Knee surgery this past week has me thinking about pain, true tolerance, and why so many Americans are bent on being anesthetized. The Institute of Medicine states, 100 million Americans suffer from some kind of pain at a cost of $635 billion a year. ABC News reported in January of 2012, 80 percent of the world's pain meds are consumed in the good old U.S. of A. Experts site our increased life expectancy, cancers, and a soft, sedentary lifestyle as the cause, but what of the rest of the world? Why are Americans suffering so? Or are we? Got Pain? Virginia Woolf, who suffered from mental illness that eventually caused her to end her life, said that people in pain are "forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out." In other words, a person's pain is their own and relative to their experience, and putting a meter on it is illusive at best. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, I only remember simple aspirin as a remedy for everything from headaches to fevers. And really, even aspirin wasn't always the answer, as a headache could be quelled with a glass of water and nap - it still can, but most today run to the medicine cabinet for a pill. Medicine...
NORML UK and other cannabis activists across Europe are welcoming the announcement that Dutch cities are set to ditch their proposed Wietpas ("WeedPass") scheme, which would have allowed only Dutch nationals to buy cannabis in the country's famous coffeeshops. At least 1.5 million of the city's seven million visitors a year go to a coffeeshop. The measure proposed by the previous Christian Democrat government would have forced the coffeeshops to become private members' clubs, limited to only 2,000 members each and open only to Dutch residents, thereby banning sales to foreigners. The scheme had already been introduced in some parts of southern Holland, where critics say it has already lead to increased street dealing. Dutch authorities in cities such as Haarlem and Amsterdam were vehemently opposed to the scheme. They claimed it would push the dealers onto the streets, and damage the local tourist industry. Millions of visitors flock every year to visit the famously liberal coffeeshops where the sale and consumption of small amounts of cannabis is permitted. Although the new cabinet is formally pressing ahead with the scheme, it now says enforcing the ban will be carried out together with local councils, and taking local policy into account. In reality, this means local authorities will seek to protect their tourist industry and refuse to implement the scheme. "Tourists can continue to use Amsterdam's 220 cannabis cafes, even if they are not resident in the Netherlands," said Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. Coffeeshop entrepreneur and longtime cannabis campaigner, Nol...
Like many celebrities, Lady Gaga went all out for Halloween -- not
that we would expect anything less from Mother Monster. The 26-year-old
mega-star dressed up as weed.
Yes, you read
that correctly. But not just as any old strain of marijuana, Gaga's
official title was "Princess High the Cannabis Queen." Gaga threw a rave
for her friends and fans on Halloween night after her show in Puerto
Rico, and posted photos on her fan site, littlemonsters.com.
Among the party guests was a some dude in a Mitt Romney mask, smoking weed.
On Thursday, Gaga tweeted the news to her 30.8 million followers on Twitter.
has been quite open about her ganja love. In September the singer took
advantage of Holland's tolerant attitude towards cannabis and lit a
joint on stage.