Legal Recreational Marijuana?

A petition has been circulating that could put recreational marijuana legalization on next year’s election ballot in our state. Get the details about what the petition wants the legalization to include in the article below. Eight states currently have recreational marijuana legalized and 29 have medical legalization including Michigan. Could we be the ninth with recreational legalized?

Michigan Might Be The Next State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Half the tax revenue would help make community colleges and vocational schools more affordable.

By: Al Olson
May 08, 2017

Advocates for legal recreational cannabis in Michigan officially launched a ballot drive on Friday to put the initiative to a vote in 2018.

According to the language in the petition, adults 21 and over would be able to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to a dozen plants.

The petition needs approval from the state’s Board of Canvassers. If it gets the OK, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol — the authors of the petition — has 180 days to collect 252,523 signatures in order to qualify for the 2018 ballot.

“Our country’s marijuana prohibition laws have failed miserably. About 20,000 nonviolent offenders are arrested annually for marijuana possession and cultivation, causing an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars and choking our already overburdened court system,” said John Truscott, spokesperson for Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “This initiative would make Michigan a leader in responsible adult-use marijuana laws, while also creating an entirely new industry and generating badly needed tax revenue for our state.”

The initiative proposes a 10 percent marijuana excise tax at the retail level, which would be in addition to Michigan’s standard 6 percent sales tax. The initiative will put hundreds of millions of dollars every year into schools, roads and local government while paying for all enforcement costs and a study on using medical marijuana to prevent veteran suicides.

If passed by the voters in November 2018, this proposal will:
Legalize the possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis and industrial hemp.
Protect consumers with regulations requiring testing and accurate labeling.
Taxes marijuana at the wholesale level in addition to the standard state sales tax. Half of the excise taxes will be used to make community colleges and vocational schools more affordable for Michigan residents. The other half will be directed to local governments that decide to allow marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.
Gives people convicted of a non-violent marijuana crime a path to clear their criminal record.
Among the groups in support of the petition are the ACLU of Michigan, the National Patients Rights Association and the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.
In 2016, a similar initiative failed due to invalidated petition signatures.

If approved by voters, Michigan would follow Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in legalizing marijuana.

– See more at: https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/will-michigan-be-the-next-state-to-legalize-marijuana/#sthash.80DOs5nQ.dpuf

Medical Marijuana Might Be Preferred Method

Medical marijuana is becoming legalized in many states across the country, and we predict that it will be legal in all states sooner rather than later. A study conducted on Medicare recipients had very interesting findings that some might be shocked to learn. It goes to show that more people are accepting of legal medical marijuana than you’d think. Read more about the study and its findings in the article from The Cannabist below.

Study: National medical marijuana laws would save lives — and a billion taxpayer dollars

In states that introduced a medical marijuana program, Medicaid prescriptions for anti-depressants, pain, anti-nausea, seizure and psychosis drugs fell

Published: Apr 21, 2017, 10:56 am

By Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post

medcannabis

A fascinating study in Health Affairs last year by a father-daughter pair of public policy researchers found that Medicare prescriptions for things like painkillers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications dropped sharply in states that introduced a medical marijuana program.

The implication? Offered the choice between taking medication prescribed by a doctor and self-medicating with pot, many older patients opted for the latter.

But the study left one big question unanswered: Since the study’s authors – the University of Georgia’s Ashley Bradford and W. David Bradford – only looked at Medicare data, they couldn’t say for sure whether the findings held for younger patients too.

Now, we’re getting more answers. This week, the Bradfords are back with a new study applying the same analysis to prescriptions under Medicaid, which covers low-income people of all ages. The results largely validate their previous work: Medicaid prescriptions for certain drugs fell significantly in states that adopted a medical marijuana law.

Specifically, anti-nausea drug prescriptions fell by 17 percent. Anti-depressant prescriptions fell 13 percent, while prescriptions for seizure and psychosis drugs fell 12 percent.

Not everyone who has access to medical marijuana opts for it, obviously. But enough do to make a significant dent in the prescription numbers. “Patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine,” the Bradfords conclude.

Perhaps most significantly from a public health standpoint, prescriptions for painkillers fell by 11 percent. Opiate painkillers are behind much of the current drug overdose epidemic.

Numerous studies have found that opiate abuse and overdose rates fell in states with medical marijuana laws. The Bradfords’ research describes the mechanism by which that could happen: the introduction of medical marijuana laws coincides with a drop in painkiller prescriptions.

The Bradfords’ data only include prescriptions made under Medicare and Medicaid, but given the totality of their evidence it seems reasonable to assume that similar patterns hold true for patients on private insurance plans.

In the current budgetary environment, no analysis of healthcare is complete without a discussion of costs. The Bradfords estimate that because of the drops in prescribing rates, a nationwide medical marijuana program would save taxpayers about $1.1 billion on Medicaid prescriptions annually. That’s on top of the the half a billion in Medicare savings the Bradfords estimated last year.

Those costs don’t evaporate into thin air, of course: they would simply be shifted over to seniors and low-income people who would be purchasing medical marijuana outside of their insurance programs.

There’s also the open question of how smart it is from a personal health perspective to be self-medicating with pot: “it is plausible that forgoing medications with known safety, efficacy, and dosing profiles in favor of marijuana could be harmful under some circumstances,” the Bradfords warn.

Still, the Bradfords’ research makes the gulf between our current medical understanding of marijuana and federal policy around it even wider. Last summer the DEA affirmed yet again marijuana’s status in Schedule 1 of the controlled substances act, a category reserved for the most dangerous, addictive drugs that have no medical applications.

“This decision was made despite the substantial and growing evidence that the requirements for Schedule I status involving ‘no currently accepted medical uses’ are no longer met by marijuana,” the Bradfords write.

Article sourced from: http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/04/21/medical-marijuana-healthcare-costs-prescriptions/77899/

Michigan Doing Better With Medical Marijuana Safety & Legislation

In 2016, the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) committee said that our state had a ways to go with improving safety, legislation and policies for medical marijuana. This year it’s a different story. Learn about how we’re doing now and how the ASA comes to these conclusions in the article from CBS Detroit below.

Advocates Rank Michigan Among 3 Best State For Medical Marijuana Users
March 9, 2017 3:16 PM

(credit: istock)

(credit: istock)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Michigan gets high marks when it comes to medical marijuana, according to a new report.

Advocates have ranked Michigan among the three best states for cannabis patients in the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) annual report: “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.”

In it, U.S. states are assigned letter grades based on how well their medical cannabis program meets the needs of patients.

“It’s based on actual based on input that we’ve received from patients around the country,” Steph Sherer, Executive Director at ASA, told WWJ Newsradio 950. “And we actually this on a 164-point system. There’s actually 164 criteria we look at.”:

Each state is graded according to a rubric of patient’s rights, legal constraints, and overall accessibility to medical cannabis. The report gave Michigan received a B+ grade for its stateside medical cannabis program this year, ranking it one of the best states in the nation for medical cannabis patients.

This comes after, in 2016, Michigan got a failing D+.

“Last year Michigan passed a law that created a central licensing program for distribution of medical cannabis, so that greatly improved the grade,” Sherer explained.

“If Michigan can move through the implementation of its new state regulated dispensary system in a timely manner and adopt strong product safety protocols, it could be one of the strongest programs for patients in the country,” she said. “But in order to do so, Michigan state legislators must add civil discrimination protections in the areas of housing, employment, and organ transplants to their statewide cannabis policies.”

Also with a B+ are California and Illinois. No one got an A.

While medical marijuana is now legal 28 states, plus Washington DC, Sherer said the grades show advocates still have a ways to go when it comes to the fight for patients and their rights.

“We have to overcome, because the stigma is there about what people think they know about cannabis,” she added. “And so we have to educate them about why we’re using cannabis as a medicine.”

Article sourced from: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2017/03/09/advocates-rank-michigan-among-3-best-state-for-medical-marijuana-users/

Why and How Essential Oils Work

You have most likely been hearing more and more about essential oils these days. That’s because they truly help many ailments in any ways. If you haven’t already gotten on this bandwagon, now is the time. Read the article from USA Today below to understand why essential oils are so great.

People are obsessed with essential oils. Here’s why
USA TODAY NETWORK Alexia Severson, Las Cruces (N.M.) Sun-News
Published 11:56 a.m. ET Feb. 10, 2017 | Updated 1:50 p.m. ET Feb. 10, 2017

Aromatherapy has become a trendy way to treat a wide range of conditions, including insomnia, anxiety and pain.

Some essential oils, derived from plants and used in aromatherapy, also have antibacterial and antifungal properties, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

While scientific evidence that essential oils help treat certain health conditions is lacking, aromatherapy has been used for nearly 6,000 years and is commonly used in spas and hospitals today, according to the hospital’s website.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are complex mixtures of anywhere from 20 to 100 different compounds, extracted from the roots, leaves, seeds or blossoms of plants, according to Mary O’Connell, distinguished achievement and regents professor in plant and environmental sciences at New Mexico State University.

Essential oils and their uses

Basil. Used topically, it may help treat acne.

“Applying a gel containing basil and sweet orange essential oils to the skin for eight weeks might help clear breakouts in people with acne,” according to the WebMD website.

The scent of basil also can help lift the spirits, according to owner Deborah Brandt of From The Ground Up in Las Cruces, N.M. She’s also a clinical herbalist at the herb shop and apothecary of herbal formulas.

Clove. Used topically, it has a numbing, anesthetic effect, O’Connell said. It also has antibacterial qualities.

“Clove essential oil has been used for decades for toothaches,” Brandt said.

Eucalyptus. Used as an antibacterial agent, it also can help clear respiratory congestion when inhaled.

“You can put eucalyptus oil in steaming water, and put a towel over your head and breath in those scents,” Brandt said.

Fennel, aniseed, sage and clary sage oils. These essential oils all contain estrogen compounds, which may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause, according to the medical center.

Floral oils. Lavender, as well as rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood and others have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“Lavender is very common for relaxing,” said Brandt, who suggests putting a few drops your pillow before bed.

Lemon balm. Used topically, it may help treat skin conditions such as herpes, shingles and cold sores.

Mix lemon balm with St. John’s wart oil to help reduce symptoms of the herpes virus, Brandt said.

Peppermint. Used topically, it is an antibacterial agent. When taken with tea, it can soothe an upset stomach, O’Connell said.

Peppermint also can be used to ease a headache by mixing a drop of peppermint oil with another oil such as almond oil or olive oil and rubbing it into the temples, Brandt said.

Rosemary. Rosemary aromatherapy may improve memory quality, according to WebMD and Brandt.

The herb “has some of the same compounds as the drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s interesting that rosemary, historically, has been called the herb of remembrance,” Brandt said.

Thuja. Apply directly to the skin for joint pain, osteoarthritis, and muscle pain. It can also be used as an insect repellent.

“I mix it with other oils for bacterial infections,” Brandt said.

How to choose

Today, consumers have many brands to choose from.

O’Connell recommends picking a provider that is careful about growing plants, processing the oil from them and storing the oil.

The chemical composition of essential oils varies depending on the environment, where the plants were grown and the specific genetics of the plant variety, she said. Whether the oils are distilled through use of steam or extracted with a solvent also can cause the composition of the oil to vary.

And oils degrade over time — remember how olive oil in your pantry can get rancid?

Based on how the oil is stored, its quality an be impaired, O’Connell said. Store oils darker bottles to maintain their quality longer.

Brandt recommends looking for essential oil brands that are organic to ensure the oil is in its purest form.

Dos and don’ts

• Never take essential oils by mouth unless under the supervision of a trained professional.

Some are toxic, and ingesting them can be fatal, according to University of Maryland Medical Center officials.

• Look for side effects. In rare cases aromatherapy can cause rashes, asthma, headaches, liver damage and nerve damage, as well as harm to a fetus.

• Add water or a base massage oil to an essential oil before applying to your skin. Oils high in phenols, like cinnamon, can irritate the skin.

If using an essential oil externally, Brandt recommends mixing one-part essential oil with about five parts carrier, such as coconut oil or olive oil to dilute it and avoid any skin reactions. Avoid using essential oils near the eyes.

• Don’t use near an open flame. Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable.

• Go to a doctor if necessary. Essential oils are not a cure-all.

“If you use essential oils for your condition and you’re not better in three days, then go to the doctor,” Brandt said.

Follow Alexia Severson on Twitter: @AlexiaMSeverson

Article sourced from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/02/10/essential-oils-aromatherapy/97739568/

Balancing Your Chakra To Feel Younger

Have you ever practiced Tibetan Yoga? If your answer is no, now is the time to try it! The method and poses described in the article below bring forward anti-aging properties that also balance your chakra. Staying active will help you feel younger longer, and one way to stay active is through yoga. It doesn’t require a lot of athleticism and can be practiced almost anywhere. Try Tibetan yoga after reading the article below.

Five steps to stay young FOREVER
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Delna Anand tells you all you need to know about Tibetan Yoga – a few simple rites that is the best anti-ageing tool you can have

Fountain of youth – just a myth or achievable to mortal beings like us? American author Mark Twain had famously stated, “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.” Termed “loathsome” by Greek poet Homer and “hideous winter” by William Shakespeare, old age has never been looked forward to – not because of vanity but the slowing down of bodily functions.
Millions have searched for the fountain of youth, and there are a mere few who’ve scratched the surface to uncovering it. Of all theories, it’s the Tibetan lamas who have seen results. According to them, the only difference between youth and old age is quite simply the spin rate of the chakras or vortexes (the body’s seven major energy centres).

WHAT ARE CHAKRAS
Chakras are centres within our body’s physical, and etheric energy fields. They are the gateways through which Life Force or Prana or Chi flows in and out of our being. These vital energy centres are sensitive to the intensity of energy, and are likely to get blocked with heavy physical, emotional, mental or spiritual imbalances. And this slows the natural flow of the chakra. Depending on where the energy gets locked, we feel constricted in that corresponding area of our life. Chakra balancing is the perfect way to make sure your bodies energy system is running optimally!
The law of vibration and body frequencies state that as we grow older, the spin rate of the chakra naturally diminishes, resulting in decline of health. The lamas have discovered a way to restore the spin rate of the chakras. And they leave behind for us this divine gift which they call the Five Tibetan Rites. When performed daily, they are known to balance the spin rate thus preserving the precious gift of youthfulness.

HOW TO PERFORM THE TIBETAN RITES:
Start with doing each rite five times and gradually build up to 21. If you miss a few days, go back down a few repetitions. The best time to do this is in the morning. Avoid doing the rite during the monthly cycle and in the evenings.

First Tibetan – Rite #1
Stand upright with arms outstretched horizontal to the floor, keep your eyes open, palms facing down and arms in line with your shoulders. Feet spread at shoulder width. Spin around clockwise, starting with a small number gradually increasing it up to a maximum of 21 spins.
To end, place right foot slightly bent, placing right palm on left with arms stretched in front. Gaze intensely at centre of right palm to restore balance.

Below are the steps:

Step 1

Step 2

First Tibetan – Rite #2
Lie flat on the floor, face up, keeping feet together and face palms flat on floor beside your hips. Breathe in and lift your head off the floor tucking your chin into your chest while raising legs together till you can see your feet. Do not let the knees bend. Do this while breathing out from the mouth. Then slowly lower the legs and head to the floor, always keeping the knees straight. Allow the muscles to relax, and repeat upto a maximum of 21 times. Make sure that you have the same number of repetitions for all Rites.

Below are the steps:

Step 1

Step 2

First Tibetan – Rite #3
Kneel on the floor with the body erect. The hands should be placed on the backs of your buttocks and lean backwards as far as possible while inhaling through the nose. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking your chin in against your chest. Blow out through mouth on upper chest. Your toes should be curled under through this exercise.

Below are the steps:

Step 1
http://www.masala.com/sites/default/files/styles/4_columns_gutter_size_638px_wide_landscape/public/images/2017/01/22/3-%28b%29.JPG?itok=-cXX8MV1
Step 2

First Tibetan – Rite #4
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, palms under your shoulders against the body. With the trunk of the body erect, breathe in and raise your body. Slowly swing back to starting position without thumping yourself to the ground.
Below are the steps:

Step 1

Step 2

First Tibetan – Rite #5
Get on all fours. Pull buttocks back. Now breathe in and lower the body pushing head back as far as possible. Then, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted “V” position. At the same time, bring the chin forward, tucking it against the chest. Repeat the same number of times as the other rites.

Below are the steps:

Step 1

Step 2

Wardrobe Courtesy – Proyog, Organic Yog Wear; Location: Dyana Yoga & Pilates Centre; Reiki Master Farzeen Shroff

Article sourced from: http://www.masala.com/reverse-the-aging-process-231955.html

Essential Oils for Migraines and Headaches

As you most likely already know, essential oils can do a lot for the body and its ailments. For those that suffer from headaches and migraines, you might want to consider using essential oils for relief before going for the medicine cabinet. Learn about the ones that have helped others in the article below.

Suffering from migraine? Try these essential oils to get relief from it!
Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2016 – 00:06
Zee Media Bureau

migraine

New Delhi: Migraine is the most common and painful thing that a person can experience. It is often caused by many factors like stress, strong odours, hormones, dietary changes and smoking.

Though there are medicines available to us to get rid of migraine, but one can also opt for essential oils to get instant relief from the pain.

Here are some essential oil that helps to get relief from it:

Rose oil
Rose oil helps to get rid of migraine as it comfort and soothe the nervous system.

Peppermint oil
The long-lasting cooling effect of peppermint oil on the skin helps to inhibit muscle contractions and stimulate blood flow when applied on forhead reducing the pain.

Lavender oil
Lavender oil helps to regulates serotonin levels that minimize pain in the nervous system which lead to migraine attacks.

Eucalyptus oil
This oil cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms. It also opens the nasal airways and eliminates sinus pressure that can lead to migraine.

Rosemary oil
This oil helps get relief from severe migraine because of its stimulating, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Article sourced from: http://zeenews.india.com/health/suffering-from-migraine-try-these-essential-oils-to-get-relief-from-it-1960604

Meditation at Work

We have all experienced some type of work-related stress at some point in our careers. Stress affects everyone differently and sometimes it can lead to other issues. There are things you can do to keep stress at a minimum and improve your overall happiness. Meditation is one of those things. You can meditate anywhere and, after some time, you will notice improvements. Read this article about meditation for workplace happiness and see how it works for you!

6 Ways Meditation Makes You Happier at Work
11/16/2016 04:23 pm ET | Updated 4 days ago
Yoga Journal

meditation-work

Work stress. We all feel it, whether we’re struggling to find 15 minutes for lunch or responding to emails at 10 p.m. But a regular mindfulness and meditation practice can help, says meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness at Work.

“Sometimes people are really concerned about practicing mindfulness at work. They think they’ll lose their edge, or they won’t strive or seek excellence, but it actually opens up the door to being more creative and finding a sense of meaning,” she explains.

Here are 6 ways that meditation and mindfulness can help you both survive and enjoy your work day, according to Salzberg.

1. Find a sense of meaning.

Studies have shown that strongest indicator of happiness at work is a sense of meaning, so Salzberg recommends infusing your day with something that gives you personal meaning. For example, say to yourself, “I will try to be compassionate to everyone I encounter” or “I will try to communicate well,” she suggests. This positive focus can really transform your day, she says.

2. Be realistic.

We’ve all had moments when we wanted to march out the door, but since the bills aren’t going to pay themselves, it’s important to be realistic, Salzberg says. Ask yourself, “What do you see as a realistic path to change in your situation?” she says. “See what you can change, and see what’s actually happening (without focusing on your immediate reactions). Focus on the bigger picture. Even if you’re seeking change, doing so from a less driven, less reactive place is a good thing.”

3. Have a daily meditation practice.

“It’s not realistic to be mindful all the time at work,” Salzberg says. “One of my teachers once recommended ‘short moments many times’ … that’s sort of our goal. The best and most effective way to make that real is if you have a daily meditation practice—10-20 minutes a day of sitting or walking meditation. A dedicated period where you’re only trying to cultivate awareness and compassion. That will make it so much easier to have those short moments many times a day.”

4. Come back to your breath.

If you’ve received an upsetting email or had a tense moment with your boss, remember to breathe, Salzberg advises. “If you breathe and come back to the moment, it brings you back to your values and what you really want to see come out of the situation. It’s actually a very powerful thing to do,” she says.

5. Unplug.

If you’re checking your work emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night, mindfulness and meditation can help you unplug, Salzberg says. “The more aware we get, the more we see the consequences of certain actions. You realize that you need to take a break—you feel the stress in the body and you feel compassion for yourself. This helps you put down your device, establish new boundaries and new habits.”

6. Shift your perspective.

Meditation and mindfulness can help you remember that work is only one aspect of your life and only one part of your day, Salzberg says. “Meditation and mindfulness have a benefit of perspective-taking and giving you more flexibility of mind. You’re purposefully, intentionally asking yourself, ‘How else can I look at things?’ Have fun with it. See your very life and your day as a creative medium.”

Not sure how to get started on meditation? We’ll show you how.
Follow Yoga Journal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yoga_journal

Article sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoga-journal/6-ways-meditation-makes-y_b_13022206.html

If You Aren’t Already Meditating…

Meditation is continuing to be proven as beneficial in many ways. These newly talked about ways in this article are nine more reasons you should be practicing this if you are not already. Your body will function better, you will be happier, and your memory could improve! You can meditate at home, at work, while doing yoga, or anywhere else. Read the full article below.

HuffPost OWN
9 Surprising Benefits Of Meditation

The science-backed benefits of meditation, from your brain to your bowels and beyond.

By Amy Maclin O, The Oprah Magazine

meditation blog post

1. Reunites You with Your Car Keys
Memory-training exercises? Sure — or you could meditate/visualize/yoga your way to improved cognition, according to a small study of older adults.

2. Turns Your Frown Upside Down
Meditation curbs activity in the brain’s amygdala, which helps govern anxiety, stress, and anger. Translation? You’re less likely to wig the hell out.

3. Provides TLC for Your IBS
In one study, eight weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction tempered tummy turbulence by a whopping 26.4 percent.

4. Slashes Your Dessert Budget
Mindfulness stokes self-control and—by helping you distance yourself from cravings — robs Boston cream pie of its dastardly allure.

5. Transports You to Margaritaville
Meditation turns on the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, the flip side of fight-or-flight. Heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension decrease—and umbrella-drink mode kicks in.

6. Sweetens Your Slumber
After a six-week meditation workshop, insomniacs felt better rested and less depressed— probably because they were better rested and less depressed.

7. Douses the Flames Shooting out of Your Head
Multiple studies have shown that mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing have a chilling effect on hot flashes.

8. Soothes Your Achy-Breaky Back
Eight weeks of mindfulness training for nearly five months of relief? Sign us up!

9. Makes You Nicer
When Buddhist monks practiced compassion meditation while having their brains scanned—we’ve all done that, right?—they showed increased neural activity related to empathy.

Article sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/surprising-benefits-of-meditation_us_580a68e1e4b000d0b1569a6f

Medical Marijuana vs. Opioids

If someone is severely injured or suffers from chronic pain or certain diseases they might be prescribed an opioid of some sort by their doctor. The problem with opioids is that they are highly addictive. Sometimes they serve as gateway drugs to other narcotics, too. New research has surfaced showing that a lot of states with legal medical marijuana had less fatal car accidents with people who had opioids in their system involved. Read more about the study in the article below.

Marijuana May Alleviate America’s Opioid Crisis, New Study Suggests
In 2014, more than 14,000 people ― nearly 40 per day ― died from overdoses of prescribed opiates.
Access to medical marijuana may be cutting down on the overall use of opioids, including prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet, new research suggests.

By: Chris D’Angelo

In a study, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed traffic fatality data from 1999-2013 for 18 U.S states. They found that most states that passed medical marijuana laws saw an overall reduction in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for opioids.

“We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of severe or chronic pain,” lead author June H. Kim, a doctoral student at Mailman, said in a statement.

The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is among the first to look at the link between state medical marijuana laws and opioid use. Medical marijuana laws, the authors concluded, are “associated with reductions in opioid positivity among 21- to 40-year-old fatally injured drivers and may reduce opioid use and overdose.”

JOHNSTOWN, NY - AUGUST 19: Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse at Vireo Health's medical marijuana cultivation facility, August 19, 2016 in Johnstown, New York. New York state lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana for medical use in 2014 and the law took effect in January 2016. Currently, five organizations are allowed to grow and sell the drug for medical use in the state. New York's new law only allows people with 'severe debilitating or life threatening conditions' to obtain marijuana for medical use. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

JOHNSTOWN, NY – AUGUST 19: Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse at Vireo Health’s medical marijuana cultivation facility, August 19, 2016 in Johnstown, New York. New York state lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana for medical use in 2014 and the law took effect in January 2016. Currently, five organizations are allowed to grow and sell the drug for medical use in the state. New York’s new law only allows people with ‘severe debilitating or life threatening conditions’ to obtain marijuana for medical use. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The United States is currently facing an epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse. Since 1999, opioid prescriptions and sales have quadrupled in the United States, a boom that the CDC said has “helped create and fuel” the current opioid abuse crisis. In 2014 alone, more than 14,000 people ― nearly 40 per day ― died from overdoses of prescribed opiates.

The Columbia study adds to a growing body of evidence showing cannabis can be an effective, alternative treatment for pain relief.

A 2014 study, for example, found that states with medical marijuana had fewer prescription painkiller overdose deaths than those without. And in July, researchers documented that states with medical marijuana saw a drop in prescription drugs, saving an estimated $165.2 million in Medicare costs.

In March, federal health officials issued new guidelines for opioid prescriptions in an effort to curb the crisis, urging doctors to largely avoid prescribing highly addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin when treating patients for chronic pain.

But the Drug Enforcement Administration has stopped short of embracing alternative painkillers, recently declining to loosen restrictions on marijuana and announcing plans to criminalize kratom, an herbal supplement that many say is effective at treating chronic pain and fighting opioid addiction.

At the state level, however, the tide is turning. Twenty-five U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana. Four of those, plus the District of Columbia, have also legalized recreational use of the substance.

“As states with these laws move toward legalizing marijuana more broadly for recreational purposes, future studies are needed to assess the impact these laws may have on opioid use,” Kim said in a statement.

Find the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/medical-marijuana-curb-opioid-use_us_57dc610ce4b0071a6e0799f8?utm_hp_ref=medical-marijuana

Meditation and Yoga for Injuries

If you have an injury you probably want to rest and avoid activities that can slow your healing. This is where meditation comes into play. It requires almost no movement and can bring forth ways to improve your healing. If you have never considered meditation before, this article will show you how you can use it in at least one aspect of your life because, let’s face it, we all will be injured at some point.

meditation yj
By: Yoga Journal

The best (if dreaded) remedy for battling a yoga injury? Rest. My left arm is in need of a major vacation from Chaturanga, but my mind is highly displeased by the verdict. I decided to appease my cranky brain with a simple visual and mantra-oriented meditation. I created this meditation while sitting outside overlooking a beautiful lake in upstate New York last week. The slow pace combined with the glory of nature reminded me to use them as healing tools in my visualization practice. I’ve been using this simple mediation since to encourage my mind to rest and my body to recharge, so it can come back strong.

A quiet space outdoors in nature would be ideal if available, but even a cracked window or sitting on a balcony should do the trick.

Start by cultivating ujjayi breath.

Keep it simple and soft. Close your eyes and let your internal vision rest between your eyes on your brow. Set the scene for about one minute.

As you inhale, think to yourself: I am strong. As you exhale: I am healing. Continue this mantra for another minute.

Next, as you say to yourself, I am strong, envision an outer casing shattering off your body. This is the residual buildup of opinions, experiences, hurtful words, or anything that may have added to your duress. See it combust into a million pieces and flutter off into the wind.

As you use the statement, I am healing, envision a flowering vine wrapping around the ailment of on your body. This gorgeous plant is drawing up healing energy deep from within it’s roots and transporting it toward you. See the plant blossom as it makes contact with your skin, because you are ripe with healing and fertile with potential.

Continue this combination of mantra and visualization for at least 5 minutes or up to as long as you’d like. Once you’re done with the mantra, sit in silence for a few minutes more.

About Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at Yoga Journal LIVE!

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoga-journal/a-healing-meditation-for_b_10946528.html