A recent survey suggested that a majority of US respondents support the legalization of marijuana. The press release version from Angus-Reid Global Monitor is here. I’ve taken the liberty of graphing the data because something strikes me as funny.
AngusReidLegalizeSurvey.jpg It is very odd to me that the public view on drug harms seems to exist in a sort of good/bad binary state that does not appear to be graded with anything resembling a specific measure of “harmfulness” whatever that may be. If we may take the public willingness for legalization as a reflection of some global harm evaluation, that is. Some of the more philosophically defensible arguments, along the line of libertarian civil liberties and what not, would seem to be entirely independent of drug identity, right? So it must be something about the level of harm. The public appear to feel that there is a categorical distinction between marijuana and some other popular drugs but I just don’t see where it is supported in terms of any given harmful outcome including risk of dependence, interference with ability to function when acutely intoxicated, acute risk of death, risk of toxicity to brain or other major organ with repeated use, etc.
Unfortunately, I was distracted by something shiny in my researches so we’re going off on a bit of a tangent today…

Read the rest of this entry »

I was reading a post entitled “Fashion magazines can be hazardous to your health” over at the Millikan Daily.

What you’re seeing is an extreme allergic reaction caused by a sprayable perfume sample of a fragrance called (no joke) Alien, by Thierry Mugler.

I’ll let you click over there for the photographic evidence but it sure sounded like a serious situation to me. All joking about dodging the perfume-spritzers when you are trying to find the escalator to housewares aside…

Luckily, she works at a hospital and was able to take Benadryl within five minutes of the onset of symptoms and a PA there gave her a shot of prednisone when it got worse. “I couldn’t see that whole first night and could only open my right eye a slit the next 24 hours. After continued Benadryl use every 4 hours, I had a full recovery after 4 1/2 days.”

Read the rest of this entry »