Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Illegal Drugs in the News
When Michael Phelps took a bong hit, the picture led to unsuccessful press negotiations, an apology, sanctions, and a loss of endorsements. In contrast, when San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano drafted a California marijuana bill, he was hailed as a visionary who might be able to use illegal drugs and put up to $50 per ounce of marijuana into the state's coffers.
Even President Obama weighed in on legalization of illegal drugs - specifically the legalization of marijuana - and the Obama marijuana position is a resounding "no" to making this illegal drug legal. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is not yet on the illegal drugs legalization bandwagon, but, according to the Christian Science Monitor, he is making overtures that he is ready to listen and discuss the legalization and taxation of marijuana.
Illegal Drugs Status of Marijuana
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana as a schedule one illegal drug, asserting that it possessed a heightened possibility of abuse.
Will Legalization of Illegal Drugs Show California the Money?
It may not be the solution to California's budget woes, but it would be more than a drop in the bucket. Estimates suggest that the legalization of marijuana and its taxation could add up to $1.3 billion to the state's strapped budget.
The law of unintended consequences also applies when it comes to illegal drugs and their legalization. For example, if marijuana were made legal in California, sellers and users would no longer be subject to prosecution (at taxpayer cost) and incarceration (also at taxpayer expense); moreover, the tax revenue generated by marijuana sellers and users as they pursue their regular FICA generating jobs remains preserved.
On the flipside, a new government agency or at least office dedicated to overseeing the sale and taxation of marijuana would have to be created. Children would have to be protected from (for them) illegal drugs that would then be so much easier to obtain. Could it be that the California governmental structure might just eat up whatever profits the legalization and taxation of marijuana would yield?
Moreover, the fact that smoking pot and smoking tobacco lead to health problems is undisputed. Will California simply shoot itself in the foot by legalizing marijuana and reaping tax benefits on the front end, while paying out health related costs on the back end?
Monday, May 4, 2009
Commission (FTC) have announced that the public should be cautious
about products said to prevent, treat or cure the Swine Flu virus,
saying use of unauthorized or unapproved products could put people's
health at risk.
The government agencies say that they are "aggressively" investigating
phony flu products and/or claims.
The Canadian government made an official announcement on its website
that warned the public that although there are two anti-viral drugs
that could help prevent or reduce symptoms of the flu - including
Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) - there are NO products
that are approved for direct sale to the public that would
specifically treat or guard against the H1N1 flu virus. Tamiflu and
Relenza are available only by prescription via a doctor or authorized
medical professional. The Canadians also caution that the medicines be
given only when the illness is diagnosed as being "moderate" or
"severe" and if the patient is at high risk of complications of flu -
such as existing respiratory ailments. The agency states that if taken
within 48 hours after getting sick, Tamiflu or Relenza can help reduce
symptoms, shorten the length of illness and potentially reduce serious
The Canadian health agency is also warning against claims for
"generic" versions of Tamiflu or Relenza, saying no such generics have
been approved and that such products could have dangerous additives in
them. The agency states that consumers should be very wary of buying
drugs over the Internet. For example, an online provider such as
PrescriptionGiant.com offers a package of 30, 10-milligram capsules of
Tamiflu for $88.65. At fitfuel.com a "herbal alternative to Tamiflu"
called Defend-Rx is being advertised for $24.98 for a supply of 45
tablets. The site says the demand has been so heavy that they are
currently out of stock. But, the site claims that the product is "the
world's only natural weapon against bird flu (Avian Flu). But, it also
claims the ingredients in the product are "the main component in
The FTC suggests that the public report any suspected fraudulent Swine
Flu products to the FDA at http://www.fda.gov/oci/flucontact.html.
Also, anyone who wants to file a complaint against a company that they
think is trying to advertise or sell swine flu products can call the
FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.
widely-read newspapers in our country's northeastern region. The first
issue of the Boston Globe was published on March 4, 1872. This makes
the newspaper over one hundred years old!
Since 1993, the Boston Globe has been owned by the New York Times. The
online edition, Boston.com was launched in 1995. Although the Boston
Globe has a rich history, that does not make it immune to the current
economic crisis. On April 2 of this year, the parent that owns the
Boston Globe threatened to close its doors if unions don't agree to
$20 million in cost savings.
The parent's ultimatum was not an empty threat. The Boston Globe may
file a notice to shut down as early as today. Under the Workers
Readjustment and Retraining Notification act the company must give a
60 day notice before closing it's doors. Filing such a notice today
would mean that in July the Boston Globe would no longer exist.
Critical agreements were not reached by the midnight deadline.
However, negotiations continue as we speak. Let's keep our fingers
crossed that critical negotiations prove successful. Our country can
not afford to lose another newspaper that has such a rich history.
The Boston Globe is not the only newspaper to hit rough times. The
Rocky Mountain News in Denver shut it's doors completely. The
Christian Science Monitor and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are now
only available in an online format. The parent company of the Chicago
Sun Times and 58 other newspapers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in
March. The future of newspapers as we know it remains a question mark.
Could it be that in the future we only can get our news online? Let's
What can you do? Continue to buy newspapers in print edition. Every
little bit helps. As more and more traffic shifts online, we will see
more and more trouble with our nations newspapers.