Archive for June, 2014

Washington Medical Marijuana Policy Loophole: No Age Restriction?

Medical marijuana legalization has always been a trending topic, but how’s this for a hot bit of news: A news item recently exposed that the medical marijuana law in Washington has no age limit.

teen marijuanaAccording to Seattle’s KPLU, the state’s law on medical marijuana procurement does not include any age restrictions or parental supervision. According to Bellevue drug counselor Paul Weatherly, he regularly meets with teenagers exposed to marijuana. One time, one of the teens told him, “Oh, I can hardly wait until I’m 18 and I can get my medical marijuana card.” Weatherly was reminded that “when I read the law, I didn’t see any age restrictions.”

This loophole may be exploited by teenagers who want access to a lot of marijuana, as well as scheming medical professionals who want to earn more, albeit illegally. In fact, Weatherly said he was able to talk to a kid who got the go signal to purchase marijuana from a physician through Skype.

Meanwhile, Lisa Sharp, a manager for Seattle Public Schools’ prevention and intervention, said that may teenagers already have authorization for medical marijuana, and can even visit pot dispensaries to get their daily dose. The rise in marijuana use on and off-campus has been observed by school staff as well. “We are seeing it all over our city, so in middle schools and high schools and elementary schools,” said Sharp.

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U.S. Kids Exposed To Vitamin Overdose?

While vitamin supplements may help in your child’s development, too much of a good thing is always bad.

cerealThe Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report that details the possible overdose of children in the U.S. over vitamins and minerals. Food products fortified with so-called essential nutrients may bring too much artifical nutrition to kids.

According to the report as cited in a news release, the two most popular fortified food products are snack bars and breakfast cereals, which were found to contain nutrients over and beyond the daily requirement of an average American child. “Fortified breakfast cereals are the number one source of added vitamin A, zinc and niacin in children’s diets,” the report stated.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set a maximum limit for vitamin and mineral content that is safe for children. The report by EWG stated that kids 8 years old and below may be at risk of exceeding the safe limit, even if they eat just one serving.

The report named 23 breakfast cereal products and 27 snack bars that exceed the IOM threshold. Some of the products come from famous brands like General Mills, Kellogg’s, Stop & Shop, and Safeway.

The EWG recommends regular consumers of these products to be aware and educated about the dangers of excess nutrition, particularly Vitamin A.

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Prescription Drug Drop-Off Station Now Permanent in Marion County

The National Drug Take Back Day has been very successful in collecting tons of unused and expired medicines all around the U.S. The annual event has been conduced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since 2010.

prescription drug drop off boxWith the success of take-back initiatives such as the DEA-administered events, a number of counties in Indiana are now installing permanent drop-off boxes for prescription drugs that are either expired or unused. Marion County is the latest in a strong of Indiana localities that have supported the drive against prescription drug abuse.

The drop-off box in Marion County is jointly handled by Drug Free Indiana and the county’s Sheriff’s Department. “Drugs that are leftover… in medicine cabinets… our youngsters can get a hold of. When I’m talking youngsters, I mean toddlers and on up,” said Sheriff John Layton in a news release.

The move came after Indiana figured in the top five states with the highest deaths due to drug overdose.

The Marion County Jail serves as the location of the drop-off box in the said Indiana county. Other central counties in the state have already installed their own boxes.

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Two Teenage Deaths Traced To Alcohol Abuse

Just this week, alcohol-related cases led to two separate teen fatalities:

  • teen alcohol abuseA teenager from Ottawa, Canada was stabbed to death after figuring in a post-prom night brawl. According to a news item, 18-year-old Brandon Volpi died from fatal stab wounds after helping a friend who was in a fight with fellow students. Reports said that the teenagers involved in the incident were drunk before they arrived at the scene of the crime, outside the Les Suites Hotel. Ottawa authorities are now looking for the male suspect who stabbed Volpi to his death.
  • A head-on vehicular collision in Delaware claimed the life of 18-year-old Zachary Rogers. The victim’s Pontiac Sunfire crashed against a Ford Escort driven by Estanislao Lopez-Berduo, 27, who also died due to the accident. A news report revealed that Delaware law enforcement personnel are currently looking into the angle that Lopez-Berduo was drunk driving when the crash occurred.

These recent cases are just two of the many reported incidents linked to alcohol abuse.

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