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It Takes Less Weight to Trigger Diabetes in Minorities Than Whites

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — One of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is excess weight. But you don’t have to be overweight to have the disease — and new research revealed that some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have diabetes at lower weights.

“Patients who belong to one of the high-prevalence racial or ethnic groups may be at risk for diabetes or prediabetes even if they are not overweight or obese,” said Dr. Assiamira Ferrara, senior author of the new study. She’s associate director at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

“This study suggests that along with screening patients who are overweight and obese, minorities should probably be screened even if they have a normal body mass index, particularly as they get older,” Ferrara said. Body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight. Any measure over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.

The researchers found rates of diabetes in normal-weight people were:

  • 18% in Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders,
  • 13.5% in blacks,
  • 12.9% in Hispanics,
  • 10.1% in Asians,
  • 9.6% in American Indians/Alaskan natives,
  • 5% in whites.

Why might certain groups be more likely to develop diabetes at a lower weight?

Ferrara said the reasons aren’t yet clear, but an individual’s body composition and physiology likely play a role.

“For instance, it has been shown from previous studies that Asians have a higher percentage of visceral fat [fat that accumulates around abdominal organs] than whites at a given body mass index,” and visceral fat can affect how the body metabolizes blood sugar, she explained.

The observational study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, just an association. But the findings suggest the importance of looking beyond obesity to other causes of type 2 diabetes, Ferrara noted.

The study included 4.9 million people. The group was diverse. Fifty percent were white; 21.6% Hispanic; 12.7% Asian; 9.5% black; 1.4% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; and 0.5% American Indian/Alaskan native. Just over 4% were multiracial or unknown.

Continued

There were slightly more women — 55.7% — in the group. The average BMI was almost 29.

“Greater attention needs to be paid to the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes even among underweight people for racial and ethnic minorities at high risk,” said lead author Yeyi Zhu, a Kaiser Permanente research scientist.

Dr. Louis Philipson, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association, reviewed the study and said it “strongly reinforces” what diabetes specialists have known — that some non-white individuals may get diabetes at a lower weight. He said he hoped that message would get out to primary care doctors.

“The implication is that they need to be testing earlier in non-Caucasian people who are not obviously overweight,” Philipson noted.

The study was published Sept. 19 in the journal Diabetes Care. It was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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SOURCES: Assiamira Ferrara, M.D., Ph.D., associate director and senior research scientist, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif.; Yeyi Zhu, Ph.D., research scientist, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif.; Louis Philipson, M.D., president, medicine and science, American Diabetes Association, and professor, medicine, University of Chicago Medicine;Diabetes Care, Sept. 19, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pregnancy-Related Deaths Still Higher With Some Minorities

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 — Pregnancy is a far riskier undertaking for many minority women than it is for white women in the United States, a new government study shows.

The chances of dying from pregnancy complications is two to three times higher for black, American Indian and Alaska Native women than it is for white women.

“These disparities are devastating for families and communities, and we must work to eliminate them,” said lead author Dr. Emily Petersen, medical officer in the Division of Reproductive Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There is an urgent need to identify and evaluate the complex factors contributing to these disparities and to design interventions that will reduce preventable pregnancy-related deaths,” Petersen said in a CDC news release.

Her team analyzed national data from 2007-2016 and found that the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths rose from 15 to 17 per 100,000 births during that time.

By racial/ethnic group, rates were 40.8 per 100,000 births for blacks, 29.7 for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 13.5 for Asian/Pacific Islanders, 12.7 for whites, and 11.5 for Hispanics.

The gap between blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives and other racial and ethnic groups widened with age. Among women older than 30, rates among blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives were four to five times higher than among whites.

The study also found that the rate among blacks with at least a college degree was just over five times higher than among whites with at least a college degree.

Cardiomyopathy, pulmonary embolism, and high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy were factors in more pregnancy-related deaths among blacks than among whites. Hemorrhage and high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy were factors in more pregnancy-related deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives than among whites.

There was little change in racial/ethnic disparities between 2007 and 2016, according to the study published Sept. 6 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, according to the agency.

The CDC defines a pregnancy-related death as “the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication; a chain of events initiated by pregnancy; or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.”

A CDC report from May that analyzed data from 13 states concluded that each pregnancy-related death was associated with several contributing factors. These included lack of access to appropriate and high-quality care, missed or delayed diagnoses, and lack of knowledge among patients and health care providers about warning signs.

The data suggested that 60% or more of pregnancy-related deaths could have been prevented by correcting these issues.

“There are many complex drivers of [pregnancy-related death]. This [new study] shows the critical need to accelerate efforts and to identify the initiatives that will be most effective,” said Dr. Wanda Barfield, director of the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women’s Health has more about pregnancy complications.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Poor, Minorities Get Less Help For Opioid Addiction

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — When it comes to opioid addiction treatments, money and race matter, researchers say.

White, wealthy Americans are much more likely to receive medication for their addiction than minorities and the poor, the new study found.

Racial and financial differences have only grown wider as the opioid crisis in the United States has worsened, even though opioid addiction rates are similar among whites and blacks, according to Dr. Pooja Lagisetty, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, and her colleagues.

The new analysis of 2012 to 2015 data found that for every appointment where a black patient received a prescription for the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine, there were 35 such appointments for white patients.

There was a large increase in the overall number of buprenorphine prescriptions written at outpatient clinic visits over the previous decade, but a decrease in the percentage of those visits where the patients were black, the investigators found.

The percentage of those visits paid for by cash or private insurance grew far faster than the percentage paid by Medicaid, which covers low-income people, and Medicare, which covers people with disabilities and adults over age 65, the findings showed.

Between 2012 and 2015, patients paid cash for nearly 40% of outpatient visits where buprenorphine prescriptions were written, while private insurance covered the cost of 34% of the visits, a significant increase from just under 20% a decade earlier.

Medicare and Medicaid, which provide medical coverage to 30% of all Americans, accounted for just 19% of such visits, according to the researchers.

For patients who pay cash, a single prescription of buprenorphine can cost several hundred dollars, the study authors noted in a university news release.

More than 2.3 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, but less than half are receiving medications approved to treat the disorder. Medication is the only treatment that has years of evidence showing it can help patients recover from opioid addiction.

In the early 2000s, just 0.04% of all outpatient visits in the United States included a prescription for buprenorphine. That rose to 0.36% by the mid-2010s, or about 13.4 million visits.

Continued

The study was published May 8 in JAMA Psychiatry.

The differences in rates of buprenorphine prescriptions at clinic visits suggests inequalities in access, Lagisetty noted.

“We shouldn’t see differences this large, given that people of color have similar rates of opioid use disorder,” she said.

“As the number of Americans with opioid use disorder grows, we need to increase access to treatment for black and low-income populations, and be thoughtful about how we reach all those who could benefit from this treatment,” Lagisetty added.

“Cash-only buprenorphine clinics have proliferated in recent years, which may be expanding access for those with the means to pay in certain regions. But the high costs may be prohibitive for those who cannot afford to pay. In addition, we know that patients do better when they remain on the medication long-term. Paying hundreds of dollars per month can be a major barrier to staying engaged in care,” Lagisetty said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, May 8, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Colorado Pot Industry Could Open Doors to Corporations and Minorities

Colorado’s marijuana industry could open its doors much wider to corporations and underrepresented demographics in ownership if two legislative measures pass this year.

A bill that would allow publicly traded companies to own Colorado marijuana business licenses and lessen investment restrictions passed its first committee hearing in the state legislature Monday, March 4, while State Representative Leslie Herod is expected to push another bill later this year addressing social equity in the pot industry.

Publicly traded companies are currently banned from holding a Colorado marijuana business license, and out-of-state pot business owners are limited to fifteen people per business. Sponsored by state representatives Matt Gray and Kevin Van Winkle, House Bill 1090 was originally intended to reflect a similar bill from last year that would’ve allowed publicly traded companies to own marijuana business licenses. Although last year’s measure passed the legislature, it was eventually vetoed by previous governor John Hickenlooper, who called the move premature and cited the plant’s Schedule I federal status.

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But Governor Jared Polis hasn’t just been supportive of the effort; according to Gray and Van Winkle, Polis and his staff actually suggested expanding the bill to allow even more investment opportunities in Colorado’s pot sector. And that’s just what they’ve done in the seven weeks since introducing the bill January 14.

Marijuana Deals Near You

“Last year, the previous bill met an interesting fate with the governor we had at time. … This year, we had the governor himself come to us and say, ‘I like what you’re doing, but let’s do a little bit more,'” Gray told his colleagues before HB 1090 went up for a vote in the House Finance Committee. “We’ve expanded access to these companies beyond simply authorizing these companies to be a publicly trade company, but also to access private equity as well.”

Supporters of the measure have pointed to states like California and Florida, as well to Canada (where marijuana is federally legal), which allow publicly traded marijuana companies. According to Marijuana Industry Group director Kristi Kelly, Colorado is behind the curve in this regard.

“These [Colorado companies], they’re being valued at a sixth of what their counterparts in other states are being evaluated at,” she told the committee. “Our members do not see this as an issue of big business versus small business. All capital in Colorado is coming at a higher cost to these businesses, if it comes at all.”

But opposition to the bill includes some marijuana companies. Terrapin Care Station representatives have argued that the bill would further violate federal law. And Jason Dunn, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, recently told Colorado Public Radio he was worried that the bill would allow for more illegal activity by opening up financing opportunities for a federally prohibited industry.

In response, the bill’s sponsors and several marijuana industry operators assured the House Finance Committee that opening the state’s pot industry up to publicly traded companies, passive investors and more private equity opportunities would not create an easier road for illegal activity.

“If you’re a little nervous about this idea about bringing public investment in, don’t feel uneasy, because we’re not the first legislature to do this,” Van Winkle said, adding that the state’s limited-gambling industry has gone through similar obstacles and allows publicly traded companies. “We’re looking at highly vetted, safe, clean capital investment to come into the state of Colorado.”

HB 1090 passed through the committee unanimously. The bill will move to the House Appropriations Committee, although a hearing date hasn’t been scheduled.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis supports marijuana legalization, emboldening pot proponents in 2019.EXPAND

Colorado Governor Jared Polis supports marijuana legalization, emboldening pot proponents in 2019.

Kenzie Bruce

Future Social Equity Efforts

An amendment approved before the committee vote added a stipulation that publicly traded companies in Colorado’s marijuana industry should create an “increased need to asses barriers of entry for minority- and woman-owned businesses” as well as a stipulation that publicly traded companies in Colorado’s marijuana industry must address social-justice issues related to prohibition. The amendment says some of the issues will be addressed by allowing more ex-convicts to apply for business licenses and cutting licensing fees and other economic challenges faced by marijuana business applicants without significant financial backing.

However, the amendment is non-binding and was introduced to put industry stakeholders and lawmakers on notice. “There is no new rule that comes out of it, but it is an acknowledgment for everyone who is involved in this process that we need to improve,” Gray says.

Although the amendment isn’t mandatory, an upcoming bill from Herod is expected to address a number of social equity issues, such as industry startup fees and pot license distribution processes. During the hearing on HB 1090, Herod, who chairs the House Finance Committee, asked representatives from LivWell, Native Roots and the Green Solution — the three largest dispensary chains in the state — if they would voluntarily comply with her diversity objective. All of them said they would.

“I wanted to ensure that those leading the industry would make a commitment to equity in the industry, on the record, and I thought they did that,” Herod explains. “This industry is very expensive to get into right now. If you don’t have a million dollars, then you can’t open a dispensary. There are a few measures that I am considering right now to address this.”

Herod says she’s looked at marijuana equity policies from other states with commercial pot, such as California. Her bill could try to create a system of micro-licenses that allow marijuana entrepreneurs to create products or services for larger, established pot companies; she’s also considering different financing models for local and state regulatory fees, though she hasn’t consulted the state Marijuana Enforcement Division yet.

With more towns and counties currently banning marijuana businesses than allowing them, pot entrepreneurs have limited opportunities to launch in Colorado. Herod hopes more towns will come online to give marijuana startups a shot outside of Denver, where competition is thick.

“That could give the opportunity to go into a newer market, as opposed to doing something like in Denver, where it’s pretty expensive to get into the industry,” she adds. “I would love to see someone with a micro-license do that, work with well-known companies and then eventually launch their own business.”

Herod’s social-equity bill will be introduced later this year, she says.

Toke of the Town

Injustice in NYC: marijuana arrests far more likely for minorities

We’ve known for years that marijuana laws disproportionately harm people of color, but the results of a recent New York Times investigation are still shocking. According to the report:

  • Black New York City residents are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites; Hispanic residents are five times more likely.
  • During the first three months of this year, 89% of the 4,000 marijuana arrests in New York City were Black or Hispanic.

It doesn’t make sense to arrest an adult for possessing or consuming marijuana, but the racial disparities in these arrest rates make the injustice of marijuana prohibition even more intolerable.

The situation in New York City is so morally indefensible that the Manhattan district attorney announced his office will no longer prosecute low-level marijuana cases, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is directing police to stop arresting people for public consumption of marijuana.

Those are positive steps, but the solution is to repeal the destructive policy of marijuana prohibition.

 

The post Injustice in NYC: marijuana arrests far more likely for minorities appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Injustice in NYC: marijuana arrests far more likely for minorities

We’ve known for years that marijuana laws disproportionately harm people of color, but the results of a recent New York Times investigation are still shocking. According to the report:
  • Black New York City residents are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites; Hispanic residents are five times more likely.
  • During the first three months of this year, 89% of the 4,000 marijuana arrests in New York City were Black or Hispanic.
It doesn’t make sense to arrest an adult for possessing or consuming marijuana, but the racial disparities in these arrest rates make the injustice of marijuana prohibition even more intolerable.
The situation in New York City is so morally indefensible that the Manhattan district attorney announced his office will no longer prosecute low-level marijuana cases, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is directing police to stop arresting people for public consumption of marijuana.
Those are positive steps, but the solution is to repeal the destructive policy of marijuana prohibition.

The post Injustice in NYC: marijuana arrests far more likely for minorities appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Breast Cancer Screening Standard May Miss Minorities

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Breast cancer screening guidelines are based mainly on scientific data from white women, and that bias could cause delayed detection of the disease in minorities, researchers report.

“While a lot of attention has been focused on improving the ‘cultural competency’ of clinical care — caring for patients in ways that accommodate their cultural and language differences — we are concerned that we haven’t paid as much attention to the scientific research process,” said David Chang, from Massachusetts General Hospital’s department of surgery.

“If the science upon which clinical guidelines are based was not done in a way that respects racial differences, there is little that can be done at the point of delivery to improve patient care,” Chang added in a hospital news release.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend beginning breast cancer screening at age 50 for women at average risk. But it hasn’t been clear if a single guideline can be applied to different racial or ethnic groups, the researchers noted.

To learn more, the investigators analyzed U.S. National Cancer Institute data on women aged 40 to 75 who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1973 and 2010.

The average age at diagnosis was 59 for white women, 56 for black women, 55 for Hispanic women and 46 for Asian women, the findings showed.

Percentages of patients diagnosed before age 50 were: 31 percent for blacks, 35 percent for Hispanics, 33 percent for Asians, and 24 percent for whites.

Advanced cancers were diagnosed in 47 percent of black patients, 43 percent of Hispanic patients, 37 percent of white patients and 36 percent of Asian patients, according to the study.

The researchers said their findings indicate that some groups of nonwhite women should begin breast cancer screening at an earlier age than whites.

The report was published March 7 in the journal JAMA Surgery.

“The situation with breast cancer is one of the best examples of how science done without regard to racial differences can produce guidelines that would be ultimately harmful to minority patients,” Chang explained.

“Flawed science can harm more people than flawed clinical care, which is why it is so important to detect and eventually eliminate these sorts of hidden biases in the scientific literature,” he added.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital, news release, March 7, 2018

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Breast Cancer Screening Less Likely in Minorities

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Black and Hispanic women are less likely than white women to be screened for breast cancer, a large review finds.

Screening rates for Asian/Pacific Islander and white women were similar, the research showed.

The analysis of 39 studies including 6 million women was published Dec. 16 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“Not only do black and Hispanic women get screened less than white women, but disparities also persist in two age groups: women who are 40 to 65 years old, and 65 and older,” study author Dr. Ahmed Ahmed said in a journal news release.

“These findings are important; it’s evident that more work needs to be done to ensure that all eligible women have access to this preventive screening tool,” added Ahmed. He’s a postdoctoral fellow researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

A great deal of effort has gone into finding racially and culturally specific ways to reduce breast cancer screening disparities, with varying degrees of success, according to the researchers. They said more studies are needed to understand the causes of the disparities, trends over time, and the effectiveness of efforts to reduce disparities.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. Each year, nearly one quarter of a million women are diagnosed and there are more than 40,000 breast cancer deaths, the American Cancer Society says.

Early detection of breast cancer significantly improves the chances of survival, the researchers said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Radiology, news release, Dec. 16, 2016

Copyright © 2013-2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Low-Level Marijuana Arrests Targeting Large Numbers of Minorities Still on the Rise in New York

Bill de Blasio

As reported by The Huffington Post, Bill de Blasio, a candidate for New York City mayor last year, promised to end marijuana arrests, noting that they have “disastrous consequences for individuals and their families.” As mayor, however, de Blasio is not living up to his promise.

According to a report released yesterday by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, between March and August of this year, NYPD made hundreds more low-level marijuana arrests than they did during the same six-month period under New York City’s previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

The report, which draws on data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice, depicts the blatant racial disparity in low-level marijuana arrests: the NYPD continues to arrest Latinos at nearly four times the rate as white people and black people at seven times the rate of white people. This is in spite of numerous studies that demonstrate that young black people and Latinos in New York and elsewhere are no more likely than their white counterparts to use marijuana.

Moreover, the report analyzes the number of arrests by neighborhood, showing that the majority of arrests are centered in predominantly black and Latino areas.

“The NYPD is clearly never going to do on the Upper West Side, where there are two dozen arrests each year, what they’re doing in the 77th Precinct in Crown Heights, where there are more than 300,” said Gabriel Sayegh, managing director for policy and campaigns for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It just wouldn’t be allowed.”

Ultimately, the report portrays a typical arrest victim as a young person of color who generally abides by the law. In fact, as relayed in the report, three-quarters of those arrested for marijuana this year have never even been convicted of a misdemeanor.

“As a whole, we in the communities of color voted for him,” said Anastasia Sanders—a 21 year old woman from Prospect Heights in Brooklyn who voted for de Blasio hoping he would reform the police department’s practices. “So for us to continue to be arrested, to be honest, it’s not fair, and we just wish we had his support a little bit more.”


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Seattle cop busted writing 80 percent of pot tickets, many to minorities and homeless


seattlepdcar.jpeg

Seattle police officer Randy Jokela apparently missed the memo that marijuana possession and use is now legal in Washington state, largely citizens people were sick of people like Jokela abusing his power.

This week, Seattle police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced that Jokela was responsible for 80 percent of the 82 marijuana-related citations issued between January 1 and June 30 of this year – with 37 percent of those tickets going to blacks and about half going to the city’s homeless. To say he was still abusing his power is an understatement.

Apparently this asshole wasn’t just writing tickets, he was being antagonistic and a general dick while doing it. On some tickets he requested the attention of pro-cannabis Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and called Holmes “Petey”. Other times he would flip a coin in front of the likely black and homeless person he was citing as a way of deciding whether or not to write a ticket. On at least one occasion he called the new laws that he is paid to uphold “silly”.

Here’s what he wrote on the ticket of one person cited back in May according to a citation obtained by the Seattle Times.

“D was sitting on ledge in the middle of Occidental Park. D was sitting next to another male + both were smoking marijuana out of a blue colored glass pipes. D lost the coin flip, so he got the ticket while the other person [possibly “perp”?] walked. D was allowed to keep his pipe. *ATTN: PETEY HOLMES*”

jokla.jpg
Jokela.

To be fair, smoking cannabis in public is illegal in Seattle and Washington and the cop was within his rights to write the tickets. But as Holmes points out in a statement issued yesterday, that doesn’t give cops carte blanche to go back to their old ways. He says he supports the law, but also supports officers using a citation only as a last resort after giving someone a warning first.

“This isn’t about fining people; it’s about getting people to stop smoking marijuana in public, especially in crowded areas and places where families and children congregate,” Holmes said. “At the same time, City Council wisely recognized that even civil infractions can be issued in a racially disproportionate manner, much like the War on Drugs itself. That is why we have a reporting requirement to receive early indicators of any disproportionate enforcement.”

Holmes also apologized to the homeless people he says were cited as part of Jokela’s personal vendetta.

Jokela, 52, was most recently a bike cop in Seattle. Since the incident, he has been put under investigation and reassigned to a desk job.

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New York City Police Arrest Over 2,000 People for Weed in March, Target 86% Minorities

New York may be on the verge of becoming America’s next medical marijuana state, but that hasn’t stopped the NYPD from making low-level marijuana possession arrests in the early months of 2014. While stop-and-frisks are down by 34% in New York City, minor weed arrests have spiked in 2014 (especially March) under new Mayor Blasio’s watch, according to a recent report by the Marijuana Research Project.

Moreover, the arrests continue to target minorities, as a whopping 86% of marijuana possession arrests were handed out to minorities. Thus, New York City still wears its “cannabis arrest capital of the world” title like a Scarlet Letter.

In Brooklyn–the borough with a history of racist arrests and a District Attorney bent on changing this–the stark contrast in white vs minority arrests shines through–and revolts:

For example in Brooklyn, in predominately white Park Slope (Pct. 78), police made 7 
marijuana possession arrests, and in Carroll Gardens and Red Hook (Pct. 76) they made 12
marijuana arrests in the first three months of 2014.  But police made 111 arrests in Bedford?
Stuyvesant (Pct. 79), 130 arrests in Crown Heights (Pct. 77), and 438 marijuana arrests in East
New York (Pct. 75), all neighborhoods where most residents are blacks and Latinos. [Marijuana Arrest Research Project]

Likewise, the white-crest, gentrified neighborhoods like Wall Street, the Upper East Side and Tribeca combined for three total marijuana arrests thus far in 2014. During last week’s march for marijuana in Union Square, the NYPD knowingly disregarded public consumption as rappers Redman and Immortal Technique spat rhymes about ending this injustice.

So what gives? In Brooklyn’s less affluent neighborhoods, and throughout the “shady” corners of New York City, the arrests haven’t stopped. While online reports suggest marijuana arrests in NYC may be trending towards a 9% decline, more pot-possession arrests were made in March of 2014 than in any month dating back to last July:

Screen shot 2014-05-11 at 9.30.13 AM

 

Chart via Marijuana-Arrests.com

The quick translation: while New York officials have stated the NYPD would cease these racist marijuana arrests in 2014, nothing has changed. The Guardian highlights this simple-yet-nauseating dichotomy within New York City’s marijuana arrest policy.

He was arrested in Harlem in February after officers said they saw him holding marijuana in public view and then took a bag of pot from his “waist area”, according to a court complaint. Shelborne says the weed wasn’t in the open until police pulled it from his underwear, and he’s fighting the charge. [The Guardian]

In other words, the NYPD still abuses its power and manipulates the city’s marijuana law, like it has throughout the late 90s and the millennium. Even though possession of under 25 grams has been likened to a traffic ticket since 1977, police offers use an “open to public view” loophole to make racially biased arrests, hand out misdemeanors, and occasionally send people to jail.

Screen shot 2014-05-11 at 9.41.53 AM

So while marijuana arrests dropped significantly in 2013, New York City remains on pace to arrest well over 20,000 people for minor marijuana possession this year. That’s the crime.

Check out the full report at Marijuana-Arrests.com–it’s worth your time. And if you’re based near New York and want to join the fight to legalize, head over to WeedmapsNY, say #HighNYC, and help get weed freed.

 

MARIJUANA

Minorities Less Prone to Think They’ll Get Cancer: Study

FRIDAY April 19, 2013 — Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans are less likely than whites to believe they will get cancer, even though they are actually more likely to develop cancer and die from it, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that minority groups need to be given more culturally relevant information about cancer risk and prevention, said the researchers from the Moffitt Cancer Center.

They asked people their opinions about their risk of getting cancer, severity of cancer and the benefits of early cancer detection. The participants also were asked about their ability to prevent cancer and their understanding of cancer screening and detection.

“We found that blacks, Asians and Hispanics were all more likely to believe that they had a lower chance of getting cancer than did whites,” study senior author B. Lee Green, senior member of the health outcomes and behavior program at Moffitt, said in a center news release.

“This is significant and surprising because statistics show that racial and ethnic minorities, especially blacks, have higher cancer mortality, incidence and prevalence rates than whites and also differ from whites in engaging in preventive behaviors,” Green said.

The researchers also found that Hispanics were less likely than whites and blacks to believe they could take steps to reduce their risk of cancer. In addition, people in all racial and ethnic groups said it was difficult to know which cancer recommendations to follow, according to the study, which was published online recently in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

“There is a need for consistent cancer prevention messages and screening recommendations, as well as opportunities to increase education on cancer prevention among all populations,” Green said. “These efforts will make individuals feel more empowered to participate in cancer-preventive behaviors.”

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about cancer prevention.

Posted: April 2013

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

New York City marijuana arrests top 50K, 86% minorities

(New York Times Blog) More people were arrested last year in New York City on charges of marijuana possession than during the entire 19-year period from 1978 to 1996, according to an analysis released this morning by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Last year, the sixth year in a row that marijuana possession arrests increased, 50,383 people were arrested, according to a report recently released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and obtained by the policy alliance, which advocates for reform of drug laws.

The figure adds up to 140 arrests a day, making marijuana possession the leading reason for arrest in the city, and represents an 8 percent increase over 2009 and a 69 percent increase since 2005, the alliance reported in a statement issued Thursday.

Seventy percent of those arrested are younger than 30, and 86 percent are black or Latino, even though, according to the Drug Policy Group, “young whites use marijuana at higher rates.”

Here’s another way to think of it: 1 in 17 marijuana arrests in America take place in New York City.

The NORML Stash Blog