Scientists have discovered that a powerful chemical component of the illegal drug can regulate blood glucose levels.
The pill’s makers say the potential new treatment has shown “promising results” and could become a major new weapon in the fight against Type-2 diabetes.
A simple pill to tackle the condition will be welcomed by the millions already struck down by the illness.
Although the condition can be turned if people adopt simple lifestyle changes to help them lose weight, a revolutionary new treatment could help the thousands of patients who do not respond to the commonly used drug, metformin.
Type-2 diabetes patients suffer from lack of insulin, the hormone which helps to control blood sugar levels.
While some can treat the Type-2 illness by making changes to diet, others have to take metformin.
However, this drug can become ineffective in the long term for many patients.
Usually, patients who do not respond to metformin alone are offered other drugs as well.
But these can lead to low blood sugar levels and weight gain putting patients at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Now, drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals has reported results from a phase two study which has shown its cannabis-based drug, known as GWP42004, has potential as a new treatment for Type-2 diabetes.
The study looked at a number of significant outcomes of the treatment in patients with the condition and showed consistent evidence of anti-diabetic effects.
Dr Garry Tan, consultant physician at NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, and the study’s principal investigator, said: “The positive findings from this early stage exploratory study are very encouraging.
“If larger studies confirm these findings, GWP42004 would have the potential to offer a treatment option within one of the largest therapeutic areas where there still exist serious unmet medical needs.”
By the looks of their home, Tony and Christine Clark are raising two rambunctious 7-year-old boys. Model train tracks and Monopoly pieces are scattered on tables and cartoons flicker on the TV set.
But the Clarks' two sons are grown men who share only the same interests and emotional fluctuations of little boys. Like the character portrayed by Brad Pitt in the 2008 film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons," Matthew, 39, and Michael, 42, are aging backwards.
Diagnosed with a terminal form of leukodystrophy, one of a group of extremely rare genetic disorders that attack the Myelin, or white matter, in the nervous system, spinal cord, and brain. In the Clarks' case, the condition has not only eroded their physical capacities, but their emotional and mental states as well. Only six years ago, both brothers were holding down jobs and growing their families. Today, they spend their days in the care of their parents, both in their sixties, playing with Mr. Potato Head, fighting over Monopoly, and in rare lucid moments, struggling to understand why their lives have changed so dramatically.
Before the Clark Brothers were diagnosed, they were living independent lives. Michael served in the Royal Air Force and later became a cabinet maker. Matthew worked in a factory and was raising a teenage daughter. Tony and Christine, meanwhile, had retired and moved from the UK to Spain. Then in 2007, both of their sons fell off the radar. They stopped returning their parents' calls and texts, and as the Clark brothers' conditions developed, their lives fell apart.
Should parents get their kids' genome sequenced?
Michael surfaced in a soup kitchen, and was referred to medical experts by social workers. After an MRI scan, he was diagnosed with the incurable degenerative disorder. Soon after Matthew received the same news. In the U.S. alone, about 1 in 40,000 children are born with a form of the neurodegenerative disease, according to Dr. William Kintner, President of the United Leukodystrophy Foundation. While some forms of the disorder are potentially treatable if discovered in the earliest stages and not all cause an emotional regression, the brothers are unlikely to be cured. "It's very difficult to do anything once progression has occurred," Dr. Kintner tells Yahoo! Shine.
With their train set.(Courtesy of Channel4)
As of April, when the Clarks were first written about in the British press, their mental age was 10. "We will be out walking and things which might interest a toddler interest them, the other day we were walking home when Michael saw a balloon and pointed it out to us," father Tony Clark, told The Telegraph last spring. Today, the brothers are even younger mentally. "Just like small children, they wake up a lot during the night," mom Christine said in an interview published in The Independent this week. "I was up seven times with them last night." After learning of their diagnoses, Tony and Christine returned to the UK and moved in with their sons. Their daily struggles as a family have been chronicled in a British documentary, "The Curious Case of the Clark Brothers," airing Monday in the UK.
Earlier this year, Matthew became a grandfather, when his daughter had a son. But the news for the family was bittersweet, as the Clark brothers' mental age continued to creep backwards. "There's no return to them being cute little boys," said Christine, who regularly manages their tantrums and fights over Monopoly. "They're big strong men—and that presents a quite different set of problems." More recently, even their physical strength began deteriorating. "A few weeks ago, they could still manage with a knife and fork, but now that's getting too difficult for them—they get the food onto their forks, but somehow it all falls off before it reaches their mouths," she said.
Now walking is the next hurdle; Matthew is already confined to a wheelchair.
"The likelihood that they're on a terminal course is fairly certain, but who knows?" says Dr. Kintner, who is familiar with the Clark case but didn't meet the brothers. "If they were citizens of U.S., we'd try to get them to the National Institute of Health for diagnostic work, but in the UK the system is different. There is no comparable organization with genetic diseases, so it's a little more difficult there."
Dr. Kintner estimates there are several million cases of one of the estimated 40 types of leukodystrophies in the U.S., but an exact number is hard to pinpoint. The different forms of the disorder are still being identified and tests for each known type are still being developed. "It's going to take a long time," says Dr. Kintner. "I hope in my lifetime I see a cure for some of them."
A preview for the British documentary on the Clark Brothers airing on the UK's Channel 4.
Is the human species doomed to intellectual decline? Will our intelligence ebb away in centuries to come leaving our descendants incapable of using the technology their ancestors invented? In short: will Homo be left without his sapiens?
This is the controversial hypothesis of a leading geneticist who believes that the immense capacity of the human brain to learn new tricks is under attack from an array of genetic mutations that have accumulated since people started living in cities a few thousand years ago.
Professor Gerald Crabtree, who heads a genetics laboratory at Stanford University in California, has put forward the iconoclastic idea that rather than getting cleverer, human intelligence peaked several thousand years ago and from then on there has been a slow decline in our intellectual and emotional abilities.
Although we are now surrounded by the technological and medical benefits of a scientific revolution, these have masked an underlying decline in brain power which is set to continue into the future leading to the ultimate dumbing-down of the human species, Professor Crabtree said.
His argument is based on the fact that for more than 99 per cent of human evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherer communities surviving on our wits, leading to big-brained humans. Since the invention of agriculture and cities, however, natural selection on our intellect has effective stopped and mutations have accumulated in the critical “intelligence” genes.
“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas and a clear-sighted view of important issues,” Professor Crabtree says in a provocative paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics.
“Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2,000 to 6,000 years ago,” Professor Crabtree says.
“The basis for my wager comes from new developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology that make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile,” he says.
A comparison of the genomes of parents and children has revealed that on average there are between 25 and 65 new mutations occurring in the DNA of each generation. Professor Crabtree says that this analysis predicts about 5,000 new mutations in the past 120 generations, which covers a span of about 3,000 years.
Some of these mutations, he suggests, will occur within the 2,000 to 5,000 genes that are involved in human intellectual ability, for instance by building and mapping the billions of nerve cells of the brain or producing the dozens of chemical neurotransmitters that control the junctions between these brain cells.
Life as a hunter-gatherer was probably more intellectually demanding than widely supposed, he says. “A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate,” Professor Crabtree says.
However, other scientists remain sceptical. “At first sight this is a classic case of Arts Faculty science. Never mind the hypothesis, give me the data, and there aren’t any,” said Professor Steve Jones, a geneticist at University College London.
“I could just as well argue that mutations have reduced our aggression, our depression and our penis length but no journal would publish that. Why do they publish this?” Professor Jones said.
“I am an advocate of Gradgrind science – facts, facts and more facts; but we need ideas too, and this is an ideas paper although I have no idea how the idea could be tested,” he said.
THE DESCENT OF MAN
The human brain and its immense capacity for knowledge evolved during this long period of prehistory when we battled against the elements
The invention of agriculture less than 10,000 years ago and the subsequent rise of cities such as Athens relaxed the intensive natural selection of our “intelligence genes”.
As genetic mutations increase over future generations, are we doomed to watching soap-opera repeats without knowing how to use the TV remote control?
The fruits of science and technology enabled humans to rise above the constraints of nature and cushioned our fragile intellect from genetic mutations.
We all deeply understand the catastrophic consequences of nuclear waste contaminating our communities. But residents of Koriyama, Japan face the real possibility of nuclear pollution of their parks, schools and neighborhoods -- but they don't know exactly where.
Japanese law does not require nuclear storage sites to be labeled or groundwater to be tested for contamination. In Koriyama, more than 1,000 schools and hundreds of parks and residential areas where kids play are nuclear storage sites.
The affects of radiation pollution is far too serious to tolerate such laissez-faire regulation of waste storage. It's time for Japanese officials to come up with a new, transparent way to store nuclear waste.
Japan's plan to safely store waste is a wonderful next-step--but please do not move forward with this plan until the proper regulation and transparency are in place to protect the public!
Storing nuclear waste at on-site storage places like schools, parks, and residential areas is troublesome enough. But doing so sneakily, without any signs or fences indicating that contaminated debris sits in heaps right next to where children play, is a vast transparency issue that keeps parents worried about exposing their children to radiation.
Your comments added here.
Please also implement the proper safety precautions, regardless of where the waste is buried. The testing of nearby groundwater should be required, as we can't just assume that buried contaminated debris remain isolated and untouched by the water supply.
Stop letting regulation slide and make a clear, safe, and transparent plan for storing Japan's nuclear waste!
Uh wait a minute there sporto, studies have shown that at best, there may be some psychological dependency but in the true definition of “addiction” marijuana doesn’t even come close.
2. It leads to addiction to other drugs
Well, if you mean the gateway theory, that has been thoroughly debunked by modern science and what’s more, studies prove that the very black market nature of marijuana’s criminalization are the reason people are exposed to drugs that really are dangerous.
98% of all Cannabis users are dead end users, meaning they never move on to any other drug.
3. Marijuana is dangerous
Every dangerous drug has an LD50. This is the amount of drug that would be enough to kill 50% of the test subject population.
There is NO SUCH THING AS A LETHAL TOXIC DOSE OF MARIJUANA!
4. Marijuana has no accepted medicinal use
Really? Why then has it been used as medicine since the dawn of time? Why is there no treatment to keep a glaucoma patient from going blind apart from marijuana? The burden of proof is on you, not proponents of MMJ, history and science supports that position well.
5. Todays marijuana is stronger than it was in the 70’s
Your point is? Coffee is much better today than it was back in the days of percolators too? That doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad for you.
You use less. In the same way an espresso does not come in a regular coffee cup, it is a dosage matter.
6. Marijuana use is a barrier to success
Tell it to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Carl Sagan, Richard Branson, Sir Paul McCartney... Shall I go on?
7. More teens are in drug rehab for marijuana dependency than any other drug
What you have here is the classic mistaking correlation for causation. When you factor out teens who have been herded there at the point of a drug sentence from a Judge, then the argument falls on it’s face.
8. Smoking marijuana causes lung damage
On the contrary. Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA found that not only did smoking marijuana not cause lung damage, but among people who smoked cigarettes and marijuana, the marijuana mitigated lung damage caused by cigarettes.
9. If marijuana was legalized, more people would use it
You would think that but the truth is, in Countries that have legalized any drug, use has actually gone down.
10. If marijuana were legalized, there will be an increase in highway fatalities
In Colorado, after they made marijuana available over the counter under state law, drunk driving arrests went down 50%.
Give people a safer alternative and they will use it. People who use marijuana do it and drive now, marijuana is already here.
11. Buying marijuana supports terrorism
Prohibition of marijuana supports terrorism. No one is killing people in the streets of Chicago anymore because we ended alcohol prohibition. Marijuana prohibition is no different that the previous ill advised and unworkable policy.
12. Children will be exposed to marijuana more easily if it is legalized
When was the last time a drug dealer carded a buyer? They do not, but in a legal and regulated market such as alcohol or tobacco, access to marijuana is limited.
13. Marijuana is the “Devils Weed”
I give you Colossians 1:16: “ For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”
And just for good measure, how about the Apostle John?
John 1:3: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
Uh yeah so much for that one...
14. Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in the world
I would substitute “the most popular natural substance in the world” if you don’t want to sound like an “earth is flat” type...
People choose. When we have decided as a Country that alcohol is ok and that a certain amount of mind alteration is allowed as long as it is confined to lawful behavior, substances are just a choice.
Most rational people in the world understand and maintain that marijuana is a safer alternative to alcohol.
15. Marijuana decreases sexual potency and arousal
Got a cup and girly mag, let’s see?
16. “Smoking one marijuana joint is more harmful than being at the Bikini Atoll during nuclear testing.” Ronald Reagan
Sorry Gipper, ol pal, but “There you go again” with the rhetoric. Either that’s patently untrue or I am a medical miracle crossed with a super hero, because I have smoked around 3500 joints and I’m still smarter than that.
17. Only lowlifes use marijuana
Go back to #6. 17+6=23 or what I consider to be your IQ Didn’t see that coming did you?
18. Marijuana causes black men to crave white women
You live in a cave don’t YOU? That is called “Reefer Madness”
19. People on marijuana are violent
Ask any cop which house he wants to go to, the one where people drink alcohol or the one where the people use marijuana! They will always pick the marijuana users because they are NOT violent.
20. It has always been illegal
Wrong, marijuana prohibition is a relatively new phenomenon. Thousands of years of use by humans compared to 75 years of prohibition.
Once society developed past the clan stage, when barter, trade and so forth arose, it became the practice to place value on the products of human energy expended.
If one used one's energy to build a bow, go out hunting, kill an animal, process the carcass, and transport the meat back to be traded or bartered for, this gave that meat value. The bow components were free, as was the animal. The same was true for the farmer, who expended meaningful energy in tilling, sowing, tending, harvesting, and, if need be, transporting what that farmer produced.
The produce had value. Even the gatherer expended meaningful energy in seeking things to gather, then transporting the find back to be used as "money" for other things. The miner expended the meaningful energy to find the (free) ore, hew it out of the earth, and transport it.
From these beginnings, the practice of using coin and other objects arose to represent this meaningful energy expended when transporting large amounts of goods, as well using to acquire something another had but not having the specific thing the other wanted.
And from this, humans went on to bills when coins and jewels and other objects became too cumbersome.
And, lately, we have added electronic funds, as even bills are cumbersome in million unit, billion unit and trillion unit transactions. But the foundation of all these monetary units is the meaningful energy expended, whether human or resource-based (oil, coal, nuclear, etc.) energy.
Given this, it becomes clear that an addition of abundant energy - in the form of overunity ("free energy") and robotics (to replace human energy in necessary work nobody wants to do), the need for money in any form - barter, trade, work exchange, coin, bills, electronic funds - becomes unnecessary.
If one removes the cost of the energy - human and external - all down the line, what is left is freely given by this planet we inhabit.
Now, of course, many would say, "But there is no 'overunity' to be had!" And in that, they would be incorrect.
There have been many solutions to energy production and distribution which have been avidly suppressed and hidden by the power elite. They are fully aware that by adding energy which is free, their power over others, in the form of money, will dissipate, leaving each to control oneself but no others.
Though there are examples of things such as cars that run on water, extracting energy from the planet's magnetic field, and so on that have had patents bought and buried, or threats to lives (of the inventors themselves as well as their families), to actual murders, I know of one such technology that not only offers overunity, but also gravity control.
And, unlike most of these other examples, is negentropic (negative entropy) in its function. Cooling is seen in this technology, as opposed to heating.
That science/technology is electrogravitics.
Back in the 1950s, electrogravitics, with the Biefeld-Brown Effect as its foundation, was being pursued at all the major aerospace companies: Lockheed, Boeing, Convair, Lear and many others were excitedly exploring what electrogravitics had to offer.
Sometime, around 1959 or early 1960, this work became highly classified and, though ostensibly for its "weaponization" concerns, the true reason it became highly classified was because of its overunity capabilities. The power elite grasped that that was the biggest threat to their continued control.
As a source of energy, electrogravitics is ideal.
From it, we can have energy that is free of pollution, is easily constructed, and does not contribute to the entropy of the universe. Because it is so ideal, and because the power elite seem bent on Naziesque control of the planet - with "Patriot" Acts, NDAA's, TSA's, and other fascist enactments - it is vital that the awareness of such technology spread to the tipping point.
If we can achieve that, Humanity will demand this tech and free itself from:
Slavery (outright or wage slavery)
War (most wars are incited to ensure profit for the war suppliers and "infrastructure rebuilders")
The control of the many by the few
The love of money (the root of all evil)
The need to pay for education (going deeply into debt or forgoing education)
Products made to fail so as to ensure future sales
Hidden cures (cures are not a money-maker in the long run; sick People keep paying)
Corporate "farmers" paid to NOT produce food (so as to keep the prices inflated through supply and demand)
Doctors who are more interested in money than patients
"Voting" machines with proprietary software (why would a simple vote-counting program need to be proprietary? Why do we accept such things?)
Waste (presently supermarkets alone throw out hundreds of thousands of tons of food a month, distributing by profit and not need; other waste such as packaging can virtually be eliminated, products will not be made to break so as to ensure future sales)
There's more, but as one can see, just this list is an elimination of most of the problems we presently are beset with.
To the end of achieving the tipping point of awareness, I am offering a petition to the US Military (which presently controls the science of electrogravitics) to release this information.
I offer it here in the hopes that you sign - and not only that, spread the awareness of what I have presented and of the petition itself.
The unlucky few who do end up on a downward spiral of economic, social and physical disadvantage.
While we don’t know why some people don’t recover from an acute episode of pain, we do know that it’s not because their injury was worse in the first place. We also know that it’s not because they have a personality problem. Finally, we do know that, on the whole, treatments for chronic pain are not particularly successful.
This sobering reality draws up some interesting reflections on pain itself. What is pain? Is it simply a symptom of tissue damage or is it something more complex? One way to approach this second question is to determine whether it’s possible to have one without the other – tissue damage without pain or pain without tissue damage.
“Pain is usually triggered by messages that are sent from the tissues of the body when those tissues are presented with something potentially dangerous.” Image: grafvision/iStockphoto
And you can answer that one yourself – ever noticed a bruise that you have absolutely no recollection of getting? If you answered yes, then you have sustained tissue damage without pain. Ever taken a shower at the end of a long day in the sun and found the normally pleasantly warm water, painfully hot? That’s not the shower injuring you – it’s just activating sensitised receptors in your skin.
Such questions and their answers are of great interest to pain scientists because they remind us that pain is not simply a measure of tissue damage. What is pain? The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as an experience. Pain is usually triggered by messages that are sent from the tissues of the body when those tissues are presented with something potentially dangerous. The neurones that carry those messages are called nociceptors, or danger receptors. We call the system that detects and transmits noxious events “nociception”. Critically, nociception is neither sufficient nor necessary for pain. But most of the time, pain is associated with some nociception. The exact amount or type of pain depends on many things. One way to understand this is to consider that once a danger message arrives at the brain, it has to answer a very important question: “How dangerous is this really?” In order to respond, the brain draws on every piece of credible information – previous exposure, cultural influences, knowledge, other sensory cues – the list is endless. How might all these things modulate pain? The favourite theory among pain scientists relies on the complexity of the human brain. We can think about pain as a conscious experience that emerges in response to activity in a particular network of brain cells that are spread across the brain. We can call the network a “neurotag” and we can call the brain cells that make up the neurotag “member brain cells”. Each of the member brain cells in the pain neurotag are also member brain cells of other neurotags. If we have the phrase “slipped disc” in our brain for instance, it has to be held by a network of brain cells (we can call this the “slipped disc” neurotag). And it’s highly likely that there are some brain cells that are members of both the slipped disc neurotag and the back pain neurotag. This means that if we activate the slipped disc neurotag, we slightly increase the likelihood of activating the back pain neurotag.
Using this model, thinking that we have a slipped disc has the potential to increase back pain. But what if this piece of knowledge we have stored is inaccurate, just like our notion of a slipped disc? A disc is so firmly attached to its vertebrae that it can never, ever slip. Despite this, we have the language, and the pictures to go with it, and both strongly suggest it can.
When the brain is using this inaccurate information to evaluate how much danger one’s back is in, we can predict with confidence that, if all other things were equal, thinking you have a slipped disc and picturing one of those horrible clinical models of a slipped disc will increase your back pain. Self-perpetuating pain This is where our understanding of pain itself becomes part of a vicious cycle. We know that as pain persists the nociception system becomes more sensitive. What this means is that the spinal cord sends danger messages to the brain at a rate that overestimates the true danger level. This is a normal adaption to persistent firing of spinal nociceptors. Because pain is (wrongly) interpreted to be a measure of tissue damage, the brain has no option but to presume that the tissues are becoming more damaged. So when pain persists, we automatically assume that tissue damage persists.
On the basis of what we now know about the changing nervous system, this presumption is often wrong. The piece of knowledge that’s turning up the pain neurotag is actually being reinforced by itself! I think it goes like this: “more pain = more damage = more danger = more pain” and so on and so forth.
The idea that an inaccurate understanding of chronic pain increases chronic pain begs the question – what happens if we correct that inaccurate piece of knowledge?
We’ve been researching the answer to this for over a decade, and here’s some of what we’ve found: (i) Pain and disability reduce, not by much and not very quickly but they do;
(ii) Activity-based treatments have better effects;
(iii) Flare-ups reduce in their frequency and magnitude;
(iv) Long-term outcomes of activity-based treatments are vast improvements.
There’s compelling evidence that reconceptualising pain according to its underlying biology is a good thing to do. But it’s not easy. Our research group is continually looking for better ways of doing this, and we’re not the only ones. The idea of explaining pain has taken off in pain management programs and outpatients departments the world over. Clinicians need to rethink too What we know about how pain works is not just relevant to how we teach it to patients, we need to base our clinical decisions on it. This means abandoning Rene Descartes famous model of 1654. His drawing depicts a man with his foot in the fire and a “pain receptor” activating an hydraulic system that rings a bell in his head. Of course no one believes we have hydraulics making this happen, but the idea of an electrical circuit turning on the pain centre is still at the heart of many clinical practices across professional and geographic boundaries.
The type of thinking captured in Descartes’ model has led to some amazing advances in clinical medicine. But the evidence against it is now almost as compelling as that against the world being flat.
Of course, those sailors who never leave the harbour might hang on to the idea of a flat world. And, in the same way, there are probably clinicians who hang on to the idea of pain equalling tissue damage. I suspect they either don’t see complex or chronic pain patients, or, when they do, they presume that those patients are somehow faulty or psychologically fragile, or, tragically, are lying.
Perhaps they can continue to practice without ever leaving the harbour. The problems I want to solve clearly exist on the open seas.
Statele americane Colorado si Washington sunt primele care vor legaliza posesia si consumul de marijuana în scopuri recreative, dupa ce electoratul a votat aceasta masura.
"Credem ca voturile din Colorado au decis o abordare mai sensibila pe aceasta tema", spune Mason Tvert, liderul miscarii care este în favoarea legalizarii marijuanei. Doua posturi TV din Denver au confirmat deja optiunea electoratului.
În Colorado, dar si în alte state americane, marijuana este legala, daca aceasta este folosita în scopuri medicale
Cei care au votat în Oregon, au trebuit de asemenea sa raspunda daca sunt de acord cu legalizarea marijuanei, dar rezultatul chestinoarului de marti nu este pentru moment clarificat.
Cei care sustin aceste masuri spun ca "legalizarea ierbii" ar scadea semnificativ puterea cartelurilor de droguri si ar creste venituri substantiale la buget, provenite din taxele de comercializare. Cei care se opun acestei initiative spun ca este o masura ridicola, care ar atrage traficanti din alte state si s-ar încuraja astfel consumul în rândul tinerilor.
Noua lege din Colorado va permite persoanelor, care au împlinit 21 de ani, sa cumpere maxim 28 de grame de marijuana, din magazine speciale. Adultilor din acest stat li se va permite sa creasca maxim sase plante în propriile locuinte.
Statul Washington va pune la punct o licentiere a cultivatorilor, procesatorilor si magazinelor de marijuana, iar conditiile de consum sunt aceleasi cu cele din Colorado.
Guvernul Federal al SUA nu a fost niciodata de acord cu legalizarea stupefiantelor la nivel de stat. Procurorul General, Eric Holder, a spus în repetate rânduri, ca Departamentul de Justitie american va "pedepsi viguros" persoanele care poseda, fabrica sau distribuie marijuana în scopuri recreative, chiar daca acestea vor fi permise în unele state de pe teritoriul american.
Parents of elementary and middle school students in a small California town are protesting a tracking program their school recently launched, which requires students to wear identification badges embedded with radio frequency, or RFID, chips.
School superintendents struck a deal with a local maker of the technology last year to test the system to track attendance and weed out trespassers.
But students and parents, who weren't told about the RFID chips until they complained, are upset over what they say are surreptitious tactics the school used to implement the program. They also question the ethics of a monetary deal the school made with the company to test and promote its product, using students as guinea pigs.
"This is not right for our kids," said Michele Tatro, whose daughter received a badge. "I'm not willing for anybody to track me and I don't think my children should be tracked, either."
The InClass RFID system was developed by two local high school teachers in Sutter, California, who helped found the company, InCom, that markets the system. Last year, the company approached the principal and superintendent of Brittan Elementary School District with the idea of testing InClass. The company offered the elementary school a donation of "a couple thousand dollars," according to the school's attorney, Paul Nicholas Boylan, as compensation for possible inconveniences caused by the test.
Boylan said the plan seemed like a good idea at the time and that the outcry was "completely unanticipated."
"But these issues are far more complicated than they first looked," he said, admitting that "this is a test of something new. No one knows whether this technology is going to work or not." The system consists of a photo ID card affixed to a lanyard and worn around the neck. Embedded in the card is an RFID chip that contains a 15-digit number assigned to each student. As students pass beneath a doorway scanner on their way into a classroom, the scanner records the number and sends it to a server in the school's administrative office. The server translates the digits into names and sends an attendance list to the teacher's PDA, identifying all of the students who walked through the door. The teacher then visually verifies that the names on the PDA list match the students in the classroom.
The company installed the scanners and server last summer, but students only recently received the badges. InCom didn't return a call for comment, but according to a press release (PDF) on its website, the company plans to market the product nationwide next week at the American Association of School Administrators conference in Texas. Attorney Boylan said the school district stands to earn a royalty on future sales, and InCom has promised to install a schoolwide system at Brittan free of charge after the test is completed.
Brittan is the first school in California to use RFID, but not the first in the nation. Spring Independent School District near Houston, Texas, recently gave 28,000 students RFID badges to record when students get on and off school buses. The information is monitored by the police and school administrators to prevent child abductions and truancy. A handful of other schools have tested similar projects.
"The proliferation of RFIDs and their use in identity documents is of serious concern," Ozer said. "Not just for people with children but for all of us in terms of monitoring."
Last December, when her 13-year-old daughter, Lauren, mentioned that students at her school would be getting "nametags," Michele Tatro thought nothing of it.
"They've always had student IDs to get into dances and get discounts at football games," Tatro said. "So I didn't even fathom the tracking (aspect). I had never heard of RFID until it came to my doorstep."
Then, when Tatro collected Lauren from school a few weeks ago, her daughter was furious.
"She shoves (the badge) in front of me and says 'Look at this!'" Tatro said. "She's mad and exasperated because someone has forced this upon her, and she feels like she can't do anything about it."
The Tatros and the parents of another student told the school, which includes grades kindergarten through 8th grade, that their children wouldn't participate in the project. The school sent a letter threatening disciplinary action if students didn't participate. So the parents contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and other civil liberties groups. A handful of other parents have withdrawn their children from the test project as well.
"We tried talking to (the school superintendents) twice," Tatro said. "They didn’t see our concerns."
Parents and civil liberty groups are also concerned about who has access to the collected data.
Boylan said the system offers security advantages since administrators would immediately know if a student didn't show up for class and could notify parents quickly. School officials could also quickly identify anyone who didn't belong on campus if they weren't wearing an RFID badge. But the main draw is a more efficient and accurate way to track and verify attendance in order to receive state funds.
"In California, the funding of schools is based on attendance," Boylan said. "Therefore we want (attendance) to be as accurate as we can. If we are wrong for whatever reason, it means we are getting less money than we should be getting." The system provides an audit trail to back up the district's claims if the state questions their numbers. Boylan couldn't say how scanners above bathroom doors would help track attendance. InCom installed scanners outside 7th and 8th-grade classrooms at Brittan and above bathroom doors in a cafeteria. But Boylan noted that the bathroom scanners never worked properly anyway, and the school has since asked InCom to remove them.
Boylan said the school properly notified parents about the test, as the law requires, and got no complaints. He said the school held an open board meeting to discuss the test and posted public notices describing the essence of the test, but could not say where exactly the notices were placed.
"At the office, possibly in town," he said.
On Jan. 12, Brittan did announce in its weekly newsletter (PDF) that the school would soon require students to wear ID badges, but didn't mention RFID chips or scanners in classroom doors.
It said only that the school would soon issue "new safety ID badges" that students should wear "at all times" during normal school hours. The announcement also said students would be held accountable for the cost of replacing lost or destroyed badges.
Lauren Tatro said that when principal Earnie Graham distributed the badges, he didn't mention the RFID chips in them or give students a choice about wearing the badges.
"Students asked questions," Tatro said, "but they couldn’t really be answered very well. We got just the basics of what they were but nothing about the tracking."
A week after receiving parent complaints, the school scheduled a gathering to demonstrate the technology and answer questions, but notified parents only a day in advance.
"We're not opposed to technology," Tatro said. "We’re opposed to the way they're applying the technology. This is a test bed (to gauge) public acceptance of this. If they get away with it here, somebody else will try something even more invasive somewhere else."
Boylan said the school is currently discussing with the company how much data it needs to test the system. And the school has decided to allow students to opt out of wearing badges until it makes a formal decision about the status of the project next week.
But Tatro said that even if the school modifies or cancels the project, they plan to lobby schools to abandon such plans nationwide.
"We feel a bit of responsibility that we have to make this known," Tatro said. "We don't want to deal with another application of it somewhere else. Even if they retract, we will press forward in any lobbying to the appropriate people that we don't want this technology used in this application in society."