May 25, 2010 at 4:00 am Comments (7)
Actress Lindsay Lohan finally made it to court on Monday, where Judge Marsha Revel ordered that she be fitted with an alcohol monitoring device and subjected to random drug and alcohol testing once a week. Photos of Ms. Lohan during the proceedings showed her in a rather somber mood.
In a video from ABC News, Judge Revel rattled of a few things for Ms. Lohan to comply with in order to remain out on bond. Mentioned first was that she will be prohibited from taking any alcoholic beverage; that she will need to wear a SCRAM device, to be fitted within 24 hours after the proceedings; that she needs to undergo weekly random drug testing in Los Angeles; and that she needs to attend all her alcohol classes “as scheduled”.
Judge Revel specified that the only time that Ms. Lohan can reschedule an alcohol class is if it coincides with the conduct of a random drug test.
Lohan’s lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley spoke on behalf of the actress and explained to the court that her client had projects lined up – photoshoots and a movie were mentioned – that may be impacted by the fact that she had a scram device on and that she had to submit herself to random drug testing specifically in Los Angeles. Holley mentioned that the actress had intentions to travel to Texas to shoot her movie. Unfortunately, the judge did not seem too sympathetic to Ms. Lohan’s concerns and suggested that the actress may have to delay these projects, and insisted that the testing needs to be done in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Health Screening
May 25, 2010 at 3:06 am Comments (0)
The results of a study conducted by Dr. Liwei Chen of the Louisiana State University Health Science Center reveal that blood pressure may be lowered through the reduction of intake of sugary drinks, the foremost example of which will be a soda. The findings were published in the journal Circulation.
The American Heart Association has identified sugar – something that soda pop certainly delivers a lot of – as a contributory factor not just to obesity but to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. There are states that have responded by placing a tax on sweetened soft drinks in order to help pay for the treatment of diseases related to obesity.
Chen worked with a team to look into the effect of sugar intake on blood pressure. They gathered data on more than eight hundred adults between the ages of 25 and 79 who had borderline high blood pressure and stage I hypertension. The test population was initially asked to drink 10.5 ounces – or 310 ml – of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened drinks such as soft drinks and lemonade. This was then reduced to half a serving by the end of 18 months.
After the reduction of the average consumption of sweetened beverages by half, the researchers observed that both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures had fallen significantly.
Chen shared that American adults drink, on average, 2.3 servings of sugar-sweetened drinks daily. This translates to 28 ounces or 828 ml. Reducing this intake by half will help reduce blood pressure.
May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am Comments (0)
Too easy — according to a Portland reporter who reportedly went undercover to find out for herself. But then her piece has received mixed reactions, and made for interesting reading in a feature on Opposing Views.
A reporter from Oregon described her attempt at securing a recommendation to use medical marijuana. She related making a visit to a medical marijuana clinic and having her medical records reviewed by a doctor, who determined that based on her chief complaints of chronic pain due to injuries sustained after three car accidents and scoliosis, she was qualified for treatment using medical marijuana and that she will be able to benefit from such a treatment.
What the reporter was trying to get at, it seems, was that pain, which can be remedied through other treatments, was being used by people who want to abuse marijuana as an excuse to be allowed to use the drug legally.
Russ Belville, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML, reacted to the “undercover report,” describing it as “a paean to the demagoguery of medical marijuana opponents who want to paint a picture of ‘rampant abuse’ where there is none.” Belville points out that, if anything, there are even more people who are unable to enjoy the advantages that medical cannabis can bring due to the stigma that is being associated with using the substance, even for the most legitimate of reasons. There is also the question of doctors who are unable to recommend it as a therapy even if they wanted to, either because their hospital, clinic or HMO prohibit them to or because they are afraid of what that will do to their reputation.
May 24, 2010 at 4:45 am Comments (10)
It has broken down once before, but it looks like arrangements for a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have resumed. It looks like a compromise has been reached as far as the issue of drug testing is concerned: Manny Pacquiao has reportedly agreed to a 14-day window for drawing blood for drug testing purposes.
Pacquiao reportedly said after agreeing to the 14-day cutoff: “He [Mayweather] will no longer have a reason [not to fight]. Let’s see if that is really the reason.”
The drug testing issue became the reason for the breakdown of negotiations between the two camps. Both fighters moved on to other bouts; Pacquiao was first to move on, fighting (and winning) against Joshua Clottey. More recently, Floyd Mayweather Jr. won against Sugar Shane Mosley, who agreed to Mayweather’s drug testing terms.
Although there are no official announcements yet, there is talk (allegedly from the Pacquiao camp) that the fight may happen sometime in November.
Pacquiao has been given flak for refusing random testing, with some people insinuating that he may have something to hide. He has, however, never failed a drug test and Pacquiao supporters are saying that the reason why Mayweather is being very strict about testing is that he did not want to fight Pacquiao in the first place. A piece on NowBoxing.com gives the opinion that the possibility for steroid use by Pacquiao is slim because Asian athletes seem to not be predisposed to resorting to these artificial measures in order to guarantee a win.
Regardless of whether allegations are true or not, one thing is certain: this fight will be a big one for boxing.
May 23, 2010 at 3:55 am Comments (0)
We are at the tail end of spring, and pretty soon summer will be upon us. In order to escape the summer heat (and perhaps keep their sanity), some parents will soon find themselves hauling off the kids to the nearest swimming or wading pool. That’s okay – for as long as you know what it is you may be getting into.
Several news reports share the results of a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the safety of public pools. A report by ABC News Health said that the report was included in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the CDC and analyzed data from routine pool inspections in 13 states in 2008. Based on the analysis, one in eight pools needed to be closed down immediately due to serious violations in terms of sanitation.
Among these violations were inadequate chlorine level and improper pH level of pool water; both of these can lead to the transmission of disease-causing germs.
The news, however, does not mean that you will have to steer clear of public pools altogether and hope that you do not melt from the summer heat. There are, after all, 7 out of 8 pools, or 88 percent, that met sanitation criteria. It will help, though, if everyone would also do their part to keep public pools healthy – as well as protect themselves and their families.
Most of the pools that did not pass inspection were in the kiddie/wading pool category. The CDC recommends that people with diarrhea should avoid swimming and to ensure that one does not swallow pool water. Parents are urged to change diapers away from the side of the pool, and to check their child’s bottoms after swimming.
May 23, 2010 at 1:57 am Comment (1)
Marijuana advocates came together to protest the extradition of Canadian Marc Emery, who describes himself as the “Prince of Pot”, to the United States. A report on The Chatham Daily News shares that Emery is being extradited to face charges of selling marijuana seeds through mail. He will reportedly plead guilty to the charges against him at a court in Seattle, and may face a five-year jail sentence.
660 News shares in a report that there were 80 demonstrations held worldwide, with seven of these being held in Alberta, Canada. The Chatham Daily News covered a rally held in front of the office of Chatham-Kent Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren on Saturday afternoon, and reported that there were “Free Marc” rallies held at a hundred locations in eleven countries.
Chatham resident Dan Maciejowski said that the extradition is “hypocritical” as Emery had been declaring his sales, is paying taxes in Canada and was not in America. Maciejowski declared: “This is against our sovereign nation.” He handed out information regarding the issue to passersby and shared that petitions sent to MPs across the country have not yielded anything; despite that, however, they will continue the protests until Emery is sent home.
The 20-year-old Maciejowski shared the opinion that marijuana was being targeted unfairly as opposed to other legal substances that also have side effects, citing cigarettes and alcohol as substances that can potentially kill people and yet are considered legal.
Van Kesteren was not at his office during the protest and said that he did not know that there was one going on when he was contacted at his home.
Seattle Drug Screening
May 22, 2010 at 6:35 am Comments (0)
Actress Lindsay Lohan will probably be in for a tough time with her judge on Monday. The more news we learn about this case, the more we are inclined to think that this lost passport thing may have been contrived.
A report on the Los Angeles Times shares that Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel, who is assigned to Lohan’s case, was supposed to start her vacation on Monday. So wasn’t it just convenient for one’s passport to get lost and to not be able to make it in time for a hearing that was set to happen the last week before the judge starts vacation? But no such luck, it seems like Judge Revel would much rather deal with the actress herself and decided to postpone the start of her vacation in order to hear Lohan’s case.
Judge Revel reportedly said the following regarding Lohan’s excuse for missing the hearing: “Actions speak louder than words. I’ve heard the best words in the world, but the actions are far more important.”
So what does the judge intend to do about Lindsay? She is said to be bent on imposing the following conditions: prohibition from alcohol, having Lindsay wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet and weekly random drug testing.
Lesson learned: if you are already in trouble, don’t mess with your judge!
Los Angeles Drug Screening
May 22, 2010 at 6:31 am Comments (3)
We have written about the sparking of vandalism and attempted arson against medical marijuana dispensaries and it looks like there is no telling when these incidents will finally come to an end. A feature on The Associated Press talks about what was termed as a backlash being experienced by states that have already legalized medical marijuana.
While medical marijuana advocates have been very vocal about their support for its legalization, there are those who are not too happy about its seeming success in their town. According to the feature, they are most concerned about the increasing number of “pot shops” that are appearing in states where medical marijuana is legal. Montana Sen. Jim Shockley was quoted as saying: “Yeah, it’s out of control — and it needs control, if not extinction. There’s no control over distribution. There’s no control over who’s growing it. There’s no control in dosage.”
The trouble, it seems, may stem from the fact that states that are early adopters of medical marijuana passed legalization laws without really ironing out all of the kinks – or maybe even identifying them. Most reportedly did not have the ability to handle the increase in the number of marijuana shops over the past year after it was announced that medical marijuana users will not be prosecuted.
There have been complaints in some places about having too many marijuana dispensaries, violence experienced by buyers and sellers, indiscriminate selling of marijuana, and people being arrested for driving under the influence.
To address these concerns, state and local governments are trying to set up regulations. Will they be fast enough for those clamoring for order?
May 21, 2010 at 3:42 am Comments (0)
Cyclist Floyd Landis was at one point on top of his game; one of his achievements was winning the 2006 Tour de France, a title that he was eventually stripped of after being accused of doping.
For quite some time, he has denied that he ever used performance-enhancing drugs, at least until recently when he sent e-mails to cycling officials where he admitted to doping, according to a report on The New York Times. In these e-mails he provided details about his doping practices; the thing is, he said that he is not the only one who is doing it – and then dropped some names.
According to Landis, he was able to witness other cyclists inject EPO, a blood booster, and undergo blood transfusions in order to increase endurance. He also said that they took steroids and the human growth hormone.
Landis implicated some of his close friends in his allegations. On the list are Lance Armstrong; United States road-racing champion George Hincapie; three-time Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer; and five-time United States time trial champion David Zabriskie. Landis wrote that he was laying everything out in the open as he wanted to “clear his conscience” and no longer wanted to be “part of the problem.” He, however, admitted that he had no tangible proof to support his claims other than a journal that he kept.
Lance Armstrong, who is cycling at the Tour of California which began on Sunday, said that Landis no longer had credibility: “He has no proof. It’s just our word against his, and we like our word. We like where we stand.”
New York Health Screening
May 21, 2010 at 1:54 am Comments (0)
Here’s a quick follow-up to our previous post, where we shared that Lindsay had a bit of travel trouble in Paris and might not make it in time for a mandatory court hearing. She did, in fact, miss that hearing; despite the fact that her lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley was on hand to explain that she had a valid reason for not making it to court, Judge Marsha Revel was not too pleased and issued a warrant for her arrest.
Judge Revel said that Ms. Lohan had a history of meeting appointments and was not convinced of her reason for not showing up: “If she wanted to be here, it looks to the court that she could have been here.”
It certainly did not help that she did not seem all that worried about missing her court date as photos taken by celebrity photographer Phil Ramey of Lindsay partying on a yacht in the French Riviera till dawn were posted on tinselclown.com. We’re not saying, though, that Judge Revel used that as a basis for her decision.
Bail was set at $100,000 and the actress was able to make bail mere hours after the warrant was issued. When Judge Revel issued the warrant, she revoked Lindsay’s probation and imposed the following conditions should she make bail: prohibition from drinking alcohol, mandatory wearing of an alcohol monitoring bracelet and random weekly drug testing.