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Marijuana might not be as harmful as it seems

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For all the wisdom words you get against the consumption of marijuana, they stand no chance as a recent study shows that the drug might not harm you much in later stages of your life.

This divergent finding of US researchers is the first of its kind, as it expects to yoke teen marijuana usage and psychotic symptoms in the later stages of life.

The drug is already legal in four US states, with Oregon following Alaska, Colorado and Washington.

DENVER, CO - APRIL 20: An estimated 10,000 people are expected to gather in Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado on April 20, 2012 to celebrate the state's Medicinal Marijuana laws and collectively light up at 4:20pm. On Nov. 6, Colorado may become the first state to legalize marijuana with the passing of Amendment 64, a controversial ballot initiative that would permit up to 1 ounce of possession for those 21 and older. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Person

“There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured, regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence,” said the lead researcher, Jordan Bechtold, PhD, a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The study began surveying 14-year-oldmale Pittsburgh public school students.  These young men were followed for 12 years by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Rutgers University to analyze various health issues.

The study included 22% of men who were chronic users of marijuana and showed almost the same signs like anxiety, asthma and depression in comparison to the infrequent users or non-smokers.

“We wanted to help inform the debate about legalization of marijuana, but it’s a highly complicated issue and one study should not be taken in isolation,” said Dr Bechtold.The researchers accentuate the fact that the study cannot be taken with certitude as women were not a part of this study and men above the age of 30 weren’t examined.

A petition calling for the total legalization of this drug in UK has been signed by more than 125,000 people. Campaigners assert that, legalization of marijuana would bring in £900m in taxes every year, save £400m on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs.

 

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Air Pollution ‘Largest Environmental Risk to Public Health in UK’: Report

Cosford said a key challenge was the commonly held view that actions to reduce air pollution run counter to economic growth and development

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China
Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.

Public Health England (PHE) has put forward a series of recommendations aimed at reducing the 28,000 to 36,000 deaths a year in Britain attributed to long-term exposure to polluted air.

One recommendation in the 250-page PHE report published here on Monday was for town and city councils to be given powers to implement no-idling zones to stop people leaving their car engines running while waiting outside schools, hospitals and care homes.

Another proposal would see low-emission or clean air zones to discourage the most highly polluting vehicles from entering populated areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report said that air pollution was the biggest environmental threat to health in Britain with strong evidence that air pollution causes the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, lung cancer and exacerbates asthma.

“The evidence is clear on the scale of harm from air pollution. It is the largest environmental risk to the public’s health in the UK,” warned the report.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018 (Representational image). VOA

“People are exposed to outdoor air pollution in the places where they live, work and spend their leisure time. Whilst there are opportunities for individuals to reduce their personal exposure, or that of their children, these are limited,” it said.

The document said that public spaces should be redesigned so people aren’t so close to highly polluting roads by making streets wider or using green hedges to screen against pollutants. There should also be more investment in clean public transport, footpaths and cycle paths.

Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s Medical Director, said: “Action is needed at all levels to address this unacceptable, serious and avoidable source of harm to our health. We all have a role to play in helping to make sure that the air that we, and future generations, breathe is clean air.”

Also Read- Researchers Develop Novel Method to Predict Mortality in Elderly

Cosford said a key challenge was the commonly held view that actions to reduce air pollution run counter to economic growth and development.

In January, the British government announced a “Clean Air Strategy” setting out plans to meet ambitious legally binding international targets to reduce emission of the five most damaging air pollutants by 2030. It will be followed by a wider Environment Bill. (IANS)