Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From AddictionIf you are experiencing side effects with your pharmaceuticals you might give cannabis a try

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

The Controlled Substance Act

In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was  preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.

Fear Of Success

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”

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Looking At Elder Care

Looking At Elder Care

Caring for an elder family member requires strength, patience, and support.

Looking At Elder Care

The Build Back Better legislation stuck in the Senate would provide relief for many American family members struggling to keep a family member living at home vs being placed in a nursing home.

By D. S. Mitchell

Caregiver Risks

Most of the people called on to help an ill or disabled family member have no training in being a caregiver. Not only that, but many spouses, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters have their own health problems and physical limitations. The risks of being a family caregiver is premature aging, sickness, death, depression, anger, resentment and potential financial loss. Aside from that, it can be rewarding and more worthwhile than anything you will ever do.

Financial Resources Make the Difference

Receiving affordable or free home care may be what makes the difference between a family member being able to stay in their home or being moved into an assisted living or nursing home. One in five Americans provide unpaid care to family members so they can continue to live in their home, according to a recent AARP report.

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OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

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Michael Trimble Unlikely Candidate

Editor Comment: Normally CNP steers away from local political news and candidates (Oregon and SW Washington), concentrating primarily on national issues. However, Mike Trimble, a black horse in the race, is a fascinating fellow and deserves some national exposure. Thanks, Megan Wallin for sharing your great interview with Mr. Trimble.  Thank you, Mr. Trimble for sharing your thoughts and your pictures.

Michael Trimble:

Unlikely Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate

By Megan Wallin

Michael Trimble is a fresh face on the political fied

A Bit of Background

The first thing someone might notice about Michael Trimble, one of Oregon’s more unlikely gubernatorial candidates, is not the fact that he lacks arms—or the fact that he is usually wearing a bike helmet as he commutes almost exclusively via a modified bicycle—but his enthusiasm.

Trimble is the odd man out in the Oregon governor race, something he would be the first to own, calling himself a true “grassroots candidate.”

“I’ve always been an advocate, because I was born in an orphanage, and I never met my biological parents,” he began, before elaborating on how that impacted him. “So in an orphanage, you basically learn at a very young age that you have to fend for yourself, and since I had no arms, that just doubled down.”

“And then when I was adopted by Christian evangelical parents who were ‘told by God’ to adopt a boy without arms and a girl who had legs but could not walk, that became my next challenge.” Their religious beliefs led them to adopt the young Michael.

In his words, he “went from the frying pan of the orphanage system in Russia into the fires of Christian evangelicalism.”

Trimble spoke more about the uniqueness of his situation, explaining that while most people within the foster system have been taken out of their biological homes and are seeking adoption, he went to caseworkers seeking protection from abuse within his adopted home.

The abuse, he stated, was widely overlooked due to the family’s religious practices, which seemed to indeed cover a multitude of sins in the state of Pennsylvania.

“Technically, in Pennsylvania, they didn’t consider what was being done to me as child abuse even though all the social workers said, quite frankly, it was unforgivable.”

We didn’t really get along from day one,” he said of his adoptive parents in the states, calling the situation “unfortunate.”

“It was a very stormy relationship,” he concluded. “Some families are just never meant to be, and we were definitely an example. They adopted me with good spirits and good intentions, but the execution was really, really poor.”

While he acknowledged this answer may seem a bit “long winded,” his point was clear: He has been resourceful and independent from a young age.

“I would like to extend that fighting spirit…as governor and fight for those who don’t fight for themselves.”

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Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Stay active as you age for a longer, happier life

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Twenty-Three Tips for the Silver Sneakers Crew

By D. S. Mitchell

A friend of mine since high school sent me the following advice on aging.  I looked on the internet to find the source of the article and I was directed to a cemetery/mortuary site in California as the origin of the text.  For some reason I found that extremely funny. Post-Internment is not the time to worry about such things, I said to myself. Despite those feelings I did feel that there was some good information and thought it was worth passing on.  Although the following is not in quotes it has been authored by some unknown person other than me and I would gladly credit their work if I knew their name.

Twenty-Three Tips for the Over 65 Crowd

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Senior Worry: Stay Safe Behind The Wheel

Senior Worry:

Stay Safe Behind The Wheel

Elderly drivers are safer today than twenty years ago to improvements to vehicles

Elderly Drivers:

Stay Safe Behind The Wheel

Don’t Lose Your Car Keys, Stay Safe On The Road

D. S. Mitchell

Drivers Over 70 Increasing

Having a car gives a person freedom. Recently, two close friends lost their driver’s licenses. In both cases, medical issues were the cause.  It made me think about driving despite advancing age. The number of drivers who are 70 years or older is increasing. There have been significant strides in reducing deaths among elderly drivers. Over the last two decades the number of people aged 70 or above killed in car crashes has dropped by nearly 20%. In fact, today’s older drivers are involved in fewer crashes per mile traveled than those in any previous generation.

Better Vehicles

Today people are walking away from crashes that might have killed their grandparents.  One reason for the dropping death count is that vehicles are safer than ever before.  The side air bag was introduced in 2008. The benefit of the side airbag has been dramatic with deaths dropping significantly.  Furthermore many older drivers today enjoy better health than driver’s of the same age decades ago.  Such factors allow older drivers to function safely longer.  However, there will come a time when you will need to consider giving up your car keys.

Chronic Diseases

Many health conditions can compromise driving skills. Some of the most common conditions are cataracts, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep apnea, and diabetes. The decision to quit driving is a major life decision, it can have resounding effects. Emotionally the former driver may feel less competent and capable, more dependent and as such more vulnerable.  They may become depressed. With that aside, the most important question to ask is it safe to keep driving?

Warning Signs It May Be Time To Stop Driving

1.) Has reading road signs become difficult?

2.) Are you anxious and stressed while driving?

3.) Have family or friends said they are scared to have you drive?

4.) Physical limitations ? (Such as not being able to look over your shoulder).

5.) Taking medications that cause drowsiness or side effects that impair driving ability.

If you said yes to any of the above questions and you want to continue driving consider the following suggestions.

Night Driving And Difficulty Reading Signs

Cataracts are often the cause of poor night vision. Speak to your opthamoligist and consider having the surgery. Speaking for my self personally it was one of the best things I ever did. I see better than I have in years. I had spent at least two years not driving after dark because of the vision issues.

Addressing Physical Limitations

Here is another place to talk to your doctor about ordering Physical Therapy. As we age, bad posture and overall weakness create problems. Again, speaking for myself, I was noticing more and more difficulty looking over my shoulder. I was also having trouble putting plates on upper shelves, etc, etc. The doctor ordered PT and after a couple weeks of stretching and strengthening I was able to resume doing many activities that I thought were things of the past.

Rethink You Meds

If your medication makes you drowsy or interferes in your concentration you should talk to your doctor.  Your doctor may be able to switch you to a medication without those debilitating side effects. In some cases your doctor can place restrictions on your license. A study found that older citizens successfully self regulate their driving after it becomes clear that certain restrictions are warranted. An examples would be no night driving.  Here again work with your primary care physician to make sure you are taking medications that have the least side effects for you personally. Everyone responds differently and there are different meds that do the same thing that have less severe side effects.

A Consultant

A driver rehabilitation specialist can help a driver who has become anxious and uncertain about their continuing ability to drive safely. The specialist offers suggestions based on their assessment of the driver’s capabilities. For  example he or she may suggest vehicle modifications that could help make the  time behind the wheel less physically taxing.

Take A Class

The driving environment has changed dramatically over the  last fifty years (since you got your first license). There are many new laws and there is much heavier traffic. Taking a class for older drivers can give a senior driver new confidence. Participating in a senior driving course could also qualify you for a car insurance discount.

Vehicle Upgrades

The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has identified several upgrades that are proven to help reduce crashes for older drivers: rearview cameras that can help drivers see better while backing up; automatic emergency braking systems; collision warning systems; and blind spot and lane-departure warning systems that help drivers avoid lane change crashes.

Last Words

Being independent in our later years is important to us as individuals, to our families and our society. The longer you are able to drive safely, the longer you can be independent.