay clean and sober.

Without these fellowships I would take drugs. Because, even now, the condition persists. Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcoholismDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicinePsychology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the first hours and days that followed Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death from an apparent overdose of heroin, there was an outpouring of grief on Facebook, on Twitter and in columns by recovering addicts and alcoholics like the journalist Seth Mnookin and the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin about their own struggles with sobriety and the rarely distant fear of relapsing back into the throes of active addiction.

There was also a palpably visceral reaction in the meeting rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, where, according to some in attendance, many discussions since last Sunday quickly turned from the death of a great actor to the precariousness of sobriety, and the fears of many sober people that they could easily slip back into their old ways, no matter how many years they have been clean.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAlcoholismDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMenMiddle AgeMovies & TelevisionPsychologyTheatre/Drama/Plays* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While heroin use is still low compared to marijuana, law enforcement officials and drug treatment experts say heroin has made a comeback after a decade-long outbreak of narcotic painkiller abuse. The prescription pain pills, such as OxyContin, are opioids that produce a potent high similar to heroin if abused.

"We're seeing a resurgence of heroin," says Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "It cuts across all demographic groups. We used to think of a heroin as an inner city problem, but it's now a problem we're seeing across the nation among all populations and all ages."

As authorities crack down on clinics that prescribe pain pills by the thousands and pharmaceutical companies change their formulas so the pills are more difficult to abuse, opiate addicts are turning to cheaper and more-plentiful heroin. An 80 mg OxyContin pill can sell for up to $100, while a five-dose-a-day heroin habit costs less than $60, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/Fire* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 4, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose inside his New York apartment on Sunday, police said, adding that two glassine envelopes containing what police suspected to be heroin were found near his body.

Five empty glassine envelopes were found in the trash, police added.

The “Capote” actor, 46, was discovered by a business associate shortly after 11:30 a.m. Eastern time in his Greenwich Village apartment. Hoffman was found in his bathroom with a hypodermic needle stuck in his left arm, police said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionMiddle AgeMovies & Television

1 Comments
Posted February 2, 2014 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All day long, customers at LoDo Wellness Center, one of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana stores, reach into the refrigerator and pull out tasty ways to get high. They buy sparkling peach and mandarin elixirs, watermelon Dew Drops, and sleek silver bags of chocolate truffles, each one packed with marijuana’s potent punch.

“The stuff just flies off the shelves,” said Linda Andrews, the store’s owner.

As marijuana tiptoes further toward the legal mainstream, marijuana-infused snacks have become a booming business, with varieties ranging from chocolate-peppermint Mile High Bars to peanut butter candies infused with hash oil.

Read it all from the front page of the national edition of the printed copy of the paper..

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Moves across the US to legalise marijuana have been greeted by reformers as heralding the end of the "war on drugs". But what happens to people convicted of offences that no longer exist? And will the records of those arrested now be wiped clean?

This is a big year for American pot smokers. Business has been brisk at shops in Colorado where, for the first time, people can buy marijuana to smoke purely for pleasure. Stores in Washington state are set to open in a few months and others may follow, as authorities eye a new source of tax dollars from a policy that now has broad popular support.

Yet as the momentum for reform has gathered pace, one issue has largely been brushed aside - the fate of those arrested in the past.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHistoryLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

4 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“This is not about the adult being able to smoke a joint,” said Mr. Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “It’s about widespread access, it’s about changing the landscape of a neighborhood, it’s about widespread promotion and advertising, and it’s about youth access.”

Supporters of legalization say that because voters statewide approved a system guaranteeing adults access to legal marijuana, they will push state regulators and lawmakers to meet that mandate, possibly by pushing for penalties against local governments that enact bans.

But Dave Ettl, a Yakima City Council member who voted for the ban, said he was willing to risk penalties, saying he considered the promised tax revenues from marijuana sales tainted.

“There’s some money that’s not worth getting,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I just Googled "alcohol-fuelled violence" and got 1.5 million results. Yep, 1.5 million. I've been truly gobsmacked as much by the barbaric acts that have been perpetrated in Sydney as the hysteria and poor nomenclature used to describe them.

Because, unless I am out of my head on some sort of weird psychedelic myself, these acts are not merely alcohol fuelled. They are fuelled by the epidemic in Sydney of amphetamines, uppers and steroids, as well as too much alcohol. In many circumstances, the former simply enables the latter.

Virtually no one can go on a 10-hour drinking binge and be capable of throwing much of a punch. They are more at risk of falling in front of a cab, spewing in the very same vehicle or walking into a wall.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingDrugs/Drug AddictionViolence

1 Comments
Posted January 27, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionPovertyRural/Town Life* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Legalisation is just the first step. Pot must also be regulated. Because it is more dangerous than chocolate or chips, it needs to be subject to more stringent safety checks than food. As with alcohol, anybody who wants to produce it for sale, or sell it, should be licensed, as they will be in Colorado. It should carry clear labels showing its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, just as cans of beer display their alcoholic strength—consumers should know what they are smoking. Colorado seems to be handling this well: labels are clear, safety rules stringent.

Deciding how to tax the stuff means asking some fundamental questions. Where governments want to raise revenue without distorting markets, the best approach is to charge businesses a flat fee, like a cab licence. Firms then have an incentive to do as much business as they can. But where governments want to discourage consumption—as with cigarettes and alcohol—they should tax each unit sold.

Although marijuana does not harm people as reliably as cigarettes do, nor—as alcohol does—incite citizens to kill each other, it is not good for you. And although too little research has been done on the extent of the harm it can do, it is thought to raise the risk of schizophrenia and undermine motivation. This argues for a consumption tax, and a fairly stiff one at that.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Governor [Peter] Shumlin hauled out his own list of grim statistics. In Vermont, treatment for opiate abuse has risen 770 percent since 2000. In just the past year, treatment for heroin addiction has risen a dramatic 40 percent, and deaths from heroin overdoses have doubled. Nearly 80 percent of those jailed in Vermont, he said, are now or have been drug addicts.

Perhaps even more sobering were the stories he told of lives ruined by drug addiction. One Vermont teen started using Oxycontin in the 10th grade and was soon addicted to a $500-a-day habit. He stole $20,000 in farm equipment from his own family to pay for his drugs. And not long ago another young man, an undergraduate at the University of Vermont who was a science major and member of the school’s ski team, died of a heroin overdose. Because the quality and potency of each batch of black-market heroin varies widely, even those who think they are cautious users can accidentally and suddenly overdose at any time.

Both stories sought to shatter perceptions that heroin addiction is a problem only for large urban areas. In fact, Vermont represents a particularly lucrative market for heroin dealers, the governor said, who find that they can sell a bag of heroin that would fetch $6 on the streets of New York City for $30 or more there. Each Vermont addict yields five times the income from the same amount of “product.”

Read it all and you call find the full text of Governor Peter Shumlin's 2014 State of the State Address there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A gleaming white Apple store of weed is how Andy Williams sees his new Denver marijuana dispensary.

Two floors of pot-growing rooms will have windows showing the shopping public how the mind-altering plant is grown. Shoppers will be able to peruse drying marijuana buds and see pot trimmers at work separating the valuable flowers from the less-prized stems and leaves.

“It’s going to be all white and beautiful,” the 45-year-old ex-industrial engineer explains, excitedly gesturing around what just a few weeks ago was an empty warehouse space that will eventually house 40,000 square feet of cannabis strains.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

11 Comments
Posted January 2, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new federal report shows that the percentage of American high school students who smoke marijuana is slowly rising, while the use of alcohol and almost every other drug is falling.

The report raises concerns that the relaxation of restrictions on marijuana, which can now be sold legally in 20 states and the District of Columbia, has been influencing use of the drug among teenagers. Health officials are concerned by the steady increase and point to what they say is a growing body of evidence that adolescent brains, which are still developing, are susceptible to subtle changes caused by marijuana.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationLaw & Legal IssuesTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anyone seeking evidence of how the western mind is snapping shut and how insult is steadily replacing evidence and reason need only watch this instructive altercation on BBC TV’s Newsnight last night. Ostensibly a discussion about the efficacy or otherwise of drug courts, it fast descended into a row between actor and self-confessed former drug addict Matthew Perry and journalist Peter Hitchens over the nature of drug addiction itself.

Hitchens argued that addiction was not, as is almost universally assumed, a disease over which the sufferer has no control but a form of willed self-indulgence which drug users could end if they really wanted to do so enough. A controversial proposition, indeed, and surely one of which few have previously been made aware.

But Hitchens did not encounter scepticism and a reasoned counter-argument. Instead, an incredulous Perry scoffed at him as ‘Santa’ and frothed that his argument was crazy, ‘as ludicrous as saying Peter Pan was real’. All of this, however, merely served to highlight the fact that when asked for evidence to support his claim that addiction was an illness Perry could not do so, resorting instead to the lame response that ‘doctors say it is’, that he himself was proof of his own argument and that addiction was an ‘allergy of the body’ (eh?)

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationHealth & MedicinePhilosophyPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Doctors choose the more expensive drug more than half a million times every year, a choice that costs the Medicare program, the largest single customer, an extra $1 billion or more annually.

Spending that much may make little sense for a country burdened by ever-rising health bills, but as is often the case in American health care, there is a certain economic logic: Doctors and drugmakers profit when more-costly treatments are adopted.

Genentech, a division of the Roche Group, makes both products but reaps far more profit when it sells the more expensive drug. Although Lucentis is about 40 times as expensive as Avastin to buy, the cost of producing the two drugs is similar, according to scientists familiar with the drugs and the industry.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 8, 2013 at 7:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mexico’s deadly drugs war is not just a question of supply and demand but a symptom of the rise of Satan, according to some Catholic leaders. With the death toll at about 80,000 and counting, the number of exorcisms is rising.

Father Carlos Triana, an exorcist in Mexico City, said: “We believe that behind all these big and structural evils there is a dark agent and his name is The Demon. As much as we believe that the Devil was behind Adolf Hitler, possessing and directing him, we also believe that he [the Devil] is here behind the drug cartels.”

Exorcisms and spiritual cleansings are common in Mexico, a superstitious country where Catholicism overlaid the religious beliefs of its indigenous inhabitants, including the Aztecs.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMexico* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheodicy

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But if they campaign for a reform that frees them, and "first-class minds" like them, to take drugs, they are also campaigning for a reform that frees everyone else. That means it frees - or withdraws protection from - the beaten and rejected child of a shattered home on the squalid estate, the school failure, the unemployable young man in the post-industrial desert, the young mother living on benefits and, eventually, her children. And they are campaigning, in effect, for more people to use drugs which can, quite capriciously and unpredictably, destroy their users' mental health. So for their own convenience and peace of mind, they are willing to condemn unknown numbers of others to possible disaster. This can hardly be called a selfless action.

Finally, we are not islands. If we risk destroying ourselves (as I believe we do if we use drugs) then we risk gravely wounding those who love us and care for us. For me this is a profound individual contract. It is one that will be understood most readily by the parents of adolescent children, children who have a sort of independence but often lack the experience to use it aright. If the law makes light of those parents' concerns, and refuses to support them, what argument can they use to dissuade their young from taking a path that might well lead to permanent self-destruction?

My case will I think be readily understood by the parents of children who are already destroying themselves with drugs of any kind.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicinePhilosophyPsychologyMental IllnessScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* General InterestHumor / Trivia

0 Comments
Posted November 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Down the block, we spotted my friend Pastor Steve, the proprietor of a storefront church on an otherwise entirely abandoned block. Driving by, I’d noticed the motley assortment of characters hanging out front and an unruly garden taking up much of the vacant corner lot next door, and eventually I stopped by and introduced myself. It turned out that most of the folks out front were struggling addicts and prostitutes and criminals from the neighbourhood.

Pastor Steve had gone through his own period of felonious hard living – heroin, pills, booze, glue-sniffing, bank-robbing, you name it – before being saved and then called to the ministry. A rangy white guy in his early sixties, Pastor Steve had an obvious love for a certain era of countercultural accoutrement which had somehow managed to survive this spiritual journey intact. He had a bushy handlebar moustache and flowing grey hair, the curly ends of which spilled to his chest, and favoured cowboy boots, earrings with topaz beads, and the sorts of silver rings you might buy at a Native American souvenir stand. On his motorcycle, a parishioner had painted a picture of Chief Joseph, “who was one of the main, awesome Indians”, in Pastor Steve’s words. He continued, “After we’d been here a while, I got stories coming back to me that people in the neighbourhood thought we were a motorcycle gang. They saw me, saw the Harley, and they thought the building was filled with weapons and we were here to take over.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug Addiction* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted August 12, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Heroin use in the U.S. is soaring, especially in rural areas, amid ample supply and a shift away from costlier prescription narcotics that are becoming tougher to acquire. The number of people who say they have used heroin in the past year jumped 53.5% to 620,000 between 2002 to 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. There were 3,094 overdose deaths in 2010, a 55% increase from 2000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Much of the heroin that reaches smaller towns such as Ellensburg, [Washington,] comes from Mexico, where producers have ramped up production in recent years, drug officials say. Heroin seizures at the Southwest border, from Texas to California, ballooned to 1,989 kilograms in fiscal 2012 from 487 kilograms in 2008, according to figures from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The heroin scourge has been driven largely by a law-enforcement crackdown on illicit use of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and drug-company reformulations that make the pills harder to crush and snort, drug officials say.

Read it all (or if necessary another link is there).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesRural/Town Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted August 9, 2013 at 4:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case - the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.

Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension last month and previous penalties bring to 18 the total number of players sanctioned for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.

The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball's highest-paid star. He said he would appeal his suspension, which covers 211 games, by Thursday's deadline. And since arbitrator Fredric Horowitz isn't expected to rule until November or December, Rodriguez is free to play the rest of this season.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineSports* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 6, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the cause of death for Cory Monteith.

Post-mortem testing, which included an autopsy and toxicological analysis, found that Mr. Monteith, aged 31, died of a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.....

It should be noted that at this point there is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most-tragic accident. When the investigation is concluded, a Coroners Report will be issued.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingDrugs/Drug AddictionMovies & TelevisionYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Walk into any American high school and nearly one in five boys in the hallways will have a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 11% of all American children ages 4 to 17—over six million—have ADHD, a 16% increase since 2007. When you consider that in Britain roughly 3% of children have been similarly diagnosed, the figure is even more startling. Now comes worse news: In the U.S., being told that you have ADHD—and thus receiving some variety of amphetamine to treat it—has become more likely.

Last month, the American Psychiatric Association released the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the bible of mental health—and this latest version, known as DSM-5, outlines a new diagnostic paradigm for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Symptoms of ADHD remain the same in the new edition: "overlooks details," "has difficulty remaining focused during lengthy reading," "often fidgets with or taps hands" and so on. The difference is that in the previous version of the manual, the first symptoms of ADHD needed to be evident by age 7 for a diagnosis to be made. In DSM-5, if the symptoms turn up anytime before age 12, the ADHD diagnosis can be made.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicinePsychologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Drug smugglers who race across the Caribbean in speedboats will typically jettison their cargo when spotted by surveillance aircraft, hoping any chance of prosecuting them will vanish with the drugs sinking to the bottom of the sea.

That may be a less winning tactic in the future. The U.S. Navy on Friday began testing two new aerial tools, borrowed from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, that officials say will make it easier to detect, track and videotape drug smugglers in action.

One of the devices on display aboard the High Speed Vessel Swift is a large, white balloon-like craft known as an aerostat, which is tethered up to 2,000 feet (600 meters) above the ship's stern. The other tool on board for tests in the Florida Straits is a type of drone that can be launched by hand from the deck.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Caribbean

0 Comments
Posted April 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This week, legislators here will consider excise and sales taxes on marijuana of up to 30 percent combined. The proposal emerged from a task force of health officials, representatives of the state’s rapidly developing marijuana industry and others that was commissioned last year to help develop rules for marijuana.

The goal, task force members and lawmakers say, is to set taxes high enough to finance the administration of new laws, but not so high that customers are driven back to the black market.

“We should see a financial benefit as a state that can help pay for enforcement and other fundamental issues,” said Christian Sederberg, a Denver lawyer on the panel whose firm helped draft Amendment 64, the measure legalizing recreational marijuana. “The other side is that if you tax something too high, then you simply crowd out the regulated market. We’re confident we’ll find the right balance.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeTaxesPolitics in GeneralState Government

1 Comments
Posted April 24, 2013 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

M. had been in prison for about three years. He was normally a regular at morning Mass, skinny and skittish, with light eyes, and he had recently grown a scruffy beard. “You look like you belong on ‘Lost,’ ” [the Rev. Robert Coogan] said when he greeted him. Unlike other prisoners, M. actually had a family of some means, and in a prison system without uniforms, his style often seemed more appropriate for an indie rock club. His sneakers were clean and hip; his jeans had designer labels.

Inside maximum, M. shared space not just with hard-core Zetas but also with inmates too insane to be kept anywhere else — including one who refused to wear clothes and spoke to angels. He slept little, like any prey encircled by predators, and that morning he anxiously greeted Coogan’s arrival, signaling immediately with darting eyes that he needed to talk privately. Coogan followed him into the yard, where M. pulled out a Bible for cover and positioned himself near a faraway wall. There, he explained that the Zetas wanted him to pay them 2,000 pesos ($165), with the first half due at noon the next day. Coogan, brightening the dusty pen with his purple robes, nodded as M. spoke. He had paid small ransoms to keep M. safe from the Zetas twice already, but this latest demand was larger, more than a week’s pay. He wasn’t sure whether the Zetas were serious or if they were just toying with M. He also didn’t know if M. could be trusted. M. claimed to be locked up because a friend stole a television and he was taking the rap, but other inmates doubted his story and said he was a schemer. Coogan considered his options. Paying the Zetas would encourage extortion, but ignoring the threat, or confronting the Zetas directly, could get M. beaten or killed.

Read it all from the New York Times Magazine.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionPrison/Prison MinistryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMexico* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The tell-tale empty box of decongestant pills lay crumpled and damp in the woods behind an abandoned trailer, and the people who used it to make methamphetamine were long gone.

Their trash pile was evidence of a quick method of cooking methamphetamine that is gaining popularity in South Carolina – causing the number of meth cases to skyrocket and allowing “cooks” to be more mobile.

Last year, six years after South Carolina made people show an ID to buy pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in meth, the State Law Enforcement Division reported 538 meth-related incidents in the state. That’s four times the number reported in 2010.

Read it all--makes the heart sad; KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State Matters* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...unlike other holdups, this robber isn’t after cash. He wants painkillers, primarily oxycodone, and the pharmacist is the only one who can access it.

Unprepared for such a threatening scenario, the pharmacist complies, and the robber flees with hundreds, if not thousands, of pills.

This scenario happened at least 13 times at Lowcountry pharmacies in 2012, up from about four in 2011. It’s a trend that’s been spreading across the country over the past few years, and it’s indicative of just how addictive these drugs can be and the profits thieves stand to make by stealing them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/Fire* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted February 3, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We are all sinners, the Bible says and everyone knows. But not everyone is as accomplished a violator of the Ninth Commandment as Lance Armstrong, who is finally admitting this week after years of vociferous denials that he doped himself up to win the Tour de France seven times.

Mr. Armstrong has decided to admit his deceptions at America's secular confessional, the Church of Oprah. No doubt the TV ratings will be huge, as the cancer survivor turned champion cyclist tries to salvage what he can of his reputation. If he really wants to atone, however, he'd be better off following the example of the late Chuck Colson.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesSports* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were denied entry to baseball's Hall of Fame, with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades.

Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens 37.6 and Sosa 12.5 in totals announced Wednesday by the Hall and the Baseball Writers' Association of America. They were appearing on the ballot for the first time and have up to 14 more years to make it to Cooperstown.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHistoryMenSports* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Most adolescents who plan or attempt suicide have already received at least some mental health treatment, raising questions about the effectiveness of current approaches to helping troubled youths, according to the largest in-depth analysis to date of suicidal behaviors in American teenagers.

The study, in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that 55 percent of suicidal teenagers had received some therapy before they thought about suicide, planned it or tried to kill themselves, contradicting the widely held belief that suicide is due in part to a lack of access to treatment.

The findings, based on interviews with a nationwide sample of more than 6,000 teenagers and at least one parent of each, linked suicidal behavior to complex combinations of mood disorders like depression and behavior problems like attention-deficit and eating disorders, as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineHistoryPsychologySuicideScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has been his life's work. Now, Russell Portenoy appears to be having second thoughts.

Two decades ago, the prominent New York pain-care specialist drove a movement to help people with chronic pain. He campaigned to rehabilitate a group of painkillers derived from the opium poppy that were long shunned by physicians because of their addictiveness....

Opioids are also behind the country's deadliest drug epidemic. More than 16,500 people die of overdoses annually, more than all illegal drugs combined.

Now, Dr. Portenoy and other pain doctors who promoted the drugs say they erred by overstating the drugs' benefits and glossing over risks. "Did I teach about pain management, specifically about opioid therapy, in a way that reflects misinformation? Well, against the standards of 2012, I guess I did," Dr. Portenoy said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "We didn't know then what we know now."

Read it all (this was also referenced in yesterday's sermon by yours truly--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over the years [when asked this question about using marijuana], my default answer has been Romans 13:1–7, which basically says that believers must submit to the laws of government as long as there is no conflict with the higher laws of God in Scripture. This was a simple way to say “no” to recreational pot smoking. But now that recreational marijuana use is no longer illegal (according to my state laws, at least), the guiding question is now twofold:

Is using marijuana sinful, or is it wise?

Some things are neither illegal (forbidden by government in laws) nor sinful (forbidden by God in Scripture), but they are unwise. For example, eating a cereal box instead of the food it contains is not illegal or sinful—it’s just foolish. This explains why the Bible speaks not only of sin, but also folly, particularly in places such as the book of Proverbs. There are innumerable things that won’t get you arrested or brought under church discipline, but they are just foolish and unwise—the kinds of things people often refer to by saying, “That’s just stupid.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMenUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

3 Comments
Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How did we get here? From "say no" to "yes" votes in not one but two states?

The answer goes beyond society's evolving views, and growing acceptance, of marijuana as a drug of choice.

In Washington — and, advocates hope, coming soon to a state near you — there was a well-funded and cleverly orchestrated campaign that took advantage of deep-pocketed backers, a tweaked pro-pot message and improbable big-name supporters.

Good timing and a growing national weariness over failed drug laws didn't hurt, either.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government

2 Comments
Posted December 4, 2012 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tony Dokoupil..likes.the for-profit regulatory model in Colorado [going forward]...

"There's a ban on advertising," he explains. "There are cameras that track the marijuana from bloom to end-consumer, so the diversion into the black market is limited. There are extensive background checks on people who are part of the marketplace — so if you want to open a marijuana shop, you have to go through an extensive background check."

Once that model is in place, the consumer side of things might look a lot like Starbucks.

"I think you will have a variety of products at different levels of intensity, exactly like Starbucks," Dokoupil says. "You might be able to walk in there and in the case they'll have 12 different strains of cannabis. Behind the counter there might be hash. There might be edibles, like fizzy drinks or brownies. There could be a hot dog wheel turning. You could put THC in anything."

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralState Government

0 Comments
Posted November 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This month, two US states voted to legalise, regulate and tax marijuana. From advertising and marketing to drugged-driving enforcement, we ask what's ahead.

The 6 November votes in Colorado and Washington left a lot of marijuana users happy and a lot of police officers nervous. And they set the two states up for a confrontation with the federal government, as marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the US. Legalisation advocates say the recent votes mark the beginning of the end of the drug's prohibition.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government

0 Comments
Posted November 20, 2012 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Caught this over the weekend, really worth the time. If you do not know the story, you need to--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationHistoryMarriage & FamilyMenTeens / YouthUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence

0 Comments
Posted November 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is no excusing Armstrong's behaviour. He shouldn't have taken the drugs and he shouldn't have compelled others to do the same. But the latest revelations do show how a beautiful sport had been corrupted and how anyone seeking to succeed could have been drawn into such behaviour.

But there are still reasons to admire this obviously deeply flawed man. Armstrong has done wonderful things - on and off the bike - and given me memories that I still savour.

On drugs or not, he was capable of magnificent and daring feats. On stage nine of the 2003 Tour de France, Armstrong swerved to avoid a fellow rider, Joseba Beloki, who had crashed badly on a descent. The American was forced to ride across a steep paddock, jump a drainage ditch and rejoin the race on the road below. It was dramatic, bold and impressive.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionSports* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

18 Comments
Posted October 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jaclyn Kinkade, a 23-year-old doctor's-office receptionist and occasional model, was a casualty of America's No. 1 drug menace when she overdosed and died, alone, in a tumbledown clapboard house in Dunnellon, Fla.

The drugs that killed her didn't come from the Colombian jungles or an Afghan poppy field. Two of the three drugs found in her system were sold to Ms. Kinkade, legally, at Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark shops, the two biggest U.S. pharmacies. Both prescription drugs found in her body were made in the U.S.—the oxycodone in Elizabeth, N.J., by a company being acquired by generic-drug giant Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., and the methadone in Hobart, N.Y., by Covidien Ltd., another major manufacturer. Every stage of their distribution was government-regulated. In addition, Ms. Kinkade had small amounts of methamphetamine in her system when she died.

The U.S. spends about $15 billion a year fighting illegal drugs, often on foreign soil. But America's deadliest drug epidemic begins and ends at home. More than 15,000 Americans now die annually after overdosing on prescription painkillers called opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—more than from heroin, cocaine and all other illegal drugs combined.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted October 6, 2012 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An experimental drug appears to preserve and possibly even improve the ability of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to walk, according to the results of a clinical trial announced on Wednesday, raising hopes that the first effective treatment for the disease may be on the horizon.

Boys with the disease who received the highest dose of the drug had a slightly improved ability to walk after 48 weeks of treatment, the drug’s developer, Sarepta Therapeutics, announced. By contrast, the boys who received a placebo suffered a sharp decline in how well they could walk.

The drug, called eteplirsen, also appeared to restore levels of the key protein that muscular dystrophy patients lack to about half of normal levels, Sarepta said.

Read it all. The blog has been following this story for a while now--keep your eye on it, it is a potnetially once in a lifetime event; KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A decade after his military service, McLean faces 15 years to life in prison if he’s convicted of first-degree burglary. He makes no excuses for the addict he’s become.

Six months in jail awaiting a court date have provided him some quality detox time. Abusing alcohol and crack cocaine, McLean was homeless when he was arrested.

“I’ve never gotten into trouble except when drugs and alcohol were involved,” he says.

He admits he needs help.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcoholismDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesPovertyPrison/Prison MinistryPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan* South Carolina* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 24, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Our nation is in the midst of a public health emergency the likes of which we have not seen since the first decade of AIDS' spread across America. And much like the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the victims of the current crisis are both vilified and ignored, the families of the victims are shamed into silence, and the public at large doesn't know enough to protect itself.

I am speaking of drug overdose, which is now killing tens of thousands of Americans annually, while leaving many thousands more mentally and physically disabled for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of drug overdose deaths are the result of two types of highly addictive, and highly profitable, prescription drugs: opiates and benzodiazapenes. In 2010, one of the more than 25, 000 Americans who died as the result of drug overdose was someone I adored with all my heart: my 18-year-old firstborn, my son Henry.

Before I learned that Henry was addicted to pills, I simply had no clue that the problem of pill addiction and overdose was quietly yet savagely ripping apart the East Tennessee community in which we make our home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, there's no stopping 12 year old Justin Trovillion. We met Justin last year just before he took part in a trail involving an experimental drug.

His mother Carrie Trovillion says she feels since the trial, Justin has a new energy for life.

"Now I'm pulling him inside at night trying to make him go to bed!," said Carrie. "He doesn't want to sit on the couch anymore!"

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted August 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Melky Cabrera, whose breakout season with the San Francisco Giants was highlighted by his MVP performance in the All-Star Game, has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone, Major League Baseball announced.

Cabrera, a 27-year-old outfielder, has produced a major league-leading 159 hits this season, along with 11 home runs and 69 RBI. Acquired by the Giants in the off-season from the Kansas City Royals, Cabrera was on his way to a career year prior to being eligible for free agency this winter....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMenSports* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The most eye-opening and persuasive parts of the book explore the revenue and benefits to be had from cannabis without a single joint’s being lighted. Throughout human history, cultures from Mongolia to Peru have used the non-psychoactive cannabis plant for food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Early drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, and the covered pioneer wagons that took America westward were made of cannabis fiber. In 1942, cannabis prohibition was suspended because of a shortage in industrial supply during the war, and the government actually encouraged farmers to grow it, using a propaganda film, “Hemp for Victory.”

The place industrial cannabis is not found yet, Fine points out, is in the above­ground American economy, thanks to its listing as a Schedule I narcotic. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s official stance is that it has no medical value at all: “Smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science — it is not medicine, and it is not safe.” O.K., Fine seems to say, but tell that to the doctors with evidence of its ability to shrink tumors and ease the effects of chemotherapy; or to the seniors of Orange County who depend on medical marijuana to treat their arthritis, and the doctor who uses it to treat his glaucoma; or to the 30-year-old Iraq war veteran with the shrapnel injuries who thanks God every day for this drug. It is prescription drugs that are now the leading cause of fatal drug overdoses — more than 26,000 each year. Also each year, over 23,000 Americans die of alcohol-related causes. None have died from cannabis alone.

As I said, the issue is loaded. And yet the side that has all the load never seems to win in America....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingTaxes

0 Comments
Posted August 10, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Illinois Medicaid recipients have been limited to four prescription drugs as the state becomes the latest to cap how many medicines it will cover in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

Doctors fear the state's cost-cutting move could harm patients, who have to get state permission to go beyond the limit.

"We understand the state is trying to get its Medicaid budget under control, but our concern is it not be a hardship for patients and a hassle for doctors in the execution," says William Werner, president of the Illinois State Medical Society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government

0 Comments
Posted July 26, 2012 at 5:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When a pharmacy sells the heartburn drug Zantac, each pill costs about 35 cents. But doctors dispensing it to patients in their offices have charged nearly 10 times that price, or $3.25 a pill.

The same goes for a popular muscle relaxant known as Soma, insurers say. From a pharmacy, the per-pill price is 60 cents. Sold by a doctor, it can cost more than five times that, or $3.33.

At a time of soaring health care bills, experts say that doctors, middlemen and drug distributors are adding hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the costs borne by taxpayers, insurance companies and employers through the practice of physician dispensing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After years of stalled efforts, Connecticut is close to legalizing medical marijuana.

The state Senate approved the bill early Saturday morning following nearly 10 hours of debate. The measure passed the House of Representatives in April, and Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has said he would sign it. The move would make Connecticut the 17th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize medical marijuana.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government

3 Comments
Posted May 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Singing, strumming guitars and trying to shield themselves from a searing sun, tens of thousands of Mexican Catholics came together Saturday nearly 24 hours before an open-air Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

They walked miles and took up positions in Bicentennial Park, a short distance from a hilltop monument that honors the 1920s Cristero War by Catholic counter-revolutionaries.

But as religious fervor was on display in Silao, in central Mexico's Guanajuato state, a sexual-abuse scandal involving a notorious Mexican priest threatened to cast a pall over the pope's first visit to the Spanish-speaking Americas.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMexico* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted March 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Pope Benedict XVI comes during a very different time [than his predecessor]. With a country wounded, depressed by the prolonged violence," [Bernardo ] Barranco says, "a country that doesn't have a clear vision of its own future."

Speaking with reporters on his flight from Rome to Mexico, Benedict denounced the drug violence that's claimed almost 50,000 lives here over the last five years.

This is expected to be one of the leading themes of his visit to Mexico. He's also expected to call for a return to traditional Catholic values.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMexico* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted March 24, 2012 at 9:27 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth Africa* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists* TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

1 Comments
Posted March 6, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness.

The National Institute for Health Research is funding a £1.9m trial of minocycline, which will begin recruiting patients in the UK next month. The research follows case reports from Japan in which the drug was prescribed to patients with schizophrenia who had infections and led to dramatic improvements in their psychotic symptoms.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicinePsychologyScience & Technology

4 Comments
Posted March 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

She told ABC's Diane Sawyer in 2002: "The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy."

Houston tried to stage a comeback with the 2009 album I Look To You, but things fell apart when a concert to promote the album was clearly off-key.

Broadcaster and music journalist Paul Gambaccini described Whitney Houston's voice as "the template for female vocal performers for the last 30 years".

But in the end, he told the BBC, she became the victim of a "self-administered decline" and, sadly, threw all it all away.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionMovies & TelevisionMusicPsychology

1 Comments
Posted February 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Whitney Houston, the multimillion-selling singer who emerged in the 1980s as one of her generation’s greatest R & B voices, only to deteriorate through years of cocaine use and an abusive marriage, died on Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 48.

Her death came as the music industry descended on Los Angeles for the annual celebration of the Grammy Awards, and Ms. Houston was — for all her difficulties over the years — one of its queens. She was staying at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Saturday to attend a pre-Grammy party being hosted by Clive Davis, the founder of Arista Records, who had been her pop mentor.

Ms. Houston was found in her room at 3:55 p.m., and paramedics spent close to 20 minutes trying to revive her, the authorities said. There was no immediate word on the cause of her death, but the authorities said there were no signs of foul play.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionMusicWomen

4 Comments
Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nearly one in nine high school seniors have gotten high in the past year on synthetic drugs, such as "K2" or "Spice," second only to the number of teens who have used marijuana, a new survey shows.

"Monitoring the Future," the nation's most comprehensive survey of teenage drug use, found 11.4% of the high school seniors had used the synthetic substances, often packed as potpourri or herbal incense and sold in convenience stores, which mimic the effects of marijuana.

"It is astounding," said Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa. "I don't think they have any idea how dangerous these synthetic drugs are."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationHealth & MedicineTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pseudoephedrine is found in over-the-counter cold medicines such as Sudafed. While these pills may provide relief to cold sufferers, to criminals who are in the business of making meth, these pills are gold. Meth-makers legally buy as much of the raw product as they can at local pharmacies and drug stores.

A federal law designed to crack down on methamphetamine abuse sets a hard limit on pseudoephedrine: No more than nine grams, or about seven packs, per customer each month. But to get around that limit, which is electronically tracked by drug stores in certain states, meth users will team up so that each can buy the maximum at once. [Deputy director Dan] Smoot explained that it's a practice known as "smurfing," named after the little blue cartoon characters, Smurfs, who are small, but mighty as a team.

Caught this one on the morning run. The video is highly recommended if you have time. Did you know that Kentucky is number 3 in America in Methamphetamine production? I didn't. Read it all--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireRural/Town Life* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

3 Comments
Posted December 1, 2011 at 5:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How do you ask a room full of executives, actors, writers and producers expecting humor to forgive someone of an offense? That was exactly what happened recently at the Cinematheque Award Ceremony when Robert Downey Jr. received the prestigious honor.

During Downey Jr.’s acceptance speech, he said. “I asked Mel to present this award for me for a reason. When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope and encouraged me to find my faith. It didn’t have to be his or anyone else’s as long as it was rooted in forgiveness. And I couldn’t get hired, so he cast me in the lead of a movie that was actually developed for him. He kept a roof over my head and food on the table and most importantly he said if I accepted responsibility for my wrongdoing and embraced that part of my soul that was ugly – hugging the cactus he calls it — he said that if I hugged the cactus long enough, I’d become a man.

“ . . he asked in return that someday I help the next guy in some small way. It’s reasonable to assume at the time he didn’t imagine the next guy would be him or that someday was tonight. So . . . I would ask that you join me, unless you are completely without sin . . . in forgiving my friend his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate you have me.”

Who would have thought 10 years ago that Robert Downey Jr. would have such care for another actor to plea for someone else’s forgiveness, and such respect in the community that the audience would respond in applause and thereby give forgiveness implicitly.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionMovies & TelevisionPsychologyReligion & Culture* TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 28, 2011 at 4:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Abuse of prescription painkiller have reached "epidemic" levels in the US, a government report says.

Overdoses of pain relievers cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, the report has found.

It says sales and prescriptions of the drugs rose sharply in recent years and this was linked to the rise in overdoses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As more Americans turn to government programs for refuge from a merciless economy, a growing number are encountering a new price of admission to the social safety net: a urine sample.

Policy makers in three dozen states this year proposed drug testing for people receiving benefits like welfare, unemployment assistance, job training, food stamps and public housing. Such laws, which proponents say ensure that tax dollars are not being misused and critics say reinforce stereotypes about the poor, have passed in states including Arizona, Indiana and Missouri.

In Florida, people receiving cash assistance through welfare have had to pay for their own drug tests since July, and enrollment has shrunk to its lowest levels since the start of the recession.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in GeneralState Government

3 Comments
Posted October 12, 2011 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Recent studies are showing how tumors sidestep targeted cancer drugs by activating other growth-promoting molecules. The findings may help doctors develop new drug combinations that squelch the resistance, said Pasi Janne, senior author of the study and a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“Until now we didn’t know what caused acquired resistance to Erbitux,” Janne said in a telephone interview. “Our hope is that this will very rapidly translate into clinical trials” of new drug combinations. The study, done in collaboration with researchers at Kinki University School of Medicine in Osaka, Japan and other universities, is published today in Science Translational Medicine.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineScience & Technology

0 Comments
Posted September 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two Charleston-based Coast Guard cutters helped in the recovery of 15,000 pounds of cocaine from a submarine-type craft in what's believed to be the first time the stealth vessels increasingly favored by drug runners have been spotted in the Caribbean.

The Cutters Oak and Gallatin both took part in the effort to find and secure the wreck after the semi-submersible's crew scuttled the boat in 75 feet of water near the Honduran-Nicaraguan border.

The crew of the Oak located the sunken vessel on the sea floor while the Gallatin participated in security and the overall effort, officials said.

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug Addiction* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Middle-class, high-earning professionals are more tolerant of casual cannabis and cocaine use than the rest of the population, according to the first official study of British attitudes toward illegal drugs.

Adults in their 30s, those who live in cities, and those who are educated to degree level also have a more relaxed approach to the “occasional” use of drugs than other groups, such as low-earners with no qualifications.

The latest findings from the British Crime Survey (BCS), a study of 26,000 households, also show that the recently banned drug mephedrone, or “meow meow”, is as popular as cocaine among young people.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug Addiction* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Amy Winehouse will have a funeral in the Jewish tradition once her body is released for burial after...[its] post mortem. If the tradition is followed strictly her grave, likely to be in North London, will not to have a tombstone until a year has passed. Her place of burial is likely to become a shrine like the graves of other pop stars such as Jim Morrison, who also died at 27 and is buried in Paris.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, of Maidenhead synagogue, said: “As someone with Jewish parents and brought up Jewishly, Amy Winehouse never lost her sense of Jewish roots in later life. She still saw herself as part of the Jewish community, while the Jewish community always regarded her as one of its talented but wayward members.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionMusicReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

0 Comments
Posted July 26, 2011 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The vast majority of U.S. hospitals have restricted the use of life-saving chemotherapy drugs and other critical-care medications in the past six months to cope with unprecedented shortages, according to a survey released Tuesday.

More than 80% of hospitals surveyed by the American Hospital Association reported they had to delay treatment, and nearly 70% said patients received less effective substitute drugs.

Three out of four hospitals reported rationing or restricting the use of drugs in short supply. For some drugs, such as a leukemia drug called cytarabine, there are no effective substitutes.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsEconomy

1 Comments
Posted July 13, 2011 at 5:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In just four years, Monterrey, a manufacturing city of 4 million people 140 miles from the Texan border, has gone from being a model for developing economies to a symbol of Mexico's drug war chaos, sucked down into a dark spiral of gangland killings, violent crime and growing lawlessness.

Since President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led war on the cartels in late 2006, grenade attacks, beheadings, firefights and drive-by killings have surged.

That has shattered this city's international image as a boomtown where captains of industry built steel, cement and beer giants in the desert in less than a century -- Mexico's version of Dallas or Houston.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug Addiction* International News & CommentaryMexico

1 Comments
Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the surface, [Nathaniel] Colleton seemed an unlikely drug dealer. He had grown up in a solid home. His mom was a paralegal and church pastor, his dad a longtime employee of The Citadel.

Colleton was a high school graduate. He played music for church services and volunteered to teach underprivileged kids how to read, his attorney, Dale Cobb, said.

Cobb said his client turned to selling drugs after he lost his construction job and couldn't find work. Whether it was that or the lure of easy money, as police suspect, Colleton's new occupation would short-circuit whatever future he had planned for himself.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationTeens / Youth* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Americans consume a lot of prescription drugs. And they seem especially fond of those to lower their cholesterol, relieve their heartburn, cheer them up and take away pain. Overall, however, their spending on such drugs is slowing.

A new report from consulting firm IMS Health offers a quick, but thorough, look at Americans' consumption of, and spending on, prescription drugs. In 2010, the report says, we spent more than $307 billion on medication. That’s up over 2009, but only by 2.3%.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted April 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Caught this on the morning run today--very enjoyable. Watch it all.

You can also read an article about the interview here.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionMarriage & FamilyMiddle AgeMovies & Television

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Posted February 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Airman [Anthony] Mena died instead in his Albuquerque apartment, on July 21, 2009, five months after leaving the Air Force on a medical discharge. A toxicologist found eight prescription medications in his blood, including three antidepressants, a sedative, a sleeping pill and two potent painkillers.

Yet his death was no suicide, the medical examiner concluded. What killed Airman Mena was not an overdose of any one drug, but the interaction of many. He was 23.

After a decade of treating thousands of wounded troops, the military’s medical system is awash in prescription drugs — and the results have sometimes been deadly.

By some estimates, well over 300,000 troops have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with P.T.S.D., depression, traumatic brain injury or some combination of those. The Pentagon has looked to pharmacology to treat those complex problems, following the lead of civilian medicine. As a result, psychiatric drugs have been used more widely across the military than in any previous war.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan

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Posted February 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



This program really scared me--I was not aware of this. Take the time to watch it all--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionPsychologyScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth

10 Comments
Posted February 3, 2011 at 6:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There has been a lot of speculation about whether Jared Lee Loughner, the man arrested for the Arizona shooting, has a severe mental illness. But is mental illness a sufficient explanation for his actions? Recent research has found that mental illness is, in fact, tied to an increased risk of violence—but it is not a simple relationship....

...the vast majority of patients with severe mental illness are not violent during their lifetimes. The largest and longest study of schizophrenia and violence, conducted in Sweden over the course of 30 years, found that only 13% of patients had violent convictions after receiving their diagnoses. For most patients, the risk of becoming a victim of violence is higher than the risk that they will commit violence.

Nor should we make the mistake of assuming that a correlation between mental illness and violence somehow establishes a causal connection between them. It may be that schizophrenia is simply a marker for other factors that increase the risk of violence. Of these factors, one of the strongest is alcohol and drug abuse. Estimates from the U.S. indicate that around half of patients with schizophrenia also have problems with substance abuse. One study in American urban centers found that nearly a third of patients who were discharged from the hospital and also diagnosed with substance abuse were violent within one year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicinePrison/Prison MinistryPsychologyMental IllnessStressViolence

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Posted January 16, 2011 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It all began last Thursday, when a group of prospective jurors in Missoula were seated for a two-day trial of a repeat offender by the name of Teuray Cornell, whom the local police had arrested and charged with selling marijuana, a felony, and possession of a small amount of the drug, a misdemeanor.

To seat a 12-person jury, Judge Robert L. Deschamps III of Missoula County District Court had called a passel of Montanans to serve, and 27 had arrived at court on Dec. 16. So far, so good.

But after the charges were read, one of the jurors raised a hand.

“She said, ‘I’ve got a real problem with these marijuana cases,’ ” Judge Deschamps recalled on Wednesday. “And after she got through, a couple more raised their hands.” All told, five jurors raised questions about marijuana prosecution.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues

9 Comments
Posted December 24, 2010 at 7:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new report out today from the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows teenage drug use is up, especially among eighth-graders, the primary culprits: marijuana, ecstasy, and prescription drugs. Teenagers are also now less likely to believe that marijuana use is dangerous.

At the same time, previously reported declines in cigarette smoking have stalled. There was some good news. The rate of binge drinking, consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row, is down.

Here to discuss the findings is Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingDrugs/Drug AddictionPsychologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted December 18, 2010 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 17 masked men pulled two teenage boys off the Rev. David Beaumont's truck in northern Mexico, forced them to the ground, and put guns against their heads as their mother screamed to the priest that her sons were about to be killed.

Beaumont, who was born in Hempstead and grew up in Commack, has spent the last 20 years as a Franciscan missionary in one of the most dangerous and violent areas of the world. On this day last April, he had to make a split-second decision.

"I was saying to myself, 'Well, now either I'm really going to be a missionary and be prepared to give my life for the people, or run and hide,' " Beaumont recalled in a telephone interview. "I felt it was a pivotal moment in my life. When I walked out to them [the masked men], I realized that the last thing I might see would be the bullets coming at me."

The men did not fire at the American priest in his tattered brown friar's habit, and he was able to get the boys back in the truck and leave with their mother. But for the next several days they were all so shaken they lost their appetites and could not eat.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryMexico* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted December 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bruce Holloway was turning into his driveway in Mount Juliet, Tenn., in April 2009, when he was struck and killed by Brian Duffey.

Duffey was driving 80 mph with alcohol and painkillers in his system, according to police and court records.

"He was already home," said Holloway's fiancée, Mary Loving. "It's so unfair."

Duffey pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and was sentenced to 22 years. He was one of a growing number of heavily medicated Americans who get behind the wheel every day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionTravelViolence

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Posted December 4, 2010 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

17 Comments
Posted November 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

California voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would have made their state the first in the union to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana.

Voters there also considered whether to make it easier for state legislators to pass a budget, to suspend a state-passed global warming bill and to hand over the role of creating legislative districts to a nonpartisan commission.

The measures were among 160 put to voters around the country, on issues ranging from the new health-care law to ideas for balancing state budgets.

California was not the only state dealing with marijuana-related questions. In South Dakota, voters rejected an effort to legalize medical marijuana - which California and 13 other states have done over the past 15 years. Arizona voters were considering a similar measure.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government

26 Comments
Posted November 3, 2010 at 6:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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