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Health

 

April 2024

Here’s What Marijuana Researchers Have to Say About 420 or ‘Weed Day’

*(CNN) — It’s 420 or “weed day,” and people around the world will be paying homage to their favorite guilty pleasure: marijuana.

Currently, 24 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia in the United States have legalized marijuana for recreational use, making it that much easier for people to take a toke or pop an edible at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 (if not all day).

But not everyone joins in on the 420 festivities. Some scientists who study weed have become increasingly concerned about the potential harm cannabis can do to the body, especially when smoked or vaped.

“When you burn something, whether it is tobacco or cannabis, it creates toxic compounds, carcinogens, and particulate matter that are harmful to health,” Dr. Beth Cohen, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told CNN previously via email.

Marijuana smoke may even be more harmful than tobacco because users hold the hot smoke in their lungs longer to maximize their high, Cohen said. A March 2021 study found teens were twice as likely to report “wheezing or whistling” in the chest after vaping marijuana than after smoking cigarettes or using e-cigarettes.

“I’m in Colorado, and on 420 the smoke billows out of places where people gather to celebrate — it’s like a factory smokestack,” said Robert Page II, a professor of clinical pharmacy and physical medicine at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Aurora.

“I worry when people are in an enclosed space because new data is beginning to show that secondhand marijuana smoke may be just as dangerous as the primary smoke,” Page said. “Like tobacco, cannabis affects the central nervous system, and there are side effects which tend to primarily be cardiovascular in nature.”

Any level of marijuana use raises the risk of stroke by 42% and heart attack by 25%, even if there is no prior history of heart disease and the person has never smoked or vaped tobacco, a recent study found. Weed has also been linked to cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation; myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle; spasms of the heart’s arteries and a higher risk of heart failure.

Incredible Weight-loss: 70-Yr-old Saves His Own Life – Tells Story in ‘Saving Grandpa Bill’

*Willie “Bill” Davis, a 70-year-old African American grandpa, author, and speaker, is on a mission to transform lives through his debut book, “Saving Grandpa Bill.”

In the book, he reveals his journey from nearly 400 pounds to 150 pounds, and how he was able to accomplish this without fad diets, surgery, or medical procedures.

Through laughter, and maybe even a few tears, Willie talks about the failings of the typical American diet, the dangers of losing yourself in the American Dream, and the triumph of transforming your life by reclaiming and renewing your mind.

Endorsed by industry giants such as Mr. Will Dabish, co-founder, President and CEO of Powerhouse Gyms International, as well as Grammy award-winning Pastor Marvin L. Winans, Sr., Willie has intricately woven with his dedication to family, community, church, and personal growth into this book.

Shedding a remarkable 225 pounds in just 22 months — without resorting to surgeries, procedures, medical diet plans, pills, or gimmicks — Willie has defied the odds that were stacked against him, and he strives to he

For more information and/or to purchase his book, visit his official website at WillieBillDavis.com

His book is also available for purchase on Amazon

For interviews, speaking engagements or to order books in bulk, email info@williebilldavis.com or call 248-325-8635.

Civil Rights/Mental Health Advocate Areva Martin Urges Swift Reform After Autistic Teen Fatally Shot by Sheriff’s Deputie

*Los Angeles, CA – Following the heart-wrenching incident in Victorville, California, where Ryan Gainer a 15-year-old boy with mental health issues was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies, Areva Martin, a noted civil rights attorney and fervent advocate for mental health and disability rights, has released a statement demanding immediate action and underscoring the necessity for profound systemic reform.

“In a grievous continuation of violence, we mourn the loss of another young life in Southern California. Coming in the wake of the tragic shooting of Ryan Gainer, a 15-year-old autistic boy, this recent incident further exposes the critical shortcomings in our approach to mental health crises and law enforcement’s role in them.

“The loss of a 17-year-old boy, who found himself in a moment of profound distress, to law enforcement intervention is not just a family’s tragedy but a societal failure. The recurring theme of inadequate de-escalation tactics and the resort to lethal force, especially in situations involving individuals with mental health challenges, calls for immediate and unequivocal reform.

“Transparency, accountability, and a commitment to preserving life must be the guiding principles of our law enforcement. The partial disclosures and the delayed relaying of critical information do not serve the cause of justice or the community’s trust. This incident, much like Ryan Gainer’s, underscores the urgent need for law enforcement officers to receive comprehensive training in mental health crisis intervention and for the integration of mental health professionals in emergency responses.

“We stand in solidarity with the families affected by these tragedies and the community at large, advocating for a transparent investigation into these incidents. It is imperative that all involved officers’ body-camera footage be released in full to provide a clear and unobstructed view of the events leading to these fatal outcomes.

“Our hearts go out to the bereaved family, and we extend our full support during this incredibly challenging time. We urge the community, activists, and officials to unite in the demand for justice and the implementation of tangible changes in how mental health crises are managed. Together, we can work towards a future where compassion, understanding, and non-lethal interventions are the hallmarks of our response to those in need.”

“Action speaks louder than words. In response to these heart-wrenching incidents, we are convening a Town Hall meeting to foster dialogue, honor those we’ve lost, and work towards tangible solutions that prioritize empathy, understanding, and non-lethal interventions,” Areva Martin stated.

Martin added: “This is a call to our community members to join us in this vital conversation, as we strive to effect real change and ensure the safety and dignity of all individuals, especially the most vulnerable among us.”

The Town Hall is part of the Special Needs Network’s annual Tools 4 Transformation Conference. It aims to bring together community leaders, experts in the field, and law enforcement to explore effective strategies for improving interactions and support systems for those with autism and mental health challenges. This collaborative effort marks a significant step towards a more inclusive and compassionate society.

Town Hall Details:
Date:   Saturday, April 13, 2024
Location:  California State University, Dominguez Hills, Innovation & Instruction Building,
1000 E Victoria St., Carson, CA 90747
Time:   8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
RSVP:  Members of the public can RSVP here.

For more information, contact communications@snnla.org.

Oprah Winfrey Comes Clean on Her Weight-loss Drugs Journey

*On Wednesday evening Oprah Winfrey spoke with Gayle King and Charles Barkley about why she decided to turn to weight-loss drugs after years of focusing on diet and exercise.

Back in December, Winfrey publicly disclosed her use of weight loss medication and expressed solidarity with those who also rely on prescription drugs such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, Victoza, and Wegovy.

“For the first time after taking the medication, I realized that all these years, I believed those who didn’t struggle with dieting were simply exercising superior willpower. But now I understand: it wasn’t about willpower; they just weren’t consumed by thoughts of food like I was,” admitted Winfrey, reflecting on her own experience.

Acknowledging the impact of weight-loss medication on her own life, Winfrey revealed: “I’m no longer preoccupied with what my next meal will be.” She incorporates the medication into her routine alongside activities like hiking 3 to 5 miles daily, running, strength training, and maintaining a balanced diet.

Check out what Oprah told Gayle and Barkley on CNN’s “King Charles,” below.

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