Cannabis vs Alcohol

So far the legalized cannabis industry is in its infant stage, there is not much data on overdoses available, but in Colorado alone there were a listed 14 overdoses of marijuana listed for 2017, none of which resulted in death.

While child exposure to marijuana is still a very real problem in those states that have legalized it, alcohol related deaths average around 88,000 per year in the U.S. for adults. Tobacco has a death toll related to it at around 440,000 per year.

Both alcohol and tobacco are still legal in every state in the the U.S., with Hawaii introducing a bill that will effectively ban tobacco smoking by 2024. Out of the seven states where Cannabis has been made legal, pedestrian walking deaths have increased slightly, while this has not been linked directly to cannabis, it is worth mentioning. The increase for all seven states combined is 5.8% which is an appreciable amount, up from 29, in 2017, there were 35, in 2018.

Out of all the states where the increases were noticed Oregon ranked 14th with Washington D.C. topping the list at a massive 133% increase. With Marijuana affecting the cardiovascular system and increasing blood pressure, it cannot be overdosed to death like alcohol can be.

Alcohol which can kill in just five minutes after too much is metabolized, can cause difficulty in breathing, decreased heart rate, body temperature fluctuation, and gag reflex, can can lead to coma and death.

Tobacco says it right on the packaging, may cause cancer, it should say, “will cause cancer,” low birth weight in babies has been attributed born to mothers who smoke, both alcohol and tobacco are considered much more addictive than marijuana.

Marijuana can impair your judgement, balance, coordination. There is a risk of harming yourself or others especially if driving impaired on both alcohol and marijuana, also because inhibitions are lowered unprotected sex is more likely when someone is under the influence of marijuana, and alcohol.

The long term effects of drinking alcohol are known, as well as smoking, but not much is known about the long term exposures to cannabis. Alcohol shows long term usage causes liver disease, fibrosis of the liver, and liver cancer.

Unlike alcohol, the long term effects of marijuana use are not yet well defined, but some some studies have shown possible reproduction issues with lowered sperm counts in men, worsening psychiatric issues for people who already were likely to have them, and that they were brought on at an earlier age by the usage of marijuana.

Marijuana smoking has been linked to bronchitis, and inflammation of the airways. There are cancelling out studies on whether marijuana smoking has a link to lung cancer, with one long term study saying it does, and another saying that it has actually been shown to reduce tumor size in those with cancer already and that it is likely to be a relief for cancer.

With the smoke differing in compounds that that of tobacco, not as many known carcinogens have been found to exist in the marijuana smoke.  There is concrete evidence that while a person’s brain is still developing, such as that of a child or teen, they should refrain from smoking marijuana, as it is important for the brain in it’s framework to be as unimpeded by outside interference as possible.

Smoking marijuana as a teen interferes with the connections being made in the brain as it matures, such as accumulating memories, data, and good experiences. While there are no known benefits to drinking alcohol, marijuana has shown to contain many beneficial compounds.

Compounds in marijuana have shown promise in fighting cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, glaucoma, PTSD, and eating disorders. With large scale marijuana usage going on, it will not be long before more studies are out to establish more data supporting these theories. 

Oregon showed a 24% drop in alcohol sales the first year cannabis was legalized across the state. The real reason many people think marijuana was initially made illegal and placed as a Schedule I Narcotic by the FDA was that the lobbyist from the alcohol industry knew cannabis was as unhealthy for their business as their product is for the American consumer.

The American Medical Association has requested Marijuana be studied for its health benefits every year since 1974, with a denial each and every time. Big Pharmaceutical had been opposed to the legalization of marijuana from inception, with marijuana being used to treat pain, and much less a risk for serious addiction “Big Pharma” stands to lose billions across the board.

Senator Gillibrand (D) NY  called out big pharma in 2018, telling them that their opposition to people lessening their pain while not wanting to risk addiction to opioids. She also said she thought big pharma was working behind the scenes to keep marijuana illegal because they would lose money, due to their production of opioids and Fentanyl. A big pharma company Insys Inc., who makes synthetic THC, and opioids, spent a half a million dollars to keep marijuana illegal in Arizona in 2016.  

Written by Many veterans are reporting to the Veterans Administration during their medical care, that marijuana is a viable treatment for their PTSD, so much so that the VA is doing a study to determine if it is. According to the Journal of Health and Economics marijuana is far less a danger than opiods to America, and opioids are legal with a prescription in all 50 states. Gillibrand has stated that she wants marijuana removed from the scheduled narcotics list and made legal across the U.S. 

Written by Shaemus

Another crushing quarter for the US Economy

With the last quarter of 2018 showing a robust addition of 300k jobs in the US market despite strong obstructionist rhetoric against Trump, he continues to amaze. His rapid deregulation and re-organization of America’s trade agreements has allowed businesses, both large, and small, to thrive once again in the world. 

With the initial tax break, and a constant tweaking President Trump has managed to keep the U.S. Economy on an even keel, despite constant pressures from the left. With the President seeking to keep the Federal Interest rate low, and keep the economy booming, the with the

Fed raising rates in December 2018, the stock market overreacted drastically, it has since corrected itself. Unemployment is listed at 4%, with a creation of 300,000 jobs for the last quarter, this was higher than expected, and since President Trump has taken office the financial reports have been better than expected in every quarter. 

Written by Charles C

Recent terminations in Oakridge have some wondering if it’s even legal

Oakridge embroiled in controversy started the first city council meeting for Oakridge in January of 2019, with Mayor Kathy Holston speaking of holding no grudges, and letting the past stay in the past, evidently that is not to be the case.

I spoke with a few of the recently let go Oakridge Fire Department Volunteers who said they were let go for inadequately attending training. Each person I spoke with said the same thing, they felt that they were let go because they do not agree with the Contractor for Oakridge Fire Department Michael Hansen, some even citing that it was political revenge for them being friends with Councilor Chrissy Hollett.

With letters going out to at least five Oakridge Reserve Fire Personnel, Hansen LLC signed letters as Interim Fire Chief, even though he is not, raising even more legal questions. The Oakridge City Charter also does not allow the contractor to terminate employment of volunteers. This comes just one day after Interim City Administrator Messina goes on vacation, the timing looks suspicious. In looking at the contract of Michael V. Hansen LLC and the City of Oakridge, it allows for the consultant to recommend termination of employees to the City Administrator, unknown if this could legally be done by guidance from an Interim.

There is still argument from many in Oakridge that Michael V. Hansen LLC was illegally hired by then City Administrator Louis Gomez, some citing that Gomez not only did not have the authority to hire the contract without the city council, but that he did not have authority to renew the contract under that same authority. Gomez cited that he had received clearance from the Oakridge City Attorney to go ahead with the contract.

The City of Oakridge is seeking a new city attorney, at least one current councilor citing this as a reason for needing a new attorney. Gomez, whose contract with the city was terminated as of 01/01/2019, is under DOJ ethics investigations for receiving money from Michael V. Hansen through his own LLC, and then subsequently renewing the Michael V. Hansen LLC contract after receiving the money. 

Photo curtesy of Oakridge Fire and EMS Facebook page.

Written by Stephan B