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Last May, a Tacoma, Wash. cop pulled over Joseph Robertson for speeding. The cop said he smelled marijuana in the car, and after a search police ticketed Robertson for marijuana possession and took his stash in addition to a driving without a valid license charge.
Since then Robertson, who is a medical marijuana patient, had the pot charge dropped says he should get his bag of meds back – and the municipal court has agreed. Twice.
“Appeal or comply,” Municipal Court Judge Jack Emery ordered police and the Tacoma City Attorney last Thursday. Emery isn’t joking around either, adding “Or next week, show up, and I would advise you to bring counsel.”
This is the second time Emery has ordered police to return Robertson’s stash, the first time was back in February some two months after Robertson’s case was dismissed.
Robertson’s possession charge was dropped in December in part due to Washington voters approving of I-502, which legalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, and because he showed proof that he was a medical marijuana patient.
Emery called the police and city’s actions “contemptuous”. Emery said that the city has completely missed deadlines to argue their case, “even if they had merit”.
According to the News-Tribune, the city has been ordered fill out and submit a property release form to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, who has the cannabis locked up in their evidence room.
The Sheriff’s department – which is not under the jurisdiction of Emery and the municipal court – have said that they won’t simply hand the herb over to Robertson, however. Instead, they say that they want to wash their hands of the situation and have Tacoma police get the pot and deliver it to Robertson.
Robertson’s attorney says that if the Sheriff’s Office fails to comply, they will take them to court as well.
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GENEVA (Reuters) – Somalis may soon be receiving letters from abroad for the first time in more than 20 years after a deal was struck with the United Nations’ postal agency, the latest step towards ending Somalia’s isolation following two decades of civil conflict.
But the challenges to bringing the Horn of Africa country back into the global postal community are manifold – there are no functioning post offices, only the main roads are named and most houses do not have a number.
Add to that the ongoing struggle with al Qaeda-linked insurgents, who still control much of the countryside, and parts of the coastline infested with pirates, and it is clear the U.N.’s Universal Postal Union (UPU) and its partners have their work cut out.
The Swiss-based UPU said in a statement on Friday that international postal services could start operating again in Somalia within the next few months.
Somalia’s Minister of Information and Communication Abdullahi Hirsi signed a memorandum of understanding with Emirates Post Group this week for Dubai to act as a hub for handling mail destined for Somalia, it said.
The UPU, which brokered the deal, said its 192 member countries could resume sending mail to Somalia once the arrangements were finalized.
About 2 million Somalis live abroad and 9.9 million in Somalia, served by a postal network that is “basically inexistant”, the UPU said, having dwindled from 100 post offices in 1991.
UPU spokesman Rheal LeBlanc said Somalia had created an office at the airport to handle mail moving in and out of the country, initially to service the government, embassies and universities, “but they seem to have plans to phase in postal services across the country over the next few months and years”.
Hirsi said his country would need help getting the post going again.
“We ask for all means of assistance as we have to start from ground zero,” the UPU statement quoted him as saying.
In the latest sign of optimism that Somalia was emerging from its violent recent past, Britain opened an embassy at Mogadishu airport on Thursday after its previous mission closed in 1991 as civil war broke out.
(Reporting by Tom Miles; editing by Mike Collett-White)
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WEDNESDAY April 24, 2013 — Nearly two-thirds of children who received stem cell transplants were readmitted to the hospital within six months for treatment of problems such as infections and unexplained fevers, a new study finds.
Children who were given stem cells donated by other people were twice as likely to be readmitted as those who received their own stem cells, said the researchers at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center in Boston.
“No one had ever looked at these data in children,” Dr. Leslie Lehmann, clinical director of pediatric stem cell transplantation, said in a cancer center news release. “This is very important information and will allow us to counsel families appropriately, as well as try to devise interventions that reduce the rate of readmissions.”
Lehmann and Harvard Medical School student David Shulman analyzed the medical records of 129 children who had stem cell transplants from 2008 to 2011 and found that 64 percent of them had at least one hospital readmission within 180 days after their transplant.
Fever without a known cause accounted for 39 percent of readmissions, infections for 24 percent, and gastrointestinal problems for 15 percent, the study found.
“Most of the patients went on to be successfully treated and ultimately did very well,” Lehmann said.
The researchers also found that 79 percent of children who received stem cells from a related or unrelated donor were readmitted, compared with 38 percent of those who received their own stem cells.
The findings are scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, taking place this week in Miami. Study data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“We hope these findings can eventually lead to identifying a group of low-risk children who could be managed at local hospitals rather than transplant centers, reducing costs and inconvenience to families,” Lehmann said.
The goal is to identify which patients could be safely treated without requiring hospital admission, she said.
The Nemours Foundation has more about stem cell transplants and children.
Posted: April 2013
MONDAY Jan. 7, 2013 — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to return to work Monday, following treatment for a blood clot in her head.
Clinton, 65, was released from a New York hospital Wednesday evening following three days of treatment with blood-thinning medication for the clot. Her doctors said she should make a full recovery. They believe the clot was linked to a concussion she suffered in December.
On Friday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described Clinton’s condition after her release as “upbeat” and “raring to go,” CNN reported.
However, Nuland added that international travel will not be part of Clinton’s agenda “for a little while,” following doctors’ instructions.
The clot was located outside of the brain, in a vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind Clinton’s right ear. The general term for the condition is called cerebral venous thrombosis. Clinton’s doctors reported that she did not experience any stroke or neurological injury from the clot.
One expert noted that Clinton will need to be careful in the coming weeks.
“The vast majority of venus sinus thrombosis do not have severe symptoms, and are treated with a combination of hydration and anti-coagulants [blood thinners], which cause the [clot] to slowly dissolve,” said Dr. Anders Cohen, chief of neurosurgery and spine surgery at The Brooklyn Hospital Center. “It’s important that she gets rest and hydration. Because she’ll likely be on blood thinners, she’ll have to be careful to avoid falls, which could cause significant bleeding.
“The duration of this medication depends on the size of the thrombosis and Mrs. Clinton’s clinical status,” Cohen added. “Unless she has a hematological condition that predisposes her to [clots], it is unlikely to reoccur. Most likely, the condition was due to her extremely hectic travel schedule. As a result of the travel, she probably suffered from chronic dehydration, which probably led to her fainting episode last month and caused this thrombosis.”
Doctors not involved in Clinton’s care said blood thinners are typically used to dissolve clots, and patients may need to be on them for weeks or months.
“Therapy is given anywhere from three to six months or longer, depending on other underlying circumstances or cause of the blood clot,” said Dr. Jack Ansell, chairman of the department of medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “In Secretary Clinton’s case, one would suspect that trauma from her fall played a role. Dehydration, as reported in the news, may also have been a factor. In some patients, there is an underlying hereditary increased tendency to form blood clots, but I am unaware whether this is a factor. Although there is always a risk of recurrence, the risk is very small and most individuals who experience this problem do not have recurrences. A full recovery is expected.”
Clinton had been on a strenuous travel schedule in her role as Secretary of State. According to Bloomberg News, the State Department calculates that she has traveled 949,706 miles and visited 112 countries over 401 days — about 2,084 hours, or nearly 87 days spent airborne.
There’s more on blood clots at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Posted: January 2013
A medical marijuana grower in Ellsworth, Maine received a pleasant surprise on Saturday: a marijuana delivery from the police. Thomas Davis, a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver and grower, lost 17 marijuana plants from his greenhouse in a burglary on Wednesday night. The thief, 32-year-old Aaron Pert, was arrested soon afterward and charged with offenses including marijuana possession, burglary, and theft. He confessed to breaking into the greenhouse and stealing the plants and led the police to the location where he had hidden the majority of the stash. However, the police delayed returning the marijuana to Davis for two days, concerned that they might be violating federal law, which makes all marijuana possession, cultivation, and distribution criminal offenses.
According to Ellsworth police lieutenant Harold Page, this was the first case in the state in which marijuana had been stolen from a licensed medical marijuana provider, so the police department consulted with the Maine DEA as well as the state’s attorney general as to whether they should return the plants. Ellsworth Police Chief John DeLeo stated on Monday that as far as he was concerned, returning the plants was legal.
The delay led to the majority of the marijuana being ruined by mold. Davis estimated that he lost about six months’ worth of the crop and could only salvage 15 percent of it, enough for one month. He mentioned other licensed marijuana providers who are considering giving him some of their own plants to make up for the loss, but said that otherwise, his patients might soon need to look elsewhere for their medicine.
Davis, however, sees an upside to the situation. He said thieves may have assumed that they could steal from legal medical marijuana growers with impunity, since theft of plants from illegal marijuana growing operations would certainly go unreported to the police. Hopefully, as Davis suggests, his case will serve as a precedent for both the police, who might not be so hesitant to return stolen marijuana in the future, and to potential thieves. “It’s not the Wild West out here,” he said. “I feel like most of what I’m salvaging is a chance to get this out to the public, to let people know they can’t target medical marijuana patients and growers. The police will protect us.”