Vote

medicine

Cannabis has been recognised as medicine in a historic UN vote

A historic vote at the United Nations (UN) has recognised the medicinal value of cannabis and removed it from a list of dangerous drugs which are placed under the strictest controls.

The drug was previously listed on Schedule IV of the UN Commision on Narcotic Drugs’ list, which features other dangerous and tightly controlled substances, including heroin, fentanyl analogues and other opioids.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The vote to downgrade the drug follows the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation last year to make it easier to conduct research into cannabis’s medicinal uses.

Still banned for non-medical use

The news of the downgrade does not necessarily pave the way for worldwide legalisation of the drug. Despite the UN now recognising the drug as a medicine, marijuana remains banned for non-medical use.

Cannabis will still remain on Schedule I of the convention, which means it will continue to require the highest levels of international control.

The vote will leave marijuana and cannabis resin on the list of Schedule I drugs, which also includes cocaine, fentanyl, OxyContin and morphine

The vote, which took place on Wednesday 2 November was close, with 27 of the Vienna based commission’s member states – including the US and European countries – in support of downgrading the drug.

Among the 25 countries who voted against the move were China, Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt.

Anna Fordham, executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium, said, “The original decision [in 1961] to prohibit cannabis lacked scientific basis and was rooted in colonial prejudice and racism.

“It disregarded the rights and traditions of communities that have been growing and using cannabis for medicinal, therapeutic, religious and cultural purposes for centuries, and has led to millions being criminalised and incarcerated across the globe.”

Growth of legalisation worldwide

Canada, Uruguay and 15 US states have legalised recreational cannabis use, and more than 50 countries around the world have adopted medicinal cannabis programmes.

Meanwhile many countries have decriminalised marijuana possession.

Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow, distribute, sell or grow in the UK. Being caught with the drug comes with a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

Being convicted of producing and supplying the Class B drug can carry a penalty of up to 14 years behind bars, an unlimited fine, or both.

Source Article

Read More
medicine

Cannabis Officially Becomes A ‘Medicine’ & It’s All Thanks To A Historic UN Vote

The entire hullabaloo around drugs and narcotics has put a fair section of Indian youth at an edge. Times have been pretty unpredictable for those who like to take the ‘high’ ground (pun intended) in the way they lead their lives. With the authorities taking a good sniff at the many “underground” drug cartels operating in the country, talk about drugs and narcotics even as means of laughter can be pretty risky

Thanks To The UN, Cannabis Is Now Officially A ‘Medicine’© Pexels

But, you know us. None of that can stop us from reporting on real ‘developments’ that are happening out there. And the most recent news is that cannabis is now officially a medicine. We already know that cannabis has been used therapeutically for thousands of years, but it was today that a historic vote at the United Nations finally recognised the medicinal value of cannabis and removed it from a list of dangerous drugs which are placed under the strictest controls.

Thanks To The UN, Cannabis Is Now Officially A ‘Medicine’© Pexels

The vote was made after experts at the World Health Organisation recommended that the UN’s Commission for Narcotic Drugs remove cannabis from an international list of dangerous drugs which are discouraged from being used for medicinal purposes. But there’s still a catch. While it’s recognised as a medicine, the UN stated that it still remains banned for non-medical use.

Yet, this sure comes as a welcome news for those who have been rallying for such a reform for a while now. So let’s check out what people have to say about it.

Read More
health

Coronavirus updates: CDC says people who test positive for covid-19 can still vote in person

Here are the latest developments:

As the presidential election collides with a global pandemic, the CDC says that people who are sick with the coronavirus can still vote in person on Tuesday.

In newly-updated guidance published Sunday, the agency says that voters who have tested positive or may have been exposed to the coronavirus should follow the standard advice to wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from others and sanitize their hands before and after voting. “You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location,” the CDC’s website states.

For tens of thousands of Americans, that may be the only option: People who received their test results in the past few days missed the cutoff to request an absentee ballot in most states, and getting an exemption typically requires surmounting arduous logistical hurdles, as The Post previously reported. But the prospect of casting a ballot alongside someone who’s sick is unlikely to defuse the tension surrounding mask-wearing at polling places — something that remains optional in multiple states.

While turnout numbers and exit polls consume much of the national attention, the steady rise of new infections across the country shows no sign of abating. The United States reported more than 86,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing the total count to nearly 9.3 million, according to data tracked by The Post. Twelve states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming — recorded record numbers of hospitalizations.

Rural areas are feeling the strain. In Utah, overwhelmed hospitals are repurposing pediatric beds for adult patients, and plan to soon start bringing in doctors who don’t typically work in hospitals, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“We’re asking people to do things that they trained for, maybe when they were a resident, but they haven’t done in three years,” Russell Vinik, chief medical operations officer at University of Utah Health, told the paper on Monday.

Jacqueline Dupree contributed to this report.

Source Article

Read More
health

People With COVID-19 Can Still Vote In Person, CDC Says

KEY POINTS

  • The CDC said people infected with COVID-19 may still exercise their right to vote
  • Sick voters would be asked to follow safety guidelines
  • The recommendations come as case numbers continue to increase in 40 states

People who have been infected or are currently sick with the novel coronavirus may vote in person, according to a statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In an email written on Monday, the health agency said Americans who are or have been infected with COVID-19 can exercise their right to vote as long as they follow proper safety guidelines, CNN reported.  

“CDC’s recommendations for isolating someone who has COVID-19 or quarantining someone who was in close contact with a person with COVID-19 would not preclude them from exercising their right to vote,” the email read. 

“In-person voting can be carried out safely following CDC’s recommendations for polling location and voters,” it continued. 

Voters who are sick are required to disclose their health condition to on-site poll workers. They also must follow coronavirus safety protocols, including wearing face masks, social distancing, and washing their hands before and after casting ballots. 

Poll workers will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and receive training to use them. 

The CDC recommended designating a voting site for those who are ill, extending voting hours, or organizing curbside voting. The health agency also suggested offering coronavirus-infected individuals with alternative voting options, The Hill reported.  

“When possible, alternative voting options — which minimize contact between voters and poll workers — should be made available for people with Covid-19, those who have symptoms of Covid-19, and those who have been exposed,” a CDC spokesperson said. 

The guidelines come as the number of new coronavirus cases reported weekly had seen an upward trend for four weeks. Last week, the U.S. broke another record-high number of cases after health officials reported 98,500 infections on Friday. 

Case numbers also climbed by at least 25% in 40 states, with battleground states seeing the most significant increase. Michigan has seen a 115% increase in COVID-19 cases, while Rhode Island’s case number increased by 221%, an NBC News analysis showed.  

Nearly 5,800 people have died due to the coronavirus pandemic in the week ending on Nov. 1. The U.S. has now reported more than 9.2 million COVID-19 cases and 231,486 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. 
A voter drops a ballot for the 2020 US elections into an official drop box in Norwalk, California A voter drops a ballot for the 2020 US elections into an official drop box in Norwalk, California Photo: AFP / Frederic J. BROWN

 

Source Article

Read More
health

Hospitalized People Can Still Vote in Most Parts of the Country | Healthiest Communities

Johnathon Talamantes, of South-Central Los Angeles, broke his hip in a car accident on Oct. 22 and underwent surgery five days later at a public hospital near downtown.

His post-op recovery will keep him in the hospital, L.A. County+USC Medical Center, beyond Election Day, and as he prepared himself for the surgery, he wondered what that would mean.

“One of the first things I asked my nurse this morning was, ‘Oh, how am I going to vote?'” Talamantes, 30, said from his hospital bed the day before the operation.

He initially thought of asking his mom to rummage through a pile of papers at the home he shares with her and bring him the mail-in ballot that he, like all registered California voters, received for this election.

But then staffers at LAC+USC told him about another option: They could help him get an emergency ballot and cast his vote without having to get out of bed. So Talamantes told his mom not to bother.

“I don’t want her coming down here, because of the COVID restrictions,” he said.

California law protects the rights of voters who are in the hospital or other care facilities, or confined at home. It allows them to get help from anyone they choose — other than an employer or a union representative — and to cast an emergency ballot.

In some states, only family members can assist hospitalized patients with voting from the hospital.

Photos: Will They Vote For Trump, Again?

Scott Rice sits in his living room watching a Fox News Channel interview with President Donald Trump in Appleton, Wis., Aug. 20, 2020. Nothing can shake Rice's faith that Trump will save the U.S. economy, not seeing businesses close or friends furloughed, not even his own hellish bout with the coronavirus. But in Appleton, a city of 75,000 people along the Fox River, the health of economy isn't judged on jobs numbers, personal bank accounts or union contracts. Instead, it's viewed through partisan lenses, filtered through the facts voters want to see and hear, and those they don't. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

In California, New York and several other states, hospital employees and volunteers can help a patient complete an emergency ballot application. They can pick up the ballot for the patient and deliver the finished ballot back to the election office or deposit it in an official drop box.

In 18 states, the law allows local election boards to send representatives directly to patients’ bedsides, though six of those states have canceled that service this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Kelly Wong, founder of Patient Voting, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing turnout among registered voters unexpectedly hospitalized around election time.

The group’s website features an interactive map of the United States with state-by-state information on voting while in the hospital. It also allows patients to check whether they are registered to vote.

Wong, an emergency room resident at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, recalled that when she was a medical student working in an ER, patients who were about to be admitted to the hospital would tell her, “‘I can’t be admitted; I have let the dogs out, or I’m the sole caretaker of my grandmother.'” Then during the election of 2016, she heard, “‘I can’t stay. I have to go vote.'”

“That really caught my attention,” Wong said. She did research and learned patients could vote in the hospital using an emergency ballot — something none of her co-workers knew. “Our patients don’t know this, she said. “It should be our job to tell them.”

Some U.S. hospitals have been

Read More
health

What kind of mask should you wear to vote in-person on Election Day?

While more than 94 million people have voted already in the 2020 presidential election, amounting to more than 67% of 2016’s overall turnout of 138 million votes, voters who plan to cast their ballot in-person are doing so as coronavirus cases continue to surge nationwide. 

“Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan spoke with former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb last week for insight on just what masks work best and are safest for those looking to vote on Election Day. 

Gottlieb said when it comes to masks that afford you the protection you need from others during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s quality that matters.


Gottlieb warns of “dangerous tipping point” a…

06:51

“A cloth mask may be 10% to 30% protective. A surgical mask, a level-two or level-three surgical mask, procedure mask, maybe about 60% effective. An N95 mask or an equivalent like a KN95 mask, which is the Chinese equivalent, or what we call an FFP2 mask, which is a European equivalent to an N95, that could be 90 to 95% protective,” Gottlieb said. 

“If you want to mask to afford you a level of protection, wear a higher quality mask. If you only can get a cloth mask, thickness matters and cloth masks with polyester in them and a combination of polyester and cotton do better,” he added.   

Gottlieb explained that masks largely serve two purposes: “One is to protect other people from you. So if you’re asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, if you have a mask on, you’re less likely to expel respiratory droplets that can infect other people. The other purpose is to provide you some measure of protection if, in fact, you’re around people who are infected.”

His recommendation comes as the spread of the virus is accelerating in dozens of states, including across the Midwest and the Great Lakes region, while 15 states have a positivity rate above 10%. There is an expanding epidemic in all 50 states, he told “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Gottlieb has also been optimistic that measures to protect those who choose to vote in-person would be taken seriously, but ultimately everyone has a personal responsibility to protect themselves. 

“I think when you go out to vote, the voting places are taking precautions. They’re sequencing people carefully. They’re cleaning the voting stations in between voters. Their lines are going to be long, but they’re going to take precautions inside those settings. And I think when people go out to vote, if they wear a high quality mask, they can adequately protect themselves,” he said on October 18.

“The biggest risk are the settings where we’re not on guard, where we let our guard down, where we are not taking those kinds of precautions. So I think you can vote safely, even in places where there’s high prevalence. But you’re going to need to be careful,” he added.

Since the outset of the pandemic, there have been more than 9.2 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., and the death

Read More
health

In the hospital? You can still vote in California and most other parts of the country

Johnathon Talamantes in a hospital bed.
Johnathon Talamantes broke his hip in a car accident and needed surgery that will keep him hospitalized beyond the Nov. 3 election. The hospital helped him apply for an emergency ballot so he can vote without leaving his bed. (Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center)

Johnathon Talamantes broke his hip in a car accident last week and had surgery five days later at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

His post-op recovery will keep him in the hospital beyond election day, and that was on his mind as he prepared himself for the surgery.

“One of the first things I asked my nurse this morning was, ‘Oh, how am I going to vote?’” Talamantes, 30, said from his hospital bed the day before the operation.

He initially thought of asking his mom to rummage through a pile of papers at the home they share and bring him the mail-in ballot that he, like all registered California voters, received for this election.

But then staffers at County-USC told him about another option: They could help him get an emergency ballot so he could cast his vote without having to get out of bed. So Talamantes told his mom to not bother.

I don’t want her coming down here, because of the COVID restrictions,” he said.

California law protects the rights of voters who are in the hospital or other care facilities, or confined at home. It allows them to get help from anyone they choose — other than an employer or a union representative — so they can cast an emergency ballot.

At least 37 other states allow emergency voting for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But practices vary.

In some states, only family members can assist hospitalized patients with voting from the hospital.

In California, New York and several other states, hospital employees and volunteers can help a patient complete an emergency ballot application. They can pick up the ballot for the patient and deliver the completed ballot back to the election office or deposit it in an official drop box.

In North Carolina, by contrast, it is a felony for a healthcare worker to assist a patient with voting.

In 18 states, the law allows local election boards to send representatives directly to patients’ bedsides, though six of those states have canceled that service this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Kelly Wong, founder of Patient Voting, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing turnout among registered voters who find themselves unexpectedly hospitalized around election time.

The group’s website features an interactive map of the United States with state-by-state information on voting while in the hospital. It also allows patients to check whether they are registered to vote.

Wong, an emergency room resident at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, recalled that when she was a medical student working in an ER, patients who were about to be admitted to the hospital would tell her, “‘I can’t be admitted; I have let

Read More
health

Clinicians, Med Students Help Patients Register to Vote

With less than 2 weeks until election day, clinicians around the United States have been helping patients who land in their hospitals find voter information or register on the spot — an extension, they say, of treating the whole person.



Dr Alister Martin

The VoteER initiative was started a year ago by emergency medicine physician Alister Martin, MD, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, but it has taken off in the COVID-19 era because of the challenges posed by voting at a physical location.

Now physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in a wide range of disciplines at 300 hospitals and students at 80 medical schools are spreading the word. So far, Martin told Medscape Medical News, the program has signed up more than 40,000 people who have either registered to vote or have requested vote-by-mail ballots.

Participating clinicians wear buttons, lanyards, or badge stickers with information patients can text to learn details on how to vote in their area. Healthcare professionals can also upload a QR code as a background on their phones’ home screens or print them out in poster form. Patients can scan the code and within minutes register to vote or request a mail-in ballot.

The tools are available free by ordering a physical kit or by downloading the toolbox. Martin said that so far, 25,000 physical kits, funded by foundations, have been sent out and “hundreds of thousands” of the digital version have been downloaded.



Dr Aliza Narva

Because the message promotes voting and not a particular candidate, no ethical lines are being crossed, said Aliza Narva, MSN, RN, JD, director of ethics for the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in the Penn Medicine health system. Clinicians answer questions about how to vote if patients ask.

“If anything, there’s an obligation to help people participate,” she told Medscape Medical News. “As a nurse, I have an ethical obligation to care for my whole patient. Nursing is a civic profession, which means we have an obligation outside of a 12-hour shift to engage in civic duty and help our patients navigate their lives. We’re certainly not telling them who to vote for.”

Martin said health systems are competing to sign up the most patients and staff. Penn Medicine is leading by a wide margin, having signed up 3500 voters since August 1, largely because the CEO, Kevin Mahoney, made the project a system-wide priority.

“Healthcare Is Political”

In 2016, Martin brought voting kiosks, with the blessing of hospital leaders, to Mass General’s Emergency Department (ED) with the hope of giving a voice to people who would be most affected by policies.

Martin said he learned from experience — growing up with a single mom in a low-income home in New Jersey — that struggling families like his were using EDs for primary care.

In his years studying for a master’s degree in public policy, he realized that young people, those with low income, and people of color made up a large percentage of the population

Read More