How traditional medicine can play a key role in Latino health care

The Conversation, 5 March 2017
Author: Courtney Parker
“In the U.S., many undocumented individuals and other vulnerable groups in the Latino immigrant population, such as indigenous language speakers, are already marginalized from mainstream health services. Traditional or indigenous medicine, commonly referred to as TM, can bridge some of these barriers to health care because their methods stem from the unique values, cultural systems and specific health needs of these populations. In its latest report on traditional medicine, WHO acknowledges TM as a “mainstay of health and health care delivery.””
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Recreational Cannabis — Minimizing the Health Risks from Legalization

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:705-707
Author: Beau Kilmer
“The cannabis-policy landscape is undergoing dramatic change. Although many jurisdictions have removed criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis and more than half of U.S. states allow physicians to recommend it to patients, legalizing the supply and possession of cannabis for nonmedical purposes is a very different public policy. Since the November 2016 election, 20% of the U.S. population lives in states that have passed ballot initiatives to allow companies to sell cannabis for any reason and adults 21 or older to purchase it. Although other states may move toward legalization, uncertainty abounds because of the federal prohibition on cannabis.”
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White house expects justice crackdown on legalized marijuana

Associated Press, 23 February 2017
Author: Sadie Gurman
“The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration’s strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as a solid majority of Americans believe it should be legal.”
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Unproven alternative medicines recommended by third of Australian pharmacists

The Guardian, 13 February 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Nearly one third of pharmacists are recommending complementary and alternative medicines with little-to-no evidence for their efficacy, including useless homeopathic products and potentially harmful herbal products.”
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Health Care Complaints Commission v Liu [2017] NSWCATOD 18

Decision date: 27 January 2017
“The Respondent is a practitioner of Chinese medicine registered under the National Law. The enquiry is into an application and complaint against the Respondent made in accordance with sections 39(2) and 90B(3) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 and section 145A of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (“The National Law”).”
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Germany legalizes cannabis for medicinal purposes

Reuters, 19 January 2017
Authors: Michelle Martin, Janet Lawrence
“Germany’s lower house of parliament on Thursday passed a law that legalizes the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes for people who are chronically ill. Those suffering from serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and chronic pain or a lack of appetite or nausea could be offered marijuana under the law. The draft law says patients will only have the right to be treated with cannabis “in very limited exceptional cases” and patients will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis.”
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More older Americans using cannabis, underscoring need for research

ScienceDaily, 11 January 2017
Source: Oxford University Press USA
“The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has reported that cannabis use by persons over age 50 has outpaced recent growth observed across all other age groups. In 2000, about one percent of Americans over 50 had used it within the past year; by 2012, that number had risen to 3.9 percent. There is currently a lack of biomedical, clinical, and public health research to inform policy related to this trend.”
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Alternative medicine clinics often tout ‘treatments’ for allergy, asthma

Reuters, 5 January 2017
Author: Madeline Kennedy
“Alternative medicine practitioners like homeopaths and acupuncturists may claim to treat allergies or asthma, but a study in Canada found that many there offer remedies that are unproven or even dangerous. Many of the testing methods and treatments advertised on alternative medicine websites do not have any research evidence to support them, the researchers write, and only two treatments mentioned are proven to work.”
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Stores may steer teen boys to supplements doctors advise against

Reuters, 4 January 2017
Author: Lisa Rapaport
“Employees at health food stores often recommend supplements like creatine and testosterone to teen boys even though these products pose serious health risks, a U.S. study suggests. More than one in 10 teen boys try muscle-building products. Risks of creatine include liver and kidney damage, dehydration and muscle cramps; testosterone is also tied to liver and kidney impairment and may halt bone growth.”
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