Workin’ For A Living

“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”  Robert Frost

“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.”  Robert Frost

“If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.”  Charles Kettering

“Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.”  Charles Kettering

(Photo taken 8/27/2015.)

These Researchers are Developing a Weight Loss Medicine with Cannabis

Imagine a world in which cannabis is listed as one of the key ingredients of a weight loss medicine. It may sound like an amusing irony to those of us easily afflicted by the munchies, but a recent study published in the journal Endocrinology suggests this idea isn’t so far off. Apparently, a mixture of vitamin A and cannabis constituents holds promise as the next solution for obesity.

“The results of our study show, for the first time, that particular compounds in cannabis and vitamin A can work together to reduce the deposit of lipids,” said researcher Dr. Yann Gilbert. “This finding opens up exciting opportunities to potentially treat obesity without the need for invasive surgery.” …

If all goes well, the study authors predict this cannabis-based medicine will be developed and ready for human use in the next five years.


Alcohol sales get higher after weed legalization contrary to industry fears

Part of the reason for the alcohol and marijuana industries’ success may be a boost in Colorado tourism. Though some state officials insist marijuana is not attracting new visitors, Colorado tourism set record highs in 2014, the first year of legalization, with 71.3 million visitors who collectively spent $18.6bn.

Many in the alcohol industry credit marijuana with helping boost tourism. Martz said he frequently asks tourists in his downtown store what brought them to Colorado. “Legalization adds to the overall draw,” he noted, even if most tourists don’t come solely for pot. Simpson concurred that the number of tourists visiting New Belgium has continued to increase steadily, including from some pot-inclined tourists.

And alcohol isn’t simply a remora to the marijuana shark; the two industries are even finding ways to help one another out. Many out-of-towners who visit Mr B’s Wine & Spirits ask Martz where the closest dispensary is. He’s not only happy to help direct them, but also has a stack of coupons from the dispensary in his shop to hand out.

Ah, poor New Mexico, left out of the tourism party.  And here we are, right next to Colorado. There’s a booming craft beer industry in New Mexico, but too bad, so sad, all that extra income is only for businesses that are located over an imaginary state line. Hotels, restaurants, gas stations, Walmarts, airports… sorry, you can’t join the party either. All those billions and billions of dollars are only for states that have legalized the leaf. And this level of tourism won’t keep up for long — right now, it’s mostly the novelty of legalization. When that wears off, all those billions will move somewhere else…

New blood thinners can kill you

In December 2011, her doctor decided it was time to put her on an anticoagulant drug, but rather than choosing the decades-old standby, warfarin, the doctor prescribed Xarelto (rivaroxaban), which had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration just a few months earlier.

Xarelto is one of four anticoagulants approved since 2010 that make up a class of drugs known as novel (or newer) oral anticoagulants, NOACS (pronounced No-aks) for short. Widely promoted as more convenient than warfarin, the drugs came to market with much fanfare anticipating blockbuster status.

But unlike warfarin, which is a vitamin K antagonist that can be turned off in a bleeding emergency or prior to surgery by administering vitamin K, all of the NOACs were approved without an antidote, although packed red blood cells can slow their anticoagulation action.
When Glatz developed gastrointestinal bleeding, months after she started taking Xarelto, doctors could not make it stop. She died March 23, 2012 at a Kenosha hospital…

The surge in use of the drugs has been bolstered by a new system for determining stroke risk that was devised by a British doctor who, the MedPage Today/Journal Sentinel investigation found, has extensive financial ties to companies that make or market the new drugs. The new system was adopted as part of treatment guidelines by leading medical societies in the U.S. and Europe — ones that themselves have received millions from drug manufacturers. In addition, many of the doctors who wrote those guidelines or issued other recommendations had personal financial ties to those companies, such as working as speakers or consultants…

K2, a Potent Drug, Casts a Shadow Over an East Harlem Block

A joint of K2 goes for a dollar or two, far cheaper than food. Many bodegas on 125th Street sell it. A marijuana joint, by comparison, costs about $5. Crowds of up to 80 or 100 homeless people come in on buses from a nearby shelter on Randalls Island, drawn by heroin recovery clinics nearby, and spend the day there under the influence of this cheaper narcotic. The block between Park and Lexington Avenues appears at times to be a street of zombies…

On a recent day, a 47-year-old man who goes by Green stood on 125th Street pushing a plastic straw into his ear. He suffers from Parkinson’s disease and says he has been self-medicating with K2.

“Sometimes it calms the twitching down,” he said, straightening out the straps of a tattered backpack. “Sometimes it just makes me worse.” …

Police raids on bodegas on this street in July ended in confiscations of more than 8,000 packets of K2, but many of the stores continue to sell the drug, those on the street say. That has left police officers looking on as drug users light up in plain sight. Then the officers haul them into ambulances as they drop onto the street…

For those on this block who are mentally ill, the drugs seem to close off most hope of recovery.

Demond Outten, 40, said he began using K2 after being released in April from the psychiatric ward of St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx…

Requiring police officers to provide mental health services is not only outside the scope of most of their training, but is a practice that doesn’t appear to be working.  (Understatement implied.)

And Dr. Ibsen bites the dust

To our patients:

in solitary with Dr. Christianson, and in acknowledging the extreme hostility of the regulatory environment in which we are operating, Dr. Ibsen will no longer be prescribing any pain medications to chronic pain patients. Dr. Ibsen will be taking some time off to plan the next safe course of action.

We wish you all the best.

Mark S Ibsen MD
Urgent Care Plus


Warning:  NSBB (Not Safe Before Breakfast)

SANTA FE, N.M. —The Santa Fe City Council is asking a judge to uphold its decision to ban the sale of small bottles of liquor. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the city government also wants District Judge Sarah Singleton of Santa Fe to dismiss claims filed by liquor businesses challenging the law.

The council voted in April to ban the sale of liquor in bottles of 8 ounces or less. In court documents, the city says the law, which will take effect Oct. 8., is meant to reduce litter…

I dislike litter as much as the next person, but to single out small liquor bottles is just unfair. Anyway, the empty bottles don’t bother me half as much as the dog poop. If I have to look at it, so do you:

DSC03811 (3).0

How Tobacco Seems to Block Memory Loss for Pot Smokers

About 70% of pot smokers also use tobacco, and that sizeable population has typically been excluded from marijuana studies because researchers are, well, studying marijuana—not tobacco, and not marijuana and tobacco.

But a new study from the University of Texas looks at pot smokers who also smoke cigarettes and it finds significant differences between those who smoke both and those who only smoke pot.

Researchers at the university’s Center for Brain Health were looking specifically at the size of the hippocampus—a brain region responsible for memory and learning—and found that while both cigarette smokers and pot smokers had smaller hippocampal brain volumes than non-smokers, people who smoked both showed signs of improved functioning…

I have a question about Alzheimer’s

With the progress in treatments, cancer doesn’t seem to be as worrisome in my old age as the threat of Alzheimer’s. (Not that I could afford to pay for cancer treatments.)

I was just sitting here wondering how awful it would be to lose my memory —  my identity. (Hey, that rhymes.) For a minute or two, I thought my fear of Alzheimer’s was stronger than my fear of increased pain…

Then I thought, what would happen to my pain levels if I begin to suffer from dementia? If I forget who I am, can I also forget 30 years of pain? If I begin to lose my memory as I get older, will my pain memories also disappear? Sounds too good to be true, right?

I can imagine losing sense of myself and awakening in a body suffering from constant pain. I’d be like, I don’t care who I am, all I want to know is why the fuck am I in so much pain?

And then Alzheimer’s can kinda be like cancer — something for me to look forward to. When I get cancer, I get all the pain medications I want. And if I get Alzheimer’s, maybe, just maybe, I won’t care about the constant pain anymore.

I know, sad and morbid, but true.

And then I wondered, could LSD or Ecstasy help Alzheimer’s patients? I don’t have to wonder if cannabis can treat Alzheimer’s — I already know the answer to that. (Free the Weed.)