Di seguito gli interventi pubblicati in questa sezione, in ordine cronologico.
No one really has any idea what kind of pollution is going on in our oceans today. It is easy to turn a blind eye or pretend that it doesn’t exist, though in certain areas of the world, where plastic bags and bottles are strewn along the shoreline, it’s harder to ignore. It is the kind of issue that leaves you wondering what you can do personally to effect global change. One 19 year old boy came up with a solution. Boyan Slat is a young, 19 year old inventor and he has created something that he says can give us clean oceans globally in only 5 years.
Would you believe something like 20 billion tons of plastic brewing out in the world’s oceans? That’s about right. They even have a name for one big pile of garbage accumulating out there in the Pacific ocean. It’s called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and it’s getting worse every year. In fact, over the past 40 years it has multiplied one hundred fold, according to a recent study reported by NBC news in May of 2012. Since then, it’s sure to have grown even more.
Slat’s design includes some floating blooms which would suck all this plastic into it much in the same way as a funnel works. There are plastic processing plants out there in the ocean, though much of the garbage never reaches it. Slat’s blooms would suck all the plastic and then direct it to these processing plants. These plants separate the material, releasing that which is natural and recycling everything else. If his idea works, it is estimated that the world’s oceans could be free of this floating garbage, clean again in as little as only 5 years.
Boyan wrote a paper on his idea in school, which was then recognized and given Best Technical Design in 2012 from the Delft University of Technology. Since his award, Boyan Slat started a non-profit organization to work on the project and get it going, called The Ocean Clean-up Foundation. His idea is ocean and solar powered and would save many fish and other aquatic species who are threatened by the current condition of the oceans. His foundation will raise money and work on the actual immediate implementation of the project so the oceans can start cleaning up as soon as possible.
Much of the oxygen we breathe on the planet comes from the marine phytoplankton, more than from all the forests on the earth. If the oceans suffer, we do. This new technology created by a 19 year old who cares could clean our oceans globally in only 5 years. For more information on this evolutionary technology and to contribute to the project visit Boyan’s website. For something as dismal as environmental clean-up, Boyan makes it sound not only simple, but doable in a short period of time. These are the kind of solutions we need and fast. They always said the children would lead us. Perhaps it is time to take the ideas of our youth more seriously and open ourselves up to the possibility that we are just around the corner from total global solutions. Thanks kids!
Author: Stasia Bliss - Source: guardianlv.com
When I was at the Patients Out of Time Medical Cannabis conference in Asilomar this last April, I overheard a remark that startled me: "The US Government has a patent on cannabis." I couldn't locate the person who made the comment, so I went home and did some online research. Sure enough, patent number 6,630,507 states unequivocally that cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson's, Alzeheimer's and HIV dementia. The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.
So, why is this important? Here is a legal document, in the public domain, which flies in the face of the US Government's stated position with regard to the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance having no "currently accepted medical use". Believe me, citing this patent stops the "medical marijuana is a myth" advocates dead in their tracks. They simply cannot argue with it. The forces that would keep cannabis illegal are vocal and well funded, but they are not impervious to persistent effort. The lynch pin in the War on Drugs is cannabis. Without the suppression and interdiction of this popular and widely used substance, there simply would not be enough "illegal drug use" going on to justify the huge amount of money and resources spent on "fighting drugs."
I believe disseminating information about this patent as widely as possible, and to as many people as possible is a crucial strategy in loosening that lynch pin, and changing public perception about cannabis. I, personally, downloaded the first page of this patent and sent a copy (with the assignee highlighted) to every one of my elected representatives. I have also included information about it in "letters to the editor" referencing any cannabis related news story I come across, I use it as an argument in every State medical cannabis and decriminalization initiative, and have mentioned it in all my comments to online posts and blogs of the same nature. I would be delighted if everyone who believes the War on Drugs is a failed and destructive policy, would do the same, until the existence of this irrefutable patent becomes widely held public knowledge, and government 's rhetoric is shown to be as hollow as a busted drum.
Source: stopthedrugwar.org - Author: Brinna Nanda - July 23, 2008
In short, metadata is more data about data. In most common document types, embedded within a file is more information, typically hidden from casual viewing. This hidden data is used by the computer programs to provide accurate processing information, i.e. what version of software was used to create the document, how the file is encoded, and often who created it.
In the case with many popular image/picture formats, the list of possible metadata is quite extensive. With the expanded options for metadata in JPEG images, we have the ability to record the photographer, camera settings (ISO, Aperture, Flash, lens type), processing software and location.
The metadata in images is often retained by default by desktop image processing software and many online photo storage websites. This information is often valuable to the photographer, as well as the website provider for demographic information. Of course, location is also one of the options available for storage in a JPEG image.
The storage of location based data, in the form of Latitude and Longitude inside of images is called Geotagging; essentially tagging your photograph with the geographic location. This data is stored inside if the metadata if JPEG images and is useful for tying the photograph to a location. Want to remember exactly where you took those photographs while on vacation? This information is for you.
However, most modern digital cameras do not automatically add geolocation (Latitude and Longitude) metadata to pictures. The process for adding the geolocation data either requires specialized add on hardware, or post processing with software on the desktop after the pictures are taken.
There is a large exception to this rule: Smartphones. With the proliferation of smart phones that contain GPS locator technology inside, the cameras in these devices are already equipped with the specialized hardware to automatically add geolocation information to the pictures at the time they are taken.
Most people don't realize that the action of automatic geotagging takes place on their smart phones, either because it is enabled by default, not exposed the user as an option, or was asked and then forgotten. As a result, individuals often share too much information about their location, right down to the exact Latitude and Longitude when snapping photos with their smartpphone and posting them online.
How do I disable this?
The easiest way to stop posting this information for all to see it to disable geotagging on your smartphone.
Disabling on your phone
There are many phones out there on the market that geo tag their pictures and as we get more information, we will update the instructions to list more models, however, lets start with two phones: the Apple iPhone and the Palm Pre
iPhone (iOS 4.x)
Apple greatly simplified the way to turn off location services on a per-application basis. To see your settings, go to Settings, General, then Location Services. From there you can set which applications can access your GPS coordinates or disable it entirely.
iPhone (iOS 3.x)
With the iOS 3.x there are two ways to disable Geotagging of photos. The first involves disabling of all location based services. To disable this feature, Go to Settings, General then set Location Services to off.
Be warned: This will turn off ALL location based services for ALL applications. Of course we may actually have need to use location based services for other applications (such as maps and driving directions, or getting robbed via Foursquare), but just not for our pictures.
There is no easy way to disable location based servces for just one application. However, we can make the iPhone prompt us at first use for each application. Once reset, the first time we enter the application we can enable or disable location based services for the application. To do so we need to go to Settings, General, Reset.
Be careful here! We want to select Reset Location Warnings, and then Reset Warnings. This restores all of our Location based warnings for each application to the default, which in most cases is "Ask on first use".
From here, once we enter into the default Camera app on the iPhone, we can select Don't Allow. This will prevent the Camera app from geotagging our photos.
Palm has made it fairly easy to disable applications from accessing the GPS without your explicit permission. If you bring up the "Location Services" configuration screen, there should be three options: Auto Locate, Geotag Photos, and Background Data Collection. Ideally, all three should be turned off.
To disable geotagging photos, simply turn the "Geotag Photos" option off. If "Auto Locate" is off, the "Geotag Photos" option will not be displayed as the Pre will not geotag photos with "Auto Locate" off. Once the "Geotag Photos" is turned off, the camera appplication will no longer geo tag photos. As a side note, if "Auto Locate" is off, the Pre will prompt you anytime an application requests your location from the GPS. This allows you to know who's asking to find out where you are.
Google Android (Verizon Droid Phones, this is you! :))
Like the iPhone, there are two ways to turn off geotagging. To completely disable GPS location finding for all applications, we will need to do the following:
Press the Menu Key and then Settings
Then press Location and security
By default, GPS is on. Uncheck it to turn it off
Like disabling the GPS in the iPhone, this will break location based information for all applications, including legitimate uses.
In order to disable for just the camera application, start the Camera app to make sure that you are not saving your location. This is the menu on the left side of the camera application; it slides out from left to right.
Select "Store Location" and make sure it is set to off.
Once this is disabled, the camera app will no longer add geotags to your images.
There are multiple ways to disable the geo-tags on Blackberry. We details three ways here:
Select Options, Advanced Options, GPS, press Menu key, Select Disable GPS and select Yes to confirm. This will disable all GPS capabilities on the phone.
Select Options, Security, Applications Permissions, menu select Edit on the application (default is Prompt for BB Core), Expand Connections, Change Location (GPS) to "Deny", or you can disable within the application. Most apps i.e. Google Maps, Ubertwitter, etc... will just default everything to "allow" for app perms regardless of app settings chosen during setup.
(Via an anonymous contributor... Thanks!)
Go into picture-taking mode (via HomeScreen, click icon "Camera"), press the Menu button and choose "Options". Set the "Geotagging" setting to be "Disabled". Finally, save the updated settings.
Sadly, there are numerous phones that we are unable to test. The exact directions on how to disable may vary by phone but we suggest checking under the Options menu of the Camera application and also any kind of "Location" or "GPS" menu under your phone's control panel. If you are successful in disabling it, please let us know how you did it so we can share!
The research was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The Nanoparticles carry melittin, which is the principal active component of bee venom. Melittin fuses with the HIV virus and destroys it’s protective envelope while molecular bumpers prevent the nanoparticles from harming the body’s normal cells. Bee venom is known to disrupt cellular walls and destroy tumour cells as well.
Bee venom contains a potent toxin called melittin that can poke holes in the protective envelope that surrounds HIV, and other viruses. Large amounts of free melittin can cause a lot of damage. Indeed, in addition to anti-viral therapy, the paper’s senior author, Samuel A. Wickline, MD, the J. Russell Hornsby Professor of Biomedical Sciences, has shown melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be effective in killing tumor cells.
The new study shows that melittin loaded onto these nanoparticles does not harm normal cells. That’s because Hood added protective bumpers to the nanoparticle surface. When the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells, which are much larger in size, the particles simply bounce off. HIV, on the other hand, is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits. (1)
Most anti-HIV drugs inhibit the virus’s ability to replicate. This is an anti-replication strategy that does nothing to stop the infection, and many strains of the virus have found ways around these drugs and continue reproducing. Given this discovery, a new vaginal gel could possibly be used in places where HIV is prominent. It can be used as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection and prevent the spread of HIV. The bee venom HIV study was published a several days ago in the journal Antiviral Therapy.
More than 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and over 3 million of them are under the age of 15. Everyday, thousands of people contract HIV around the world.
It is also important to note the debate surrounding HIV and AIDS. Findings suggest there is not solid scientific evidence that exists today to prove the existence of HIV. AIDS is also under great debate as in some countries it is considered to be one thing while in another, it is something totally different. One can literally be diagnosed with AIDS in one country but not in another. AIDS is often is simply a term for a HUGE umbrella of potential diseases. The only common factor found amongst definitions is if the body’s T-cell count reduces below a specific level. Why is there such a lack of distinction about what AIDS truly is? Why so many different definitions?
“Because it has been surrounded with so much emotion, very few people are capable of looking at AIDS logically.”
- Mark Gabrish Conlan, AIDS researcher
“If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document.”
- Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
“Up to today there is actually no single scientifically convincing evidence for the existence of HIV. Not even once such a retrovirus has been isolated and purified by the methods of classical virology.”
- Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sanger, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Virology, Max-Planck-Institutes for Biochemistry, Munchen.
“…instead of trying to prove his insane theories about AIDS to his peers…he went public. Then, with the help of Margaret Heckler, former head of Health and Human Services, who was under great political pressure to come up with an answer to AIDS, the infamous world press announcement of the discovery of the so-called AIDS virus came about. This great fraud is now responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands… It was no accident that Gallo just happened to patent the test for HIV the day after the announcement…Gallo is now a multi-millionaire because of AIDS and his fraudulent AIDS test.”
Until a complete verdict is in on HIV, it is important to realize that it is unclear whether or not HIV truly exists and we may not fully understand it as much as we think. This is NOT a conspiracy. Among the scientific community this has been a debate for many years. Its critical we do not simply pass this off as a conspiracy cause if it were that simple there would not be such a huge debate. You can read more HERE if you choose.
collective-evolution.com - Author: Arjun Walia
A new study conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health, and published in the newest issue of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, has found that cannabinoids can reduce up to 90% of skin cancer in just a 20 week period. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jphp.12082/abstract)
For the study, researchers used synthetic cannabinoids (natural, cannabis-derived cannabinoids are typically even more effective) on mice with skin cancer in a 20 week study, and found that the cannabinoids had a hugely positive effect, reducing skin cancer by up to 90% as well as "inhibiting tumor promotion".
"This is the first report indicating the structure–activity relationships for the anti-inflammatory activity of synthetic cannabinoids on TPA-induced inflammation in mice. Naphthoylindoles, JWH-018, -122 and -210 [synthetic cannabinoids], had the most potent anti-inflammatory activity and also markedly inhibited tumour promotion by TPA in the two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis model. The present results suggest that synthetic cannabinoids, such as JWH-018, -122 and -210, may be used as cancer chemopreventive agents in the future."
Source: TheJointBlog.com - link to image: http://www.turismoassociati.it/public/cannabis-WileyOnLineLibrary-9.PNG
No Money or Market System
Automation of Labor
Technological Unification of Earth via "Systems" Approach.
Access over Property.
Self-Contained/Localized City and Production Systems.
Science as the Methodology for Governance
1) No money or market system.
Market theory assumes a number of things which have proven to either be false, marginally beneficial, or outright socially detrimental.
The core problems to consider are the following:
A) The need for "Infinite Growth" which is mathematically unsustainable and ecologically detrimental. The entire basis of the Market System is not the intelligent management of our mostly finite resources on this planet but rather the perpetual extraction and consumption of them for the sake of profit and "economic growth". In order to keep people employed, people must constantly consume, regardless of the state of affairs within the environment and often regardless of product utility. This is the absolute reverse of what a sustainable practice would require, which is the strategic preservation and efficient use of resources.
B) A "Corruption Generating" Incentive System. It is often said that the competitive marketplace creates the incentive to act for the sake of social progress. While this is partially true, it also generates an equal if not more pronounced amount of corruption in the form of planned obsolescence, common crime, wars, large scale financial fraud, labor exploitation and many other issues. The vast majority of people in prison today there because of monetary related crime or non-violent drug offenses. The majority of legislation exists in the context of monetary-based crimes.
Also, if one was to critically examine history and peer into the documented biographies/mentalities of the greatest scientists and inventors of our time, such a N. Tesla, A. Einstein, A. Bell, the Wright Brothers, and many others - it is found that they did not find their motivation in the prospect of monetary gain. The interest to make money must not be confused with the interest to create socially beneficial products and very often they are even at odds.
C) A disjunct, inefficient industrial complex which wastes tremendous amount of resources and energy. In the world today, with the advent of Globalization, it has become more profitable to import and export both labor and goods across the globe rather than to produce locally. We import bananas from Ecuador to the US and bottled water from Fuji Japan, while western companies will go to the deprived 3rd world to exploit cheap labor, etc. Likewise, the process of extraction, to component generation, to assembly, to distribution of a given good might cross through multiple countries for a single final product, simply due to labor and production costs / property costs. This "cost efficiency" generates extreme "technical inefficiency" and is only justifiable within the market system for the sake of saving money.
In a RBEM, the focus is maximum technical efficiency. The production process is not dispersed, but made as centralized and fluid as possible, with elements moving the very least amount, saving what would be tremendous amounts of energy and labor as compared to methods today. Food is grown locally whenever possible (which is most of the time given the flexibility of indoor agriculture technology today) while all extraction, production and distribution is logically organized to use as little labor/transport/space as possible, while producing the "strategically best" possible goods. (see more below) In other words, the system is planned, to maximize efficiently and minimize waste.
D) A propensity for "Establishments". Very simply, established corporate/financial orders have a built in tendency to stop new, socially positive advents from coming to fruition, if there is a foreshadowed loss of market share, profit, and hence power. It is important to consider the basic nature of a corporation and its inherent need for self perpetuation.
If a person starts a company, hires employees, creates a market and becomes profitable, what has thus been created, in part, is the means for survival for a group of people. Since each person in that group typically becomes dependent on their organization for income, a natural, protectionist propensity is created whereas anything that threatens the institution thus threatens the well being of the group/individual. This is the fabric of a "competition" mindset. While people think of free market competition as a battle between two or more companies in a given industry, they often miss the other level- which is the competition against new advents which would make them obsolete, outright.
The best way to expand on this point is to simply give an example, such as the US Government and 'Big Oil' collusion to limit the expansion of the fully Electric Car (EV) in the US. This issue was well presented and sourced in the documentary called "Who Killed the Electric Car?". The bottom line here is that the need to preserve an established order for the sake of the well being of those on the pay role, leads to an inherent tendency to stifle progress. A new technology which can make a prior technology obsolete will be met with resistance unless there is a way for the market system to adsorb it in a slow fashion, allowing for a transition for the corporations ( ie - the perpetuation of "Hybrid" cars in the US, as opposed to the fully electric ones which could exist now, in abundance.) There are also large amounts of evidence that the FDA has engaged in favoritism/collusion with pharmaceutical companies, to limit/stop the availability of advanced progressive drugs which would void existing/profitable ones.
In a RBE, there is nothing to hold back developmental/implementation of anything. If safe and useful, it would immediately be implemented into society, with no monetary institution to thwart the change due to their self-preserving, monetary nature.
E) An inherent obsolescence which creates inferior products immediately due to the need to stay "competitive" This little recognized attribute of production is another example of the waste which is created in the market system. It is bad enough that multiple companies constantly duplicate each others items in an attempt to make their variations more interesting for the sake of public consumption, but a more wasteful reality is that due to the competitive basis of the system, it is a mathematical certainty that every good produced is immediately inferior the moment it is created, due the need to cut the initial cost basis of production and hence stay "competitive" against another company... which is doing the same thing for the same reason. The old free market adage where producers "create the best possible goods at the lower possible prices" is a needlessly wasteful reality and detrimentally misleading, for it is impossible for a company to use the most efficient material or processes in the production of anything, for it would be too expensive to maintain a competitive cost basis.
They very simply cannot make the "strategically best" physically - it is mathematically impossible. If they did, no one would buy it for it would be unaffordable due the values inherent in the higher quality materials and methods. Remember - people buy what they can afford to. Every person on this planet has a built in limit of affordability in the monetary system, so it generates a feedback loop of constant waste via inferior production, to meet inferior demand. In a RBEM, goods are created to last, with the expansion and updating of certain goods built directly into the design, with recycling strategically accessed as well, limiting waste.
You will notice the term "strategically best" was used in a statement above. This qualification means that goods are created with respect to state of affairs of the planetary resources, with the quality of materials used based on an equation taking into account all relevant attributes, rates of depletion, negative retroactions and the like. In other words, we would not blindly use titanium for, say, every single computer enclosure made, just because it might be the "strongest" materials for the job. That narrow practice could lead to depletion. Rather, there would be a gradient of material quality which would be accessed through analysis of relevant attributes - such as comparable resources, rates of natural obsolescence for a given item, statistical usage in the community, etc. These properties and relationships could be accessed through programming, with the most strategically viable solution computed and output in real time. It is mere issue of calculation.
F) A propensity for monopoly and cartel due to the basic motivation of growth and increased market share. This is a point that economic theorists will often deny, under the assumption that open competition is self regulating that monopolies and cartels are extremely rare anomalies in a free-market system. This "invisible hand" assumption holds little validity historically, not to mention the outstanding legislation around the issue, which proves its infeasibility. In America, there have been numerous monopolies, such as Standard Oil and Microsoft. Cartels, which are essentially Monopolies by way of collusion between the largest competitors in an industry, are also persistent to this day, while less obvious to the casual observer. In any case, the "free market" itself does not resolve these issues - it always takes the government to step in and break up the monopolies.
This aside, the more important point is that in an economy based on "growth", it is only natural for a corporation to want to expand and hence dominate. After all, that is the basis of economic stability in the modern world - expansion. Expansion of any corporation, always gravitates toward monopoly or cartel, for, again, the basic drive of competition is to out do your competitor. In other words, monopoly and cartel are absolutely natural in the competitive system. In fact, it is inevitable, for again, the very basis is to seek dominance over market share. The true detriment of this reality goes back to the point above- the inherent propensity of an "Establishment" to preserve its institution. If a medical cartel is influencing the FDA, then new ideas which void that cartel's income sources will often be fought, regardless of the social benefits being thwarted.
G) The market system is driven, in part, by Scarcity. The less there is of something, the more money that can be generated in the short term. This sets up a propensity for corporations to limit availability and hence deny production abundance. It is simply against the very nature of what drives demand to create abundance. The Kimberly Diamond Mines in Africa have been documented in the past to burn diamonds in order to keep prices high. Diamonds are rare resources which take billions of years to be created. This is nothing but problematic. The world we live in should be based on the interest to generate an abundance for the world's people, along with strategic preservation and streamlined methods to enable that abundance. This is a central reason why, as of 2010, there are over a billion people starving on the planet. It has nothing to do with an inability to produce food, and everything having to do with an inherent need to create/preserve scarcity for the sake of short term profits.
Abundance, Efficiency and Sustainability are, very simply, the enemies of profit. This scarcity logic also applies to the quality of goods. The idea of creating something that could last, say, a lifetime with little repair, is anathema to the market system, for it reduces consumption rates, which slows growth and creates systemic repercussions (loss of jobs, etc.). The scarcity attribute of the market system is nothing but detrimental for these reasons, not to mention that it doesn't even serve the role of efficient resource preservation, which is often claimed.
While supply and demand dictates that the less there is of something, the more it will be valued and hence the increased value will limit consumption, reducing the possibility of "running out"--- the incentive to create scarcity, coupled with the inherent short term reward which results from scarcity driven based prices, nullifies the idea that this enables strategic preservation. We will likely never "run out" of oil, in the current market system. Rather, the prices will become so high that no one can afford it, while those corporations who own the remaining oil, will make a great deal of money off of the scarcity, regardless of the long term social ramifications. In other words, remaining scare resources, existing in such high economic value that it limits their consumption, is not to be confused with preservation that is functional and strategic. True strategic preservation can only come from the direct management of the resource in question in regard to the most efficient technical applications of the resource in industry itself, not arbitrary, surface price relationships, absent of rational allocation.
2) Automation of Labor
As the trend of what appears to be an exponential increase in the evolution of information technology, robotics, and computerization- it has become apparent that human labor is becoming more and more inefficient in regard to meeting the demands necessary for supporting the global population. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen an increasing trend of "technological unemployment", which is the phenomenon where humans are replaced by machines in the work force. This trend, while debatable in regard to its ultimate long term effect on employment, creates a propensity to displace the worker and hence the consumer, slowing consumption.
That stated, this issue is actually overshadowed by a larger social imperative: That the use of machine labor (mechanization) is provably more efficient than human performance in virtually all sectors. If one was to track, for example, the performance output of factory production such as within the steel industry in the US for the past 200 years, we find that not only do less than 5% of the workforce now work in such factories, the efficiency and output capacities have increased substantially. The trend, in fact, now shows that "Employment is Inverse to Productivity." The more mechanization that occurs, the more productive an industry becomes.
Today, there are repetitive occupations which simply do not need to exist given the state of automation and computerization ("cybernation"). Not only would mechanization in these areas reduce the mundane burden and allow more free time for people, it also would, more importantly, increase productivity. Machines do not need breaks, vacations, sleep, etc. The use of mechanization on its own means to create many forms of abundance on this planet, from food to physical goods.
However to do this, the traditional labor system we have simply cannot exist. The reality is that our labor for income system is stifling progress in its requirement to "keep people working" for the sake of "economic stability". We are reaching a stage where the efficiency of automation is overriding and making obsolete the system of labor for income. This trend shows no sign of slowing, especially in regard to the now dominant Service Industry, which is increasingly being automated in the form of kiosks, robotics and other forms. Likewise, due to phenomena related to Moore's law and the growing in-expense of computers and machines, it is likely that it is simply a matter of time before corporations simply can not rationalize keeping human labor anymore, as the automation systems will become too cheap. Of course, this is a paradoxical market phenomenon, called by some theorists as "the contradiction of capitalism", for it is, in effect, removing the consumer (laborer) itself and hence reducing consumption.
Apart from those issues, it is important to also consider human labor contributions based on social relevance, not monetary gain. In a RBE, there would be no reason to have such occupations as Banking, Trading, Insurance, Cashiers, Brokers, Advertising... or anything related to the governance of money.
All human actions in the form of institutionalized labor should also have the highest social return. There is no logic in wasting resources, time, and energy on operations that do not have a direct and tangible function. This adjustment alone would remove millions of jobs, for the idea of "working for money" as a purpose would no longer exist.
In turn, all the poor demographic, shoddy goods, vanity items and culturally contrived creations designed to influence people for reasons of status (for the sole sake of profit) would also no longer exist, saving countless amounts of time and resources.
One final note on this issue: Some hear this and they assume that this voids the Communicative Arts and personal and social expression as far as painting, sculpture, music and the like. No. These mediums of expression will likely thrive like never before, for the amount of free time made available to people will permit a renaissance of creativity, invention, along with community and social capital. The burden of labor obligation will also reduce stress and create a more amiable culture.
There is a difference between creating for the sake of keeping society sustainable and efficient, focusing on resource preservation, product efficiency and strategic allocation of labor for those things which generate a tangible social return - and creating for personal expression, exploration, experimentation, and hence art, which has been a staple of human evolution since the dawn of time.
3) Technological Unification of Earth via "Systems" Approach
We live in a symbiotic/synergistic planetary ecosystem, with a cause-effect balance reflecting a single system of earthy operation. Buckminster Fuller defined this well when he referred to the planet as "Spaceship Earth". It is time we reflect this natural state of affairs in our societal affairs on this planet. The fact of the matter is that the human societies, which are dispersed across the globe, require resources which are also un-uniformly dispersed across the globe. Our current procedure for enabling resource distribution comes in the form of corporations which seek and claim "ownership" of our earthly resources, which they in turn "sell" to others, in the name of profit. The problems inherent in this practice are numerous again due to the self-interest based disposition inherent in selling anything for personal gain, as denoted before. But, this is only partially the issue in the larger scheme of things when it come to the reality that we live on a finite planet and resource management and preservation should be the number one concern in regard to human survival- especially with the population explosion of the last 200 years.
Two people are born every second on this planet and each one of those humans needs a lifetime of food, energy, water and the like. Given this fundamental need to understand what we have, the rates of depletion and, invariably, the need to streamline industry in the most efficient, productive way, a Global System of Resource Management must be put in place. It is just common sense. This is an extensive subject when one considers the technical, quantitative variables needed for implementation. However, for the sake of overview, it can be stated that the first step is a Full Global Survey of all earthly resources. Then, based on a quantitative analysis of the properties of each material, a strategically defined process of production is constructed from the bottom up, using such variables as negative retro-actions, renew-ability, etc. (More on this can be found in the section called Project Earth in the ZM lecture called "Where Are We Going?"). Then consumption statistics are accessed, rates of depletion monitoring, distribution logically formulated, etc. In other words, it is a full Systems Approach to earthly resource management, production and distribution; with the goal of absolute efficiency, conservation and sustainability. Given the mathematically defined attributes, as based on all available information at the time, along with the state of technology at the time, the parameters for social operation in the industrial complex become self evident, with decisions arrived at by way of computation, not human opinion. This is where computer intelligence becomes an important tool for social governance, for only the computation ability/programming of computers can access and strategically regulate such processes efficiently, and in real time. This technological application is not novel, it is simply 'scaled out' from current methods already known.
4) Access over Property
The concept of property, unannounced to most people today, is a fairly new social concept. Before the neolithic revolution, as extrapolated from current hunter and gatherer societies existing today, property relationships did not exist as we know them. Neither did money or even trade in many cases. Communities existed in an egalitarian fashion, living within the carrying capacity of the regions and the natural production built in. It was only after direct agricultural development was discovered, eventually proceeding with resource acquisition by ship traders and the like - up to the modern day of power establishments and corporations, - that property became the highly defined staple of society as we know it today.
With that understood, which dismisses the common notion that property is a result of some kind of empirical "human nature", the notion of "no property" is also today often blindly associated with "Communism" and the works of Karl Marx. It is important to point out the TZM advocation of no property is derived from logical inference, based almost explicitly upon strategic resource management and efficiency, not any surface influence by these supposed "Communist" ideals. There is no relation between the two, for communism was not derived from the needs to preserve and manage resources efficiently. Communism, in theory and practice, was based on a social/moral relativism which was culturally specific - not environmentally specific - which is the case with a RBE.
The real issue relevant to meeting human needs is not ownership - it is access. People use things, they do not "own" them. Ownership is a non-operational, protectionist advent, derived from generations of scarcity over resources, currently compounded by market based adverting which supports status/class division for the sake of monetary gain . To put it another way, ownership is a form of controlled restriction, both physically and ideologically. Property as a system of controlled restriction, coupled with the monetary value inherent and hence the market consequences is unsustainable, limiting and impractical.
In a RBEM, the focus moves from static ownership to strategic access, with a system designed for society to obtain access as needed. For example, rather than owning various forms of recreational sporting equipment, Access Centers are set up, typically in regions where such actions occur, where a person simply "checks out" the equipment- uses it and returns it. This "library" type arrangement can be applied to virtually any type of human need. Of course, those reading this who have been conditioned into a more individualistic, materialistic mindset often objects with claims such as " what if I want green, custom golf clubs and only white are available?". This is a culturally contrived, biased reservation. The issue in question is utility, not vanity. Human expression has been molded by the needs of the current market based system (consumption) into values which are simply nonfunctional and irrelevant. Yes, this would require a value adjustment to quality, rather than identity. The fact is, even for those who object from the standpoint of their interest in personal identity, the overarching social ramifications of such an social approach will create benefits that will greatly overshadow any such arbitrary personal preference, creating new values to replace the outdated ones.
These include : (a) No Property Crime: In a world of access rather than ownership, without money, there is no incentive to steal, for there is no resale value. You can not steal something no one owns and you certainly couldn't sell it. (b) Access Abundance: It has been denoted that the average automobile sits in parking spaces for the majority of its life span, wasting space and time. Rather than having this wasteful consequence of the ownership system, one car could facilitate a large number of users in a given region, with only a fraction of the production/resource needs. [c) Peak Efficiency of Production: Unlike today, where the market system must perpetuate inherently inferior products for the sake of economic turnover, we could actually design goods to last, using the best materials and processes strategically available. We no longer make "cheap" products to serve a poor demographic ( which is the majority). This attribute alone will save cataclysmic amounts of resources, while also enabling a society to have access to goods and services they would never have had in a world based on money, inherent obsolescence, and property.
5) Self-Contained/Localized City and Production Systems.
There are many brilliant engineers who have worked to tackle the issue of industrial design, from Jacque Fresco, to Buckminster fuller to Nicola Tesla. Behind such designs, such as Jacque Frescos' famed Circles cities or Fuller's Geodesic Dome, rests a basic train of thought : Strategic Efficiency and Maximization of Productivity.
For example, Fresco's "circular city" is constructed of a series of "belts", each serving a social function, such a energy production, research, recreation, living, etc. Each city is a hence a system, where all needs are produced in the city complex, in a localized fashion, whenever possible. For example, renewable energy generation occurs near the outer perimeter. Food production is produced closer to the middle in industrial sized greenhouses.
This is very different in its logic from the "globalization" based economy we live in today, which wastes outrageous amounts of energy and resources due to unneeded transport and labor processing. Likewise, transportation within the city is strategically created to eliminate the use of detached automobiles, except for rare cases, such as emergency vehicles. Homes are created to be micro-systems as well, with as much power generation occurring internally, such as from sunlight absorbed by the building structure using photovoltaic technology. More information on these city system can be found at www.thevenusproject.com.
The Geodesic Dome, perfected by Buckminster Fuller, offer another efficiency oriented medium within the same train of thought. Fuller's goal was to build designs to do more with fewer resources. He noticed problems inherent in conventional construction techniques, and recognized the indigenous strength of naturally occurring structures. The advantages include: much stronger than a conventional building while using less material to construct; domes can be built very quickly because they are of a modular prefab construction and suit being mass produced; They also use less energy to keep warm/cool than a conventional box structure. More information can be found at http://www.bfi.org.
In the end, the fundamental interest is, again, sustainability and efficiency on all levels, from the "housing deign" to the "earth design". The market system actually fights this efficiency due to the broken, competitive nature inherent.
6) Science as the Methodology for Governance
The application of "the scientific method for social concern" is oft-repeated mantra for the basis of social operation in a RBEM. While the obviousness of this in regard to industry is simple enough to understand, it is important to also realize its value in regard to human behavior. Science, historically speaking, has often been derailed as a cold, restrictive discipline, reserved for the sake of mere technology and invention. Little regard seems to be currently given to its use in the understanding of human behavior.
Superstitious thought, which has been powerfully dominant in human evolution, has worked on the basis that the human being was somehow detached from the physical world. We have "souls"; "spirits"; we are "divine"; we are related/guided by an all seeing, all knowing, controlling god, etc.
Conversely, yet oddly similarly, there is an argument that humans have "free will" in their decisions and that we have the open ability to choose our actions, absent of the influence of our environment or even education. Now, while the vastness of the prior two statements and many reading those could find numerous cultural arguments to claim the contrary, this doesn't change the basic reality that we humans have historically liked to think that we are special and unique from the rest of the organisms and natural phenomena around us.
However, as time has gone on, it has become increasingly obvious that we are not special and that there is no such thing as "special" in the natural world...for everything is special based on the uniqueness of all organisms. There is no reason to assume the human being is any more important or intrinsically different or special than a mole, a tree, an ant, a leaf or a cancer cell. This isn't "New Age" rhetoric - it is fundamental logic. We are physical phenomena - nothing more or less.
We are greatly influenced by our culture and our values and behaviors can only mostly be a result of our conditioning, as external phenomena interacts with our genetic predispositions. For example, we have a notion called "talent", which is another word for a genetic predisposition to a given behavior, or set of behaviors. A piano prodigy might have an inherent ability that enables them to learn more quickly and perform in a more acute way than another, who has spent the same time in practice, but doesn't have the genetic predisposition. Be that as it may, that "talented" person still had to learn 'what a piano was' and how to play it. In other words, genes are not autonomous initiators of commands. It takes an environmental trigger to allow for the propensity to materialize.
At any rate, it is not the point of this article to expand on the argument of "nature and nurture". The point is that we have proven to be scientifically defined and a product of a traceable causality and it is this understanding that can allow us to slow and even stop the aberrant, or "criminal" behavior we see in society today such a abuse, murder, theft and the like. The logic, once the effects of human conditioning are understood, is to remove the environmental attributes which are enabling the reactions.
Just as an abused dog who has been starved for a week might have a knee jerk reaction to react very violently to an otherwise innocuous passerby, we humans have the same behavior dynamic. If you don't want people to steal food, do not deprive them of it. It has been found that prisons are now generating more violence than they are curbing. If you teach a child to be a hateful racist, then he will carry those values into the rest his life, very often. Human values and hence human behavior are shaped by the environment in a cause and effect based way, no different than a leaf being blown by the wind.
In a RBEM, the central focus in regard to removing aberrant human actions is not to "punish them", but to find the reasons for their offensive actions and work to eliminate them. Humans are products of their environment and personal/social reform is a scientific process.
Breast cancer remains the most common malignancy among Western women and accounts for 22.9% of all cancers in women across the globe. In 2008, breast cancer was reported as the cause of over 450,000 deaths worldwide.
Cannabinoids and Cancer
Although the medical properties of marijuana were first documented by human civilization over a thousand years ago, the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids – the medical compounds found in marijuana – in the treatment of cancer has only been discovered recently. Since the late 1990s, numerous preclinical studies have demonstrated the antitumor effects of cannabinoids in a variety of cancers.
Studies show that cannabinoid receptors are over-expressed in the tumor cells of certain cancers, such as cancers of the liver, lung, prostate and breast. Thus, researchers have been led to believe that the endocannabinoid system may be up-regulated in cancer in an innate biological effort to fight off this disease.
Studies also show that when cannabinoids are administered and bind to these receptors, they are able to inhibit cancer cell growth by preventing the proliferation of cancer cells and by inducing cancer cell death (apoptosis). Furthermore, cannabinoids have been found to impair both tumor angiogenesis – the increase in localized blood flow induced by tumor cells – and metastasis – the spreading of cancer to other organs.
Cannabinoids and Breast Cancer
While medical advancements in breast cancer have progressed in recent decades, certain breast tumors continue to be resistant to conventional treatments. Breast cancer is comprised of tumors that are distinct in their molecular profiles, leading medical professionals to categorize the disease into 3 main subtypes.
Research suggests that synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (mainly THC and CBD) may be useful in treating all 3 subtypes of breast cancer, with the strongest evidence of therapeutic potential pointing to treatment of HER2-positive and triple-negative breast tumors. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids is particularly important for patients with triple-negative breast cancer, as there is no standard therapy that currently exists and prognosis for this group of patients is poor.
In addition to their anti-cancer effects, research also shows that cannabinoids are considerably safer and less toxic than conventional treatments. Cannabinoids are non-toxic to non-tumor cells and are well tolerated by patients – only eliciting relatively mild side-effects such as dizziness and fatigue.
“This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects.” – Dr. Sean McAllister
In 2007, Dr. Sean McAllister and his team of researchers were one of the first to discover that CBD’s cancer-fighting properties could be successfully applied to breast cancer.
As it turns out, cannabinoids can provide a variety of other benefits in the treatment of cancer, including the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with standard chemotherapeutic treatments and reduction of cancer-associated pain. Research also shows that, when combined with conventional cancer treatments, cannabinoids are able to induce a synergistic action against cancer and tumor cells, suggesting that the combination of conventional and cannabinoid-based treatments may more powerful than the administration of either treatment alone.
Clinical Applications: The Current State
Unfortunately, scientific research on the effects of cannabinoids on breast cancer has been limited to preclinical trials involving cell cultures and animal models. Researchers believe that further preclinical trials are necessary to identify which patient population is the most appropriate for cannabinoid treatment and which cannabinoids specifically present the best therapeutic option for patients before trials can advance to the clinical stage.
Until these factors are established, it is unlikely that oncologists will be willing to prescribe cannabinoid-based medicine for the treatment of breast cancer, despite the fact that research authors continue to assert the need for health professionals to be aware of cannabinoid research.
In a recent update (2013) published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, associate editor Susan Weiss Behrend concluded:
“…cannabinoids have demonstrated antitumor activity in preclinical breast cancer models. Practicing oncology professionals need to be aware of the clinical potential of these agents…” – Susan Weiss Behrend, RN
While medical marijuana remains inaccessible for most, cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals such as Marinol and Cesamet (oral capsules of synthetic THC) are widely available to cancer patients for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea. As well, Sativex (a natural-cannabinoid derived mouth spray) has been approved in Canada for the treatment of cancer-associated pain.
As modern cannabinoid research flourishes and continues to provide strong evidence of the cancer-fighting effects of these compounds, patients should remain optimistic about the future of cancer research and the emerging role of marijuana-based treatments that may one day take center stage in the battle against this devastating disease.
Recent findings suggest that medical marijuana may be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer – the most common cancer diagnosed in men and the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Prostate cancer is a growing public health concern with the number of cases expected to triple over the next 10 years.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate gland of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer tends to affect the aging population and is believed to arise from a combination of genetic and dietary factors.
While screening methods have made great strides in recent years in identifying prostate cancer during its early stages, metastatic prostate cancer – cancer that has spread to other parts of the body – remains an important clinical problem, with 5% of prostate cancer cases presenting as a metastatic disease. Prostate cancer spreads most often to bones and lymph nodes, resulting in pain, disability and impaired daily functioning.
When prostate cancer is localized, patients are most commonly treated with surgery or radiotherapy. However, approximately one-third of patients that are treated with these conventional methods will develop metastases, at which point androgen withdrawal becomes the most effective form of therapy. Even still, prognosis for patients with prostate cancer is poor and researchers continue to pursue new lines of treatment.
How Can Marijuana Help?
In recent years, researchers have investigated the endocannabinoid system as a potential target for the treatment of prostate cancer. Studies show that cannabinoid receptors occur naturally in the human prostate and are found in even higher concentrations in cancerous prostate cells, leading experts to believe that the endocannabinoid system may be one of the body’s natural mechanisms for fighting cancer.
In 2005, researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that administration of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55212-2 resulted in a decrease in cell viability and increased apoptosis (cell death) of prostate cancer cells. The researchers also found that, unlike cancerous cells, normal prostate cells were unaffected by the treatment.
Another study published in 2009 was able to confirm the anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids on prostate cancer cells using a different set of cannabinoids, one which mimicked the action of anandamide – a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the human body.
Interestingly, research shows that marijuana derivatives are not just useful in fighting the growth of cancerous prostate cells. The same 2005 study also found that stimulation of cannabinoid receptors resulted in a decrease in the expression of androgen receptors and PSA secretion. Androgen receptors are known to facilitate the progression of prostate cancer and PSAs are considered the most sensitive biomarker for prostate cancer to date – lending further support to the belief that cannabinoid-based treatments may prevent the progression of this disease.
Medical Marijuana and Cancer
The cancer-fighting properties of medical marijuana and cannabinoids are not unique to prostate cancer. In fact, cannabinoids have been found to demonstrate anti-tumoral and anti-cancer properties in a variety of cancers, including cancers of the liver, breast and lung.
Studies show that cannabinoids exert anti-tumoral effects by decreasing the viability, proliferation, adhesion and migration of various cancer cells. Furthermore, cannabinoids have been found to elicit anti-cancer effects by inhibiting cell proliferation and migration, inducing cell death, inhibiting the blood supply of tumors (angiogenesis), and modulating the immune response.
Medical marijuana provides another key benefit to patients with cancer in the form of pain relief. Numerous studies have found cannabinoids to possess analgesic properties that may be of comparable or even greater effectiveness than widely prescribed opioid treatments. Further evidence suggests that a combination of opioid and medical marijuana treatments may provide greater pain relief than either treatment on its own.
While medical marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I substance under US federal law, recent reports from national health organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have come out in acknowledgment of marijuana’s cancer-fighting potential.
Unfortunately, clinical trials have yet to investigate the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana in prostate cancer, making it unlikely for any oncologist to consider the use of cannabinoid-based treatments at present time. However, a number of cannabinoid medications such as Marinol and Sativex have been approved for use by patients who suffer from cancer-related pain and nausea.
Numerous studies conducted in the 1970s found that marijuana was a surprisingly effective treatment for patients suffering from intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.
Yet 40 years later, many health care professionals still appear to be in the dark about medical marijuana’s potential for the treatment of this disease.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which increased fluid pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, eventually leading to vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is age-related and most prevalent among the elderly – affecting approximately 1% of people over 60 and more than 9% of people over 80.
Intraocular pressure (IOP) is both a symptom and risk factor for glaucoma and is believed to play a major role in the deterioration of the optic nerve. IOP refers to elevated levels of pressure inside the eye and most treatments for glaucoma are aimed at reducing IOP.
How Can Marijuana Help?
Although a variety of treatments are available to patients suffering from glaucoma, some respond poorly or are unable to tolerate the side-effects. In these instances, medical marijuana may be considered as an alternative treatment.
A number of studies published in the 1970s showed that marijuana (when smoked or eaten) could lower IOP in patients with glaucoma by approximately 25% – a reduction comparable to that of standard glaucoma treatments available today. Additionally, a dose-response effect was observed, meaning the more marijuana a patient consumed, the higher the reduction in IOP that resulted.
However, the studies also showed that the effects of medical marijuana on IOP could only last between 3 to 4 hours. Since IOP needs to be controlled continuously in the treatment of glaucoma, a patient would have to administer marijuana to themselves every 3-4 hours of every day in order to fulfill a proper treatment regime.
This is an obvious set back for patients with glaucoma wishing to treat themselves with medical marijuana.
How Does It Work?
The explanation for why marijuana reduces IOP remains unknown, although experts have a few theories.
Scientists originally thought that the reduction in IOP was a result of the overall drop in blood pressure caused by marijuana intake. However, upon the discovery of cannabinoid receptors within the human eye, researchers realized that the endocannabinoid system – the body’s natural cannabinoid system – played a much larger role in the regulation of ocular functions than originally thought.
Experts now believe that cannabinoids play a direct role in the regulation of IOP and that harnessing their influence may be the key to developing more effective treatments for glaucoma.
Looking into the Future
The discovery of localized cannabinoid receptors within the eye has led researchers to take another look at topical applications (ie. eye drops) of marijuana.
Initial attempts at administering cannabinoids through eye drops were a failure due to the insoluble nature of the compounds. However, researchers are working on novel ways of increasing the solubility of cannabinoids so that receptors of the eye can be exclusively targeted without triggering any of the psychoactive effects associated with the use of medical marijuana.
Cannabis-based medications are of particular interest to researchers because of their potential to do much more than just lower IOP. Studies suggest that cannabinoids could provide many other benefits in the treatment of glaucoma, such as restoring circulation, inhibiting cell death and minimizing free radical damage.
This incredible combination of benefits has led some experts to believe that cannabis-based medications may become the future standard for treating glaucoma.
Likewise, research has also shown that lifetime chronic pain is strongly linked with a higher rate of marijuana use.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is a major public health concern, affecting approximately 10% of the Canadian and US population. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting for more than 6 months or extending past the expected recovery time for an injury or medical intervention. Experts say that chronic pain is a highly variable condition that may be a result of a number of underlying causes. As such, conventional treatments vary in effectiveness and there remains a significant group of patients for whom traditional pharmaceuticals are ineffective.
How Can Marijuana Help?
Overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that cannabinoids – the medical compounds found in marijuana – have powerful pain-relieving (analgesic) properties. Cannabinoids exert their analgesic properties through their interaction with the cannabinoid receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body, but are most prominent in the brain and spinal cord. Studies show that when cannabinoids bind to the receptors in nerve and brain cells, they are able to alter the way these cells perceive painful stimulus, ultimately reducing the intensity of pain that is interpreted by the brain.
Furthermore, research also shows that when skin or flesh is cut or injured, endocannabinoids – cannabinoids produced by the human body – are released to help modulate the pain associated with such injuries. As a result, experts believe that the endocannabinoid system may act as a biological mechanism for controlling pain in the human body, providing a unique opportunity for therapeutic applications.
Numerous studies over the past few years have found cannabinoids to be an effective analgesic for patients who suffer from pain associated with a variety of medical conditions including:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Studies have also found cannabinoids to be beneficial in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain.
Cannabinoids vs. Opioids
Most patients who suffer from chronic pain are familiar with the group of drugs known as opioids. Interestingly, experts note that human civilization has been using both opioid and cannabinoid-derived medications to treat pain for thousands of years. Opioids are the most widely prescribed treatment for pain relief worldwide, eliciting their effects through biological mechanisms that are independent of the endocannabinoid system.
Although the majority of health professionals continue to overlook cannabinoids as a potential treatment for chronic pain, recent studies have found these compounds to be of comparable effectiveness to opioids in models of acute pain and to be of even greater effectiveness than opioids in models of chronic pain. Although opioids remain as the most widely prescribed treatment for chronic pain, cannabinoids are believed to possess a number of advantages over traditional opioid treatments.
The greatest concern with the use of opioids is the risk of serious side effects (including death) as well as abuse and dependence. The opioid system is directly linked with breathing and, when taken in large doses, opioids can cause death due to lack of oxygen. Interestingly, studies show that cannabinoids can prevent the development of opioid tolerance and withdrawal symptoms by interrupting signals sent by the opioid receptor systems, thereby reducing both cravings for opioids and the severity of withdrawal. As such, experts believe that medical marijuana and its derivatives hold the potential to both relieve suffering from chronic pain and to reduce the risk of side effects that are associated with the use of opioid medications.
Recently, researchers have taken a strong interest in the interactions between cannabinoids and opioids and have found evidence supporting the fact that a combination of both forms of treatment may provide the greatest amount of relief to patients with chronic pain. A study published in 2011 by lead author Dr. Abrams found that patients who took morphine and oxycodone experienced greater pain relief after 5 days of concurrent medical marijuana treatment.
As of today, the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana and cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain represents one of the most well-documented findings of modern cannabinoid research. Health professionals and patients alike are becoming increasingly aware of the safer and more effective treatment for chronic pain that medical marijuana provides.
Unfortunately, despite the proactive measures taken by a number of countries to allow patients access to medical marijuana treatments, the vast majority of patients worldwide are still prohibited from accessing medical marijuana and cannabinoid-based medicines. In spite of these political barriers, the evidence for the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain is strong. Patients can only hope that lawmakers will adopt a more scientific approach to addressing the issue of medical marijuana in the coming future.