Consumers’ Orders Changed Slightly After Calorie Counts Added to Menus

THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019 — Calorie labels in fast-food restaurants appear to help customer trim purchases, but only up to a point, a new study says.

Customers ate slightly fewer calories after a fast-food chain started including calories on its menus, but the impact weakened over time, researchers found.

“Our findings suggest that calorie labeling may be most effective as a short-term strategy for reducing calorie purchases, but that other nutrition interventions may be necessary for long-term positive dietary changes in these settings,” said study lead author Joshua Petimar. He’s a research fellow at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School.

In May 2018, calorie labeling on menus became mandatory for chains with 20 or more outlets in the United States. The goal was to help customers make healthier food choices.

However, effectiveness of this approach is unclear. Some studies have found associations between calorie labeling and calorie consumption, but most have been too small to identify differences before and after the introduction of calorie labeling on menus.

This new study is one of the largest to examine the issue, according to the researchers.

They assessed the impact of calorie labeling on food purchases by analyzing three years of sales data from a franchise of fast-food restaurants in the southern United States.

The franchise began providing calorie information on its menus in 2017. The researchers examined data from 2015-2018, ending up with information on nearly 50 million sales in the two years before and one year after the introduction of calorie labeling.

There was an initial decrease of 60 calories per sale (about 4%) after calorie labeling began, but that was followed by a slight weekly increase over the next year, according to the study.

“We recommend future research to estimate the effects of calorie labeling over a longer period, particularly once restaurants have had time to reformulate their menus,” Petimar said in an institute news release.

The study results are in the Nov. 2 issue of the BMJ.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine outlines 10 ways to cut 500 calories a day.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019 – Daily MedNews

Slightly Less Lame Kansas Now Allows Sale of New Belgium Hemp Beer

It took long enough, but the country is finally starting to come around to hemp. Kansas is just taking a little longer than the rest of us.

The non-psycoactive cannabis plant and the oils, fibers and cannabinoids derived from it have seen a huge boom in consumer interest over the past few years and grew 16 percent in sales from 2016 to 2017, according to a recent analysis from Hemp Industry Daily. Hemp has even become an ingredient in beer, with Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Company (the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country) releasing a pale ale in March that is brewed with hemp seeds to extract cannabis-like flavor and aromas.

Mixing beer and cannabis — even a harmless hemp seed with no THC or CBD — was sure to raise some uneducated eyebrows, but most of the country was pretty cool with Hemperor HPA (hemp pale ale), despite initial apprehension from a few states, according to New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer. In fact, 49 states allowed it to be sold within their borders shortly after the beer’s release. The only state that didn’t? Kansas.

According to New Belgium, the beer was rejected earlier this year by the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, which cited hemp as a banned ingredient in any alcoholic beverages. The state agency changed its mind in September, however, after New Belgium requested a review of the decision and Kansas state laws regarding industrial hemp. (The Kansas ABC didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Although not quite as square as the attorneys general of Oklahoma and Nebraska, both of whom sued the State of Colorado in federal court in 2014 for legalizing cannabis, Kansas AG Derek Schmidt still isn’t as woke as pot advocates would like. Before reversing himself in June, he’d deemed all hemp-derived CBD products illegal within the state, and once said this about Colorado to the Kansas City Star: “But doggone it, they have done something that federal law says they may not do, and it’s Kansans who are paying a price for that.”

I’ve met many fine people from Kansas, and I’m sure there’s more to the state than endless flatlands and dozens of billboards praising Donald Trump, Jesus and University of Kansas basketball. But the people running that state need to get real. You can buy hemp seeds at King Soopers for your morning yogurt, and my girlfriend’s mom uses hemp-seed oil for her poodle’s skin condition. This was an easy 2+2 equation, yet somehow state regulators turned it into algebra.

New Belgium appears to be happy and lighthearted about the news. “We’d like to think Kansans could no longer bear living life without experiencing the Hemperor’s game-changing union of hops and hemp,” spokesman Jesse Claeys says. “It could also be that Kansas, like many other states in our glorious union, finally got a whiff of how versatile and sustainable of a crop industrial hemp can be, and how it could play a much bigger role in our economy.”

Cheers to hemp and cannabis, Kansans — even if you still can’t smoke it.

Toke of the Town

U.S. Doctors Trained Overseas Have Slightly Better Patient Outcomes

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 — Death rates are lower for older Americans treated by doctors trained in other countries than by those who went to a U.S. medical school, a new study reports.

That finding held true even though foreign-trained doctors are more likely to care for patients with more chronic health problems.

The results of this study should dispel Americans’ concerns about the quality of care provided by doctors trained in other countries, the researchers said.

The study included information from more than 1.2 million Medicare patients aged 65 and older. All had been admitted to the hospital between 2011 and 2014. The 30-day death rate was 11.2 percent for patients treated by foreign-trained doctors and 11.6 percent for those treated by U.S.-trained doctors, the investigators found.

There was no difference in patient hospital readmission rates. But the cost of care was slightly higher for patients cared for by foreign-trained doctors, $ 1,145 versus $ 1,098, according to the report.

The study was led by Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Although the study wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, the findings “should reassure policymakers and the public that our current approach to licensing international medical graduates in the U.S. is sufficiently rigorous to ensure high-quality care,” Tsugawa’s team concluded.

Doctors who graduated from international medical schools make up about 25 percent of doctors in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, the study authors said.

The findings were published Feb. 3 in the BMJ.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers advice on choosing a doctor or health care service.

Posted: February 2017

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Obstetric Complications Tied to Slightly Upped Risk for Autism

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 — Complications that occur late in pregnancy or during delivery may slightly raise a child’s risk for autism, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that infants who were exposed to maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy — a condition called pre-eclampsia — were at higher odds for developing an autism disorder. So were children who experienced oxygen deprivation at birth (asphyxia), or those who faced other problems around the time of delivery.

However, the study wasn’t able to prove cause-and-effect, and one autism expert stressed that the findings shouldn’t unduly worry most women.

In absolute terms, “the risk of an autism spectrum disorder was still exceedingly low among women who had one or more pregnancy complications,” said Dr. Andrew Adesman. He’s chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

He noted that “one-third of the women in this study had at least one pregnancy complication and yet 98 percent of these complicated pregnancies did not result in a child with an autism spectrum disorder.”

The new study was led by Dr. Darios Getahun of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif.

His team tracked the electronic health records of almost 600,000 children born in Southern California between 1991 and 2009. Of the 6,255 who were diagnosed with autism, 37 percent had experienced complications right before or during birth.

The study’s authors calculated that children who faced complications while in the womb later in pregnancy — before labor started — have a 22 percent greater risk for autism. And children who experienced a complication during delivery have a 10 percent higher risk for autism, Getahun’s group said.

Experiencing complications both before birth and during delivery upped the risk even more, the study showed. Children in that category had a 44 percent greater risk for being diagnosed with autism than children who do not face these problems, the study found.

The findings held “even after adjusting for factors such as gestational age at birth and a mother’s age, race and education,” Getahun said in a Kaiser news release.

Other complications that increased children’s risk for autism included premature separation of the placenta from the uterus, being in a breech or sideways (transverse) fetal presentation and having a prolapsed or exposed umbilical cord.

But Adesman stressed that even though a complication in pregnancy or delivery raised the risk of an autism spectrum disorder slightly, the absolute risk to any one baby is still low.

“Although pregnancy complications should be minimized as much as possible, we don’t need to worry pregnant women or young mothers about the risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder just because they had one or more complications during their pregnancy,” he said.

Alycia Halladay is chief science officer at the Autism Science Foundation. She believes the study “adds to a growing literature” linking obstetrical complications to autism.

Since early detection and treatment are crucial to improved outcomes, “all children, but especially those at elevated risk, should be screened for autism at 18 and 24 months and followed closely throughout development to ensure they receive the services and interventions they need as soon as possible,” Halladay said.

The findings were published Jan. 31 in the American Journal of Perinatology.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information on autism.

Posted: February 2017

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Anesthesia Before 4 May Slightly Affect Academics

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A new Swedish study suggests that children exposed to surgical anesthesia before the age of 4 may have slightly lower school grades and IQ scores in their late teen years.

But the study didn’t prove that exposure to anesthesia was responsible.

Dr. Pia Glatz, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the medical records of 2 million children born in Sweden from 1973 through 1993.

The researchers focused on approximately 33,500 children who had one surgery and one exposure to anesthesia before the age of 4 and then didn’t undergo surgery or hospitalization again until at least age 16. The researchers compared those children to approximately 160,000 children who didn’t undergo surgery or anesthesia before the age of 16.

The researchers also looked at 3,640 children who underwent more than one surgical procedure with anesthesia.

The researchers found that children exposed to anesthesia before the age of 4 had school grades at age 16 that were 0.41 percent lower than children with no exposure to anesthesia. And their IQ scores were 0.97 percent lower at age 18.

For children who had two surgical procedures before the age of 4, the average school grades were 1.41 percent lower. For those with three or more anesthesia exposures, the school grades were 1.82 percent lower, the study found.

“While more vulnerable subgroups of children may exist, the low overall difference in academic performance after childhood exposure to surgery is reassuring,” the study authors wrote. “These findings should be interpreted in light of potential adverse effects of postponing surgery.”

The study was published in the Nov. 7 issue of the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: American Medical Association, news release, Nov. 7, 2016

Copyright © 2013-2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Study Links Home Births to Slightly Higher Infant Death Risk

Home Births Linked to Higher Infant Death Risk

But overall odds are still low, experts say

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Babies born outside of a hospital are more likely to be stillborn, or to die within a year of birth, a new Oregon study suggests.

However, the risk of death in both groups was small. The study found nearly four deaths for every 1,000 babies born outside of a hospital compared to approximately two deaths for every 1,000 deliveries that occurred in a hospital.

“There is a small risk of serious complications that are best dealt with in hospital. They’re rare but the risk is not zero,” said study co-author Dr. Aaron Caughey, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. “The tradeoff is, in the hospital, you lose control over your birth experience.”

It’s important to note, however, that the study wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between infant deaths and out-of-hospital deliveries. The study only showed a link between these factors.

The study appears in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The findings provide expectant parents with “numbers that give them a rational basis for planning about where they want to have their baby,” said Dr. Michael Greene, chief of obstetrics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who co-wrote a commentary accompanying the study.

Parents should consider “what’s important to them and how much risk they’re willing to tolerate,” he said.

While the extra likelihood of death in the study may seem high, Greene added, “risk is in the eyes of the beholder. There are people who will see those risks and perceive them as acceptable in order to avoid the interventions that they really don’t want to be subjected to.”

In the United States, births not in a hospital are still extremely rare, accounting for fewer than 1 percent of births, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. But the numbers have been growing amid more support for old-fashioned births outside a hospital, the study authors said.

The study examined statistics from nearly 80,000 births that occurred in Oregon from 2012 and 2013. Oregon requires extensive information to be included on birth certificates.

WebMD Health

Newer Birth Control Pills May Slightly Raise Blood Clot Risk

Newer Birth Control Pills May Up Blood Clot Risk

Study finds effect with brands such as Yaz, Yasmin and Desogen, but risk to any one user remains very low

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Newer forms of the birth control pill — brands such as Yaz, Yasmin and Desogen — are more likely to cause blood clots than older versions, a new study finds.

However, the study authors also stressed that the odds of a clot remain very low for any one woman using the medications, and remain lower than the clotting risk that occurs when a woman is pregnant.

“One has to weigh the benefits of using oral contraceptive pills against the risks, such as unwanted pregnancies and abnormal uterine bleeding with resultant anemia,” said Dr. Mamta Mamik, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

In the study, a team led by Yana Vinogradova, of the University of Nottingham in England, analyzed two large U.K. patient databases. The investigators looked specifically at blood clot risk among women aged 15 to 49 taking birth control pills.

The researchers reported that women who used pills with newer types of progestogen hormone — drospirenone, desogestrel, gestodene, and cyproterone — were 1.5 to 1.8 times more likely to develop blood clots than those who used pills containing older progestogens such as levonorgestrel, norethisterone and norgestimate.

The study wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. However, compared to women who did not use birth control pills, those who used the newer pills were four times more likely to develop blood clots, and those who used the older pills were 2.5 times more likely to develop blood clots, the investigators found.

Still, the risk to any one woman remained low. In absolute terms, the extra number of blood clot cases per year per 10,000 women was six for women using birth control pills with levonorgestrel and norgestimate, compared to 14 for those using newer pills with desogestrel and cyproterone, the researchers said.

The findings were published May 26 in the BMJ.

Vinogradova’s team emphasized that birth control pills are safe, and pointed out that even the threefold increased risk of blood clots associated with birth control pills is still lower than the 10-fold increased risk that a woman experiences when she is pregnant.

WebMD Health

Some Slightly Obese May Gain From Weight-Loss Surgery, Guidelines Say

TUESDAY April 16, 2013 — Even people who are slightly obese could be candidates for weight-loss surgery under new guidelines released by three U.S. medical groups.

The groups recommended that eligibility for weight-loss (bariatric) surgery be expanded to include mildly to moderately obese people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that put people at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Under the new rules, eligible patients would have a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 to 34.9. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

There is not enough current evidence, however, to recommend weight-loss surgery for blood sugar control alone, fat lowering alone or heart disease risk reduction alone, independent of BMI criteria, the guidelines said.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the Obesity Society issued the guidelines. They were published in the latest editions of the journals Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, Endocrine Practice and Obesity.

Among the 74 recommendations in the guidelines:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy is reclassified as a proven method of weight-loss surgery, rather than an experimental one.
  • Women should avoid pregnancy before weight-loss surgery and for 12 to 18 months after surgery.
  • A team approach to patient care around the time of surgery is “mandatory with special attention to nutritional and metabolic issues.”

Other recommendations cover topics such as patient screening and selection, deciding on the best type of weight-loss surgery, and criteria for readmitting patients to the hospital after they’ve had weight-loss surgery.

The previous guidelines were issued in 2008.

“Bariatric or metabolic surgery is among the most studied surgical interventions in medicine and this ever-increasing mountain of evidence continues to show that these procedures are the most successful and durable treatment for obesity and several related diseases,” Dr. Daniel Jones, a member of the 12-person panel that developed the guidelines, said in a news release from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

“However, we’ve gleaned important new insights, cautions and best practices based on the thousands of studies that were published in medical journals in just the last four years alone and these are reflected in the new guidelines,” said Jones, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about weight-loss surgery.

Posted: April 2013

View comments – Daily MedNews

Rates of Childhood Obesity Fall Slightly

Dec. 25, 2012 — New data suggest that we may have turned an important corner in the childhood obesity epidemic.

While rates of obesity and extreme obesity in preschoolers rose from 1998 to 2003, they began to plateau soon thereafter. And childhood obesity rates decreased slightly in 2010.

“We are very encouraged by this data,” says study researcher Heidi M. Blanck, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta. “It’s pretty exciting and a nice turning of the tide. But we have to stay vigilant or it will go in the other direction.”

Researchers looked at data on 27.5 million children aged 2 to 4 from 1998 to 2010. These children were from 30 states and Washington, D.C. Many were eligible for government assistance.

The rate of child obesity rose from 13.05% in 1998 to 15.21% in 2003. But it fell to 14.94% in 2010.

The rate of extreme child obesity declined from 2.22% in 2003 to 2.07% in 2010, the study shows.

The findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

What makes the data even more promising is that many of the national initiatives aimed at lowering rates of childhood obesity hadn’t been started or were not at full force during most of the study period, Blanck says.

For example, efforts aimed at making it easier for new moms to breastfeed are just now gaining traction. Breastfeeding has been shown to help prevent obesity. There are also new programs that help people on food stamps purchase healthier foods.

Fighting Obesity With Lifestyle Changes

There’s also a lot that families can do in their own homes to encourage healthy lifestyles. These include getting more physical activity during the day and less screen time. “Walk the family dog together to get exercise,” Blanck says.

Also, get rid of sugary drinks and beverages in the home, and make fruits and vegetables available. “We know that childhood obesity tracks into adulthood, so it’s important to make these changes early and maintain them,” she says.

“The news is definitely encouraging,” says Leslie Lam, MD. He is a doctor at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

William Muinos, MD, says the new findings have not trickled down to his patients yet. He is the associate director of pediatric gastroenterology at Miami Children’s Hospital. “My childhood obesity clinic is growing in leaps and bounds,” he says. “We can do a lot better.”

Shari Barkin, MD, is also not sold on the fact that rates are declining yet. She is a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. “I’m heartened because we are holding our own,” she says. “It is good news that we have stabilized, but these current rates, even stabilized, are unacceptable.”

Her advice to families is to aim for 30 minutes a day of physical activity. “More is great, but we should all start here,” she says. “The best way to get preschoolers active is to get the family involved. “Parents are the best teachers.”

And make it fun. “We don’t call it exercise, we call it play.”

WebMD Health

Lighting up with C-Money and Dela of Slightly Stoopid

featured slightlystoopid 300x119 Lighting up with C Money and Dela of Slightly Stoopid

By Phyllis Pollack

Clearly outraged by laws that interfere with patients’ rights to medicate, they are not only strong advocates, but are demonstrably highly emotional about it, demonstrably taking the issue very personally.

Clearly outraged by laws that interfere with patients’ rights to medicate, they are not only strong advocates. Passionately emotional about it, they demonstrably take the issue very personally.

In the midst of a national tour, their energy is high.

Last week, their new Top of the World album took the Number One spot on iTunes. Stacked with top shelf tracks like “Marijuana,” Mona June,” “Way You Move,” and the title track, it is no surprise.

C-Money, who contributes trumpet and vocals, and Dela, who plays sax in the group, have clearly managed to keep their lungs in good shape. “I prefer a bong,” says C-Money.

He adds that it helps him to prepare for a show. “I kind of just listen to my body, and whenever it wants to mellow out, I definitely want to enjoy, and blaze right before we go on, because it kind of helps anxiety subside a little bit, and to get rid of a little of the nervous energy. It’s very calming.”

Dela, however, says, “I like to have spliffs. If not, I’ll take a hit off a bong or a bubbler.”

“I love OG Kush,” says C-Money. “I love any variant thereof. It makes you feel like it’s the first time every time.”

Mary Jane is one of their artistic muses. Dela says that marijuana has very much influenced the sound of the band. He comments, “If you look at your history books, you will see that marijuana influences a lot of music, not only throughout American music, but music all over the world. For some reason, musicians and marijuana have always kind of been kindred souls.”

“Louis Armstrong was a very adamant marijuana smoker,” Dela adds. “He said he smoked every day of his life. If you go right down the line, I could start naming names, but you guys already know what’s up.”

C-Money is a second-generation marijuana user. “My parents went to Woodstock. They were of that era. They smoked herb, but my dad didn’t understand that you have to get into the system. You really need to change the laws. You really need to kind of play the game, not just fight the system like they were doing.”

He explains, “Because of their defiance, and their revolutionary spirit, as their children, we want to live normal lives. We don’t want to feel like criminals, and we want to assimilate marijuana into our lives. If I want to smoke marijuana, or grow it in my backyard, or give it to one of my friends, I don’t want to feel that there is anything wrong with that at all.”

He adamantly asserts, “I would be protected under our Constitution with such freedoms.”

In response to the Los Angeles City Council voting to close the city’s dispensaries on September 6, Dela says, “I think it’s crazy on a national level. I’ll tell you why. If we’re a democracy, which we supposedly are, if the majority of the people want something for use, or has something they want to do every day, we have the power to have that in a democracy. So I think what is going on is a crock of shit. We need to fight for our democracy.”

“We’re not fighting for our democracy,” he passionately argues. “If we want it, then we should have it. It’s not hurting anyone else, and we’ve proven that. We know that. It’s just a basic violation of our rights as Americans, I think.”

C-Money is heated, as well, chiming in, “The real kick in the balls is that the dispensary owners, and I know plenty of them in San Diego, they’re all willing to pay taxes. We understand that alcohol, from the time it’s made to the time it’s sold, is taxed over thirty to forty times in certain instances. We’re talking all the ingredients used, distribution, liquor licensing, to buy it, and then to sell it. All the way until you purchase a drink at a restaurant.”

He continues his point without taking a breath. “The fact that people are willing to do this, and to flood money from it into the raising of our economy right now, which needs all the help it can get, and we need some American-based business, which I can tell you, because we have been all over the world.”

“The best marijuana is grown in Southern California,” C-Money asserts. “Mark my words on that. I’ll say it again. The best marijuana on planet earth, the most competitive product that could be made, is grown right in Southern California.”

Lamenting the waste of valuable financial resources, he explains, “The way that Italy has its fine wines, the way that France has its fine wines, the way that the Germany has beer, America could be exporting, importing. Fuck exporting. We could be trading within our own borders. All this marijuana making shitloads of money, state to state, and we’re sleeping on it.”

The speed of his words increases with his irritation. “And whoever is sleeping on it is taking food out of your and I’s mouth. The middle class. That’s who is being hurt by this, and what sucks is that we’re the majority.”

“We are losing it if we don’t organize ourselves, stop with our petty little differences, and get on the same frickin’ page.” C-Money firmly states.

“We need to be on the same page of music,” he says, underscoring his point.

As strong activists for decriminalization, the band feels they don’t need to play a special concert to get their views across. C-Money contends, “Every show we play” creates awareness for the cause of decriminalizing weed. The band couldn’t be any more blatant about their views.

“We smoke herb on stage. Every night, no matter what state or city we’re in,” Dela reports.

“We’re Americans. We believe in the fundamentals,” says C-Money, who opens up his shirt, and exposes a large tattoo depicting a snake. It is embellished with the words, “Don’t tread on me.” Flaunting a symbol of freedom from Colonial America, C-Money doesn’t ask for freedom, he takes it.

“Most Americans out there are with it,” notes Dela. “People in the clubs, they don’t give us problems, and they don’t give the people that are attending our shows problems. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of the people want it. It’s already there. It’s happening.”

“My father is a disabled veteran of the Viet Nam War,” confides C-Money. “He needs to smoke. He is a diabetic at this point. I grew up watching him get busted for having like a pipe and like a gram of herb, when there are crack dens and meth labs, and all of this. Just immense problems that we really need to focus our law and order on.”

“You wanna spend some tax dollars on some law enforcement for drugs?” asks Dela. “Go find meth. Go find that shit. I don’t want that shit on the streets.”

Getting busted wasn’t going to stop C-Money’s dad from smoking marijuana. When it came to getting nailed for possession of marijuana, “It was a continuous thing. He got arrested for it before I was even born.”

“I remember being about ten,” he somberly reveals. “The embarrassment of going to school and having the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officers cram a bunch of bullshit down your throat. I agree that cocaine, or anything that is physically addictive is wrong, and it needs to be controlled in that regard. But marijuana has been proven to not be a physically addictive drug.”

C-Money believes that cannabis can be a healthy part of a holistic lifestyle. “It can be grown, dried, used. It can be used in all forms from oils to food, to clothing. It’s like we’re just sleeping at the wheel over here,” he says, sounding disgusted.

He again brings up how decriminalization of marijuana could help a failing economy and rising unemployment. “The money wheel. It’s ridiculous. That’s why there is no shame in the game. Because as Americans, we need to be on this. Trust this, my grandfather knew what was up with prohibition, and that it was a complete failure as a social experiment, to deny people the right to buy, sell and purchase their own alcohol in this country.”

“And in a freedom-based society, how the hell are you going to justify marijuana illegal?” he asks with an indignant tone of righteous disgust.

While incorporating marijuana into their travels on the road, one of their best experiences was when the band travelled to Jamaica. “It’s beautiful. You really experience the place the music comes from. The scenery, the smells in the air, the ganja that they smoke, the ocean, all of those things are compiled in the music,” says Dela.

Because of their association with reggae, Slightly Stoopid received an extra warm reception in Jamaica. C-Money enthused, “People were giving us all this herb. I was taken to a house, far away from where we were. I was removed from our little circle of the reggae community. These 15 year-old kids produced some of the best ganja I’ve seen in a long time. They knew what was up. They were all sitting around, writing songs.”

“One of the kids said, ‘You want the good ganja?’ It was the last day we were there. This was the real good stuff,” C-Money recalled, with a glow in his eyes. “It was chronic. It was outdoor, really well done. It was up in the mountains with that really cool air, and that’s what you really need if you understand the science of it.”

C-Money credits marijuana for the fact that the band’s new album is the Number One music download. “The bottom line is that it shows a lot of people smoke weed out there. We’re pretty much a weed band. That’s what we do. We’re not like it’s the only thing in life, but it’s what we do. It’s part of who we are. All of our fans either smoke, or tolerate the fact that we do.

“To incorporate it into the marijuana movement shows there’s a lot of stoners out there,” he surmises.

“Our people are the majority,” agrees Dela. “People that smoke marijuana are the majority in this country. It just so happens that a lot of them relate to the music we play and that we write.”

C-Money doesn’t believe people should have to get a doctor’s authorization to smoke marijuana. “You don’t need a prescription from a doctor to drink alcohol,” he points out. “I don’t think it’s fair. I think we need to regulate marijuana like alcohol. I’m going to bust it out because I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with NORML lately. November, Colorado this year with Amendment 64, and Washington State with Initiative 502, are both voting to change their state constitution to legalize marijuana, and regulate it like alcohol. So if you’re 21 and over, you can purchase up to an ounce, and have it on your person. You can grow up to a certain amount, you can sell it, whatever.”

“They want to do away with the medical thing because alcoholism is what it is. The fact we don’t have that on lockdown, but we need a doctor to smoke marijuana? It’s great with (being legal with a doctor’s authorization). It’s a step in the right direction, the dispensaries. But we need to just legalize it,” C-Money urges.

“I won’t stop until they legalize it,” promises Dela. “It’s like a Constitutional thing.”

Not an easy feat, the band has managed to attain credibility as what is predominately a reggae act, while being comprised of mainly white musicians. “I’ve been playing reggae music my whole life,” asserts C-Money.

“My dad is married to a Jamaican woman. If you want to break it down, it’s like I’ll walk the talk and walk the walk, and do my thing. Because we’re genuine. We’re respected by a lot of Jamaicans who understand that we’re not exploiting their culture. We’re not disrespecting a lineage of a torch that was kind of passed to us that is very sacred to us, and we’re very, very protective of that.”

While a lot of white people sport long dreads and wear green, white and yellow, Slightly Stoopid is comfortable enough with themselves not to be posers, imitators or panderers to Rastafarian culture. “Just because you’re a Rasta, it doesn’t mean you understand reggae music, although reggae is steeped in Rasta,” Dela comments. “I just think it’s who you are inside.”

“We all studied reggae music forever,” says Dela. “We’ve all studied the ups and downs, the ins and outs. From the beginning of it to the second wave.”

“What you’ve asked is a very good point. I’ve been playing reggae music since I was 18 on a professional level, and I’m 33 now. Rastafarian beliefs comprise a very recognized religion. Just like in Judaism you have the hardcore, the Hassidic people, who wear the garb. Then you have the normal people. In Christianity, you have Catholics that are hardcore, then you have your Lutherans and Presbyterians that still believe in that, but you have every religion. There are the Arab extremists, then you have Islamic people that live with other people.”

“In our country, we have separation of church and state. I have to give everyone a right to do his or her thing. The dreadlocks, the red, green and gold, that is a direct lineage of what Rastafarian culture is. It comes from Ethiopia originally. When people wear that, that’s what they’re representing.”

Opening up, he says, “I, on the other hand, am a Presbyterian kid, who came from the South,” he explains. “I’ve grown up with Jewish and black kids, everybody under the sun. So I kind of Americanize everything we do, and that’s what Sublime did with reggae that made it so mainstream. It removed some of the religious overtones, and it made it more acceptable to everyone. And that is the key, because the ultimate essence isn’t for me to jam some religion down your throat. The ultimate essence is to live a good life and to have a good time. No one can deny that. Food, clothes and shelter, that’s what everyone wants.”

One of the tracks on the new album that has been getting attention is the song entitled “Marijuana.” Dela and C-Money simultaneously credit Don Carlos, who is a featured guest on the album, for the anthemic track.

“Legend, a reggae legend,” raves Dela. “You were talking about what gives us credentials. This is the kind of respect that we love to receive from our colleagues. Don Carlos, to write music with him. That’s the torch.”

“That recognition from a real Rastafarian, who is someone who knew Bob Marley when he was a little kid, and was really connected to what we grew up studying, and hoped one day to be a part of, and we did, through the graces of hard work, good timing, and a love of what we do.”

“He says it best.” C-Money then breaks into song, singing part of the song. “I love her, I love her, I just don’t care. She’s the only lover I’m willing to share. Marijuana.

He is the true article, as far as a person. He’s like a father figure. Gangsta, righteous, loving, tough, sincere, wise. I just can’t stop with him. He’s the full encompassing of a man, and what it means to do your job, and do what you were supposed to do. He even told me, ‘If you do good works, you’ll be taken care of.’”

Because if you make people happy, that’s what Jah works are all about. That’s that good vibe thing. A lot of people just want to always bicker. But if you get down and you quarrel every day, you’re singing praises to the devil, I say.” That’s what Bob Marley taught us.

“It’s the same thing with marijuana,” he continues, still not ready to stop expounding on herb. “People constantly put up this fight when they don’t have to smoke it to benefit from money. The hospitals, the fire departments, the police departments, everybody’s going to come up. And right now, we’re hard up. The economy is hard up right now. So how do we come up?”

“It’s a marijuana interview!” C-Money relentlessly shouts out to someone in the room that is trying to get his attention. “This is an important thing. That’s why I got this tattoo. I was arrested coming back from Amsterdam with half a gram of hash that I mistakenly had in my bag. I told the officer, ‘Look, I was just at the Cannabis Cup. This was in my suit, and we left at like four in the morning from our hotels. I’m not trying to flood the streets of America with half a gram of hash of frickin’ hash over here.” His voice is getting louder and more agitated.

Dela laughs at C-Money’s humorous statement.

“You know, by the time they tested it, there was nothing left. They charged me 1200 dollars, and took my credit card, and let me board my connecting flight. It’s not about morals; it’s a racket to me. It’s about money.”

He is clearly not ready to let this go any time soon. “It was in the Detroit airport. Do you know how much illicit booze traveled across the border during Prohibition through Michigan from Detroit? Hello, Detroit. You were bad in Prohibition, and you busted me for half a gram of hash! Boo! Al Capone was chillin’ in Detroit. That’s the ridiculousness of this.

His belief that marijuana should be legal is so strong, he says, “I can’t even believe that we have to sit here and talk about it.”

Almost sounding agitated, he says, “I’m sorry to get so emotional about it, but it’s undeniable.

He then quotes the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”

“We need to be more organized,” he asserts.

C-Money then offers a plan to all readers of The 420 Times. “All the readers that read this magazine, don’t complain. Don’t sit there with your back against the wall. Call you neighbor, and rally the fucking people. Because that’s what this country is about.”

The 420 Times

Selling Your Digital Games Becomes Slightly More Feasible With EU Court Decision


Digital games are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly on the PC where Steam has become the one and only place to purchase PC games for many. But what rights digital game owners have is a major source of complaints, as the way things currently stand, it is impossible to resell a downloaded game in the way you can a physical copy of a console or handheld game. A new European court ruling may lead to a dramatic change in that arrangement with a decidedly pro-consumer decision.

There is presently a distinction between the ability to resell software that is distributed via download and software distributed on physical media. Software company Oracle recently sued UsedSoft, a German company which resells Oracle software licenses, to prevent it from continuing to do so. End User License Agreements (EULAs, or those enormous legal documents you’re forced to agree to before installing software of any kind) typically seek to prohibit this sort of thing from happening, whether it be Oracle’s software or the latest Call of Duty. Essentially, consumers don’t own the software they are purchasing, but merely a license that limits what they can legally do with it. At least when it comes to physical copies of software, it has been established that “the first sale in the EU of a copy of a computer program by the copyright holder or with his consent exhausts the right of distribution of that copy in the EU.” In other words, a physical copy of a piece of software can be legally resold.


Children Born by C-Section at Slightly Higher Asthma Risk

MONDAY Jan. 16, 2012 — Children delivered by Cesarean section appear to be at a slight increased risk of developing asthma by age 3, a new study says.

The findings support the results of previous research.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 37,000 participants in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study in order to compare the health of children who were delivered by planned or emergency C-section with those who were born vaginally.

The results showed that children delivered by C-section had a slightly increased risk for asthma at age 3, but no increased risk for wheezing or frequent lower respiratory tract infections. The risk of asthma was highest among those whose mothers did not have allergies.

“It is unlikely that a Cesarean delivery itself would cause an increased risk of asthma, rather that children delivered this way may have an underlying vulnerability,” study primary author Maria Magnus, a researcher at the department of chronic diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said in an institute news release.

Possible reasons for the increased risk of asthma among children delivered by C-section include an altered bacterial flora in their intestine that affects their immune system development, or the fact that these children are more likely to have serious respiratory problems during their first weeks of life, the researchers said.

The study was recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

While the study found an association between C-section birth and asthma, it did not demonstrate a cause and effect.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about children and asthma.

Posted: January 2012

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Slightly Stoopid – “2 am” Stoopid Records

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