The science of hotboxing: Exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke causes mild intoxication

first_imgShare Secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke under “extreme conditions,” such as an unventilated room or enclosed vehicle, can cause nonsmokers to feel the effects of the drug, have minor problems with memory and coordination, and in some cases test positive for the drug in a urinalysis. Those are the findings of a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study, reported online this month in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world. “Many people are exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke,” says lead author Evan S. Herrmann, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. “The scenario we looked at was almost a worst-case scenario. It could happen in the real world, but it couldn’t happen to someone without him or her being aware of it.”“We found positive drug effects in the first few hours, a mild sense of intoxication and mild impairment on measures of cognitive performance,” says senior author Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D. , an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. “These were relatively slight effects, but even so, some participants did not pass the equivalent of a workplace drug test.” LinkedIn Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img The new research is the most comprehensive study of secondhand cannabis smoke and its effects since the 1980s, when researchers found the drug’s active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and other cannabis byproducts could turn up in nonsmokers’ bodies after an hour or more spent in extreme conditions with heavy smokers in an enclosed space. That finding needed updating, since the average potency of street cannabis has tripled since the 1980s, the Johns Hopkins researchers wrote. Additionally, many earlier studies did not look at whether the nonsmokers reported feeling the drug’s effects, or whether their behavior and thinking were affected by secondhand smoke, as the new study did.Researchers recruited seven people ages 18 to 45 who said they smoked cannabis at least twice per week and tested positive for THC, but who tested negative for other drugs, and 12 others in the same age range who said they had not used cannabis in the past six months and tested negative for cannabis, other drugs, and alcohol. None of the participants were pregnant, and none of the nonsmokers took part in more than one session.Six smokers and six nonsmokers spent an hour sitting side by side in a 10-by-13-foot, acrylic-walled room in two different experimental sessions. Each smoker was given 10 high-potency cannabis cigarettes to smoke. In one session, the room’s ventilation fans were turned on. In another session, the fans were turned off, and the room became smoke-filled. This was a realistic simulation of home ventilation conditions. At the end of the exposures, smokers’ and nonsmokers’ blood, urine, saliva and hair were tested at regular intervals for THC.All six nonsmokers who spent an hour exposed to secondhand smoke in the unventilated room under extreme conditions had detectable amounts of THC in their urine and blood. THC in blood was observed immediately after exposure and for up to three hours afterwards. Four hours after the experiment ended, one nonsmoker tested positive for THC on a urine test with the same cutoff (50 nanograms per milliliter) used in the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program. At intervals between two and 22 hours after the experiment, four of the six nonsmokers tested positive for THC in their urine at a lower cutoff (20 nanograms per milliliter) sometimes used in commercial drug testing programs.None of the nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke in the ventilated room tested positive for THC on either the more sensitive or the less sensitive urinalysis. (All the cannabis smokers tested positive for THC afterward.)Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke with fans running reported no effects other than being hungry. Those who were exposed in the unventilated experiment reported feeling “pleasant,” more tired and less alert. When the nonsmokers were asked to duplicate grid patterns they saw on a computer monitor or perform a basic numbers drill, those in the unventilated study responded faster but made more mistakes than they did before they were exposed to the cannabis smoke, the researchers found.“The behavioral and cognitive effects were minor and consistent with a mild cannabis effect,” Herrmann says.“This study is a significant update in our knowledge of cannabis smoke effect on nonsmokers and has implications in many arenas, including drugs and driving,” says co-author Edward J. Cone, Ph.D., a Johns Hopkins adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences who performed the early passive inhalation studies in the 1980s.The study’s limitations included its small size and the lack of a placebo trial using cannabis that contained no THC. The study was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that sets standards for federal workplace drug testing. Information about the effects of secondhand smoke on drug test results were being sought to support different ways of measuring drug use or drug exposure, Vandrey says. Funding came from SAMHSA and the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health. The cannabis used in the experiment was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Pinterest Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Making backup plans can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

first_imgMany goals, from finding your dream job to finding a date to the movies, can feel completely out of your control. A common piece of advice to manage this uncertainty is: “Always have a backup plan.” But is it actually wise to invest time and energy into backup plans, or is it better to focus all of your energies on trying one way to achieve a goal?To address these questions, psychologists from the University of Zurich developed a new theoretical model to study the use and usefulness of backup plans, which will be published in the January issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science.“Our model is based on a straightforward idea: backup plans change the way you pursue your goal, even if you aren’t using them, and even if you never use them” said Dr. Christopher Napolitano, first author of the paper. “Sometimes, having a backup plan may boost your confidence,” Freund, co-author and chair of the Developmental Psychology: Adulthood group at the University of Zurich added, “but other times, having a backup plan might distract you, or limit how hard you work using Plan A.” How much you invest in developing a backup plan could determine its effect. “Of course, it’s a good idea to spend some time and effort developing your backup plans, so you go into complex and important situations with a safety net in place,” said Chris Napolitano.However, according to Napolitano and Freund’s model, investing much in making backup plans could create a sort of ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ where one is especially likely to use especially well-developed backup plans, and thereby undermine sufficient investment into succeeding with a Plan A. Share Share on Twitter Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Share on Facebook Emaillast_img read more

Letter To The Editor: A Republican Wants Trump Out Of Office

first_imgRepublican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina is a serious conservative. He wants DT (Trump) to be voted out in 2020. He says the USA and the interest on our debt must be addressed, since it is more than our Military budget and more than what our country spends in all areas for Children – our future. DT’s useless and ineffective wall on the border – which has diverted Congress’ allocations for military funding – has wasted nearly $2 Billion. Furthermore, it is ruining many areas where wildlife and rancher’s have had their lands permanently fouled up. The military budget for this year costs us $693,058,000,000 Billion!  Google “War Resistance Military Spending Chart” and view how our taxes are distributed: 25 percent for Current military, 19 percent for Past military, 44 percent for Human resources, 7 percent for General government, and 5 percent for physical resources. Compare our 2019 military budgets with China-Russia-India-Britain-Germany-France-Saudi Arabia and note that their combined expenses do not equal what we are spending in many countries as we act like the World’s Police. When searching all global military expenses of $1.6 Trillion (2015), be horrified to see that we spent 37 percent of this amount on our military. For those who wish to verify these facts, Google “compare military budgets USA & Allies.” DT’s 101 golf trips cost us nearly $340 Million according to a July article in Forbes magazine. Google “” and see the times and places related to this wasteful expense that you and I pay for. Also, go to “” to read about his many trips to his Mar-A-Lago resort. Brace yourself to be depressed. Does all this concern other people, whether parents or not? I hope so. The 2020 elections and our voting for concerned politicians is related to the life and health of our land. My prayer is that we Vote for Democrats, if you want needed changes. The current White House Occupant is pushing us over a financial cliff and into a deep hole where few will be able to live. Have Mercy on Us! The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2016) ranked the USA 10th when measuring infrastructure quality; in 2002 the USA was ranked 5th. This puts us behind Germany, France, Japan and Spain. Hong Kong, Singapore and the Netherlands rank at the top.  Among infrastructure needs in this country, one thinks about: roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants to name a few. These are needed for economic functioning and growth. Here’s where our money needs to go. So where is massive spending going, which comes from our taxpayers’ dollars? Here’s a few items which address the problem: The outlandish prison in Guantanamo, Cuba – since 2002 – wastes $180 Million annually and has added $6 Billion to the Deficit for 17 years, now. Lawyers charging $1,000 hourly work there with the remaining 40 prisoners – who could all be sent to Florence, Colo., which is our country’s highest security prison with 400 inmates. Attorneys fly to and from Guantanamo via charter planes, some of which are often empty! By GLEN THAMERT Jemez Springs It pains me greatly to think how my children – now in their 30’s – will likely not have the funding which has blessed me. Many Republican politicians in DC keep lavishly spending and in the process steal from such resources. This will mean that those generations coming behind me will be left high and dry … without what they’ll need to live and survive. Listen to National Public Radio via and hear how China – a rising powerhouse country – is spending Three Times More than the USA on resources that lessen their Carbon Footprint on Planet Earth. It is clearly time to think about Republican Sanford’s message regarding our use of financial resources. How many of us would or even could take our credit cards and carelessly spend on ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities – and not give a rip about limitations? I am thankful for the positive socialism, which Democrat Franklin Roosevelt brought for me and countless millions over many decades. I could not stay up with my bills would I not have Medicare and Social Security.last_img read more

KONGSBERG, Ricardo Team Up to Develop Wind Farm Technology

first_imgRicardo and KONGSBERG today announced that they have signed a framework agreement that will see Ricardo support the development of the Kongsberg Wind Farm Management System (WFMS) as well as related condition monitoring systems for a range of other industrial sectors.The Kongsberg WFMS is a turbine independent decision support system. It surpasses the functionality found in wind farm supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and offers a modern and intuitive user interface based on KONGSBERG’s wide ranging experience in automation and decision support systems for the defence, maritime and offshore oil & gas sectors.KONGSBERG selected Ricardo to support the development of the WFMS not least due to the company’s expertise in wind turbine drivetrains. Crucially, this includes a deep understanding of the physical mechanisms of failure of drivetrain bearings, and Ricardo’s extensive research into advanced sensor techniques.A significant aspect of the collaboration between KONGSBERG and Ricardo will be investigating the potential integration of the new Ricardo SensorLife(TM) technology – to be launched formally later this month at WindEnergy Hamburg – into KONGSBERG’s WFMS. Ricardo believes that SensorLife(TM) could result in significant reductions in the cost of energy of wind farms. These savings would be realised through the more accurate prediction of the remaining useful life of key components and the consequential ability to reduce cost through proactive maintenance.In addition to the framework agreement, KONGSBERG has contracted Ricardo to further prove the SensorLife(TM) technology, including sensor testing and development of feature extraction techniques.“Ricardo’s experience in drivetrains and KONGSBERG’s experience in system development, sensors and automation systems are an excellent basis for this new cooperation,” commented Kristian Holm, general manager wind for KONGSBERG. “Ricardo provides an innovative approach to some of the key challenges in condition monitoring. Combining its expertise and our own advanced methods and algorithms will lift our Wind Farm Management System to a completely new level, providing energy and cost savings for the client.”“We are extremely pleased to be able to announce this framework agreement with KONGSBERG ahead of the formal launch of our suite of drivetrain innovation technology products later this month,” added Paul Jordan, Ricardo’s global head of clean energy and power generation. “KONGSBERG is a highly respected company within the wind energy, defence, maritime and offshore oil & gas sectors, and we are excited that it has selected Ricardo to support the development of the WFMS, including the integration of the SensorLife(TM) technology. Accurate condition monitoring of wind turbine drivetrains using systems such as these is an important enabler for proactive maintenance and ultimately, for reducing the cost of wind energy.”Ricardo’s advanced condition monitoring enabler, SensorLife(TM), is part of a suite of technologies to be presented by Ricardo at WindEnergy Hamburg, which will also include the MultiLife(TM) bearing management system and TorqLife(TM), which prevents overload and non-torque loads from damaging the driveline.[mappress mapid=”14156″]Press release, September 18, 2014; Image: Ricardolast_img read more

Crude oil falls below $50. Lowest since May 2009

first_imgEIA ReportEnergy Information administration yesterday issued a report for the 4Q 2014 oil prices titled: “Crude oil prices down sharply in fourth quarter of 2014”EIA wrote that crude oil prices fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2014 as robust global production exceeded demand. After reaching monthly peaks of $112 per barrel (bbl) and $105/bbl in June, crude oil benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell to $62/bbl and $59/bbl in December, respectively.Brent prices fell below the five-year average in early September and slipped well below the five-year range in November and December. WTI prices have been below the five-year average since early October and below the five year-range since early November.Petrobras’ pre-salt still viableResponding to reports that with the declining oil prices, its offshore Brazil projects in the pre-salt areas are under a threat, Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras says it expanding its oil and natural gas production capacity in the Brazilian pre-salt layer in an economically viable manner.In a statement issued last night, Petrobras said that the break-even price (the minimum oil price at which production is economically viable) planned at the moment when its pre-salt production projects were approved was around US$45 per barrel, including taxes and not including natural gas transportation infrastructure spending. Inclusion of the latter spending may raise the total figure by US$5 to US$7 per barrel.North Sea in danger?With oil now below $50, it’s worth recalling a statement by Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers’ association Brindex, given to the BBC in December 2014. He said that almost no new projects in the North Sea are profitable with oil below $60 a barrel.“It’s almost impossible to make money at these oil prices”, Allan told the BBC. “It’s a huge crisis.”Oil at $20?If the industry is in danger of collapsing at $60 a barrel, and it is now less than $50 a barrel, how about $20?Former oil executive Nobuyuki Nakahara told Reuters today: “Oil prices are likely to keep falling due to slower Chinese growth and because the years of prices above $100 before the recent plunge were ‘abnormal’ historically,” he said.“I would not be surprised if the price falls to as low as around $20… It is purely due to supply and demand. There is a ceiling for oil because high energy prices dampen economic growth,” he added.Effect on industryMoody’s yesterday wrote that the global oil and gas industry is entering a challenging 2015 based on stubbornly low oil prices.Moody’s says that among players exploration and production (E&P) companies will be hit first, while oilfield services (OFS) and midstream energy operators will feel the knock-on effects of reduced capital spending in the E&P sector.Offshore contract drillers are likely to have their toughest year since 2009, and integrated oil majors are the best positioned to react to lower prices.Offshore Energy Today Staff Brent oil, a global benchmark for crude oil prices, plunged to $49.92 a barrel on Wednesday. According to Reuters, this is the lowest since May 2009.The news agency, citing analysts, said that the oil is falling due to an excessively abundant supply and weak global economy, and the prices are yet to reach bottom.The global crude price drop, while bad for the global oil and gas industry and its supply chain companies, could be good news for consumers.George Osborne, UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer & MP for Tatton tweeted yesterday: “Oil price was $53 pbl last night – lowest in 5yrs. Vital this is passed on to families at petrol pumps, through utility bills and air fares.”Oil price was $53 pbl last night – lowest in 5yrs. Vital this is passed on to families at petrol pumps, through utility bills and air fares— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) January 6, 2015last_img read more

Rental demand drops in Turkey

first_imgHowever, construction sites in the country remain open and fully functional, and rental companies are keeping their depots open to serve them.According to IMDER (Turkey Construction Equipment Distributors and Manufacturers Association) and ISDER (Material Handling, Storage and Industrial Equipment Association of Turkey) – which represent rental companies and distributors in Turkey – one example of the type of equipment seeing greater demand is forklift trucks. They are needed by the retail, food and packaging industries. A spokesperson from IMDER/ISDER said, “Unfortunately, many IMDER and ISDER members think that their customers will request to finish their contracts early in the near future.”The spokesperson said delivery times for new equipment have lengthened, especially for companies that import their machines from the EU.Rental companies in Turkey are taking special health and safety measures to protect their staff and customers. Machines returning from project sites are disinfected and quarantined, to ensure they are clean when they enter the depots. In addition, extra time is spent on maintenance work.“The technical teams and field teams of our member companies work in shifts. Most of their employees are working from home. All workplaces are disinfected regularly,” said the spokesperson.IMDER and ISDER are monitoring government advice closely and making all the necessary applications for assistance from government institutions to ensure its members benefit from all the relevant measures.“We are learning what our members need to sustain their businesses, and we share their requests with the public authorities.” While there has been an increase in demand for some equipment types, generally the demand for rental equipment across Turkey has fallen, and rental firms are expecting customers to cut contracts short.last_img read more

Successful cooperation for WWPC members

first_imgThis project cargo shipment consisted of six packages, including two over-dimensional heavyweight items, which weighed 58 and 39.8 tonnes respectively. With a height of 7.5 m and 5.5 m, each of these items required careful handling and lashing. (One can be seen below left) At the same time, Maxlines Taiwan has shipped crane equipment from Singapore to Keelung on a ro-ro vessel with final delivery by truck to the job site at TaoYuan international airport. (seen below right being unloaded from the ro-ro vessel)last_img

Litigation funder set to take on lower value cases

first_imgA new litigation fund set up by an Irish property entrepreneur is promising to back cases with a lower value than most competitors are prepared to take on.Trusted Litigation Capital (TLC) will come to market in September and fund cases worth as little as £200,000, its founder has told the Gazette.Gearoid O Ceallaigh, who has a background in hotels and property, has already secured enough ‘seed investment’ to reach the £2m threshold for becoming a member of the Association of Litigation Funders, but he expects to raise ‘substantially’ more investment.O Ceallaigh has recruited a team of 12 barristers, including six QCs, to sit on a panel to judge the merit of cases. Accepted cases will require an ‘exceptionally high’ prospect of success, he said, with a predictable recovery outlook.‘We are prepared to structure it in a way where it is less risky than normal third-party funding. We only look at cases where they are commercial and where people take a pragmatic view on the outcome.’TLC will actively target a larger volume of smaller value cases, in practice areas including banking, professional negligence, medical claims, property, Ministry of Defence claims and institutional abuse claims.O Ceallaigh said the Jackson reforms had made third-party litigation more attractive to both solicitors and investors. He denied the influence of a third party would have an intrusive or negative effect on cases, although parties must be prepared to settle disputes.‘If we have an appellant who will run a case for as long as possible and won’t be prepared to settle, then we won’t invest,’ he said. ‘[But] it is important to stress that we don’t run a case. Cases are run by solicitors.’The move follows the recent launch of a new product by litigation funder Augusta which is also aimed at lower value cases, as revealed by the Gazette’s sister publication Litigation Funding this month.Augusta’s new Trinity scheme provides both third-party funding and after-the-event insurance, with a minimum investment of £50,000. Full details of the scheme, which uses technology to offer a more streamlined application process, can be found in the June edition of Litigation Funding.last_img read more

Labour: human rights law should apply to troops abroad

first_imgLabour’s justice spokesman has insisted that human rights law should apply to British troops in all foreign jurisdictions.Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon told a meeting at the Labour party conference that laws should apply ‘to all countries and actors in the theatre of war’.His comments come as the debate continues about whether British soldiers should be subject to claims relating to alleged breaches of human rights law while involved in conflicts abroad.Several media outlets have called for claims against soldiers to be dropped, with a Times columnist today saying Britain has paid its troops the ‘ultimate ingratitude’. Prime minister Theresa May has pledged to close down the ‘industry of vexatious allegations’ against British troops over claims of abuse.Burgon, speaking at an event organised by campaign group Liberty, was asked by a delegate whether Labour would be prepared to challenge efforts to exempt British troops from human rights law.The Leeds East MP insisted that armed forces should themselves be protected by human rights law, but they should also be bound by the rules.‘People produce examples of cases which it turned out didn’t succeed, but they are used to [remove] the ability to bring any case,’ he said.‘People shouldn’t forget the case of [torture victim] Baha Mousa the firm which brought that case [Public Interest Lawyers]. If we believe in the rule of law people need to be protected by the rule of law and accountable to it.’Burgon reiterated Labour’s commitment to fight plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British bill of rights, warning that the government’s proposal would harm Britain’s reputation internationally.‘We should all make sure, whether we are in opposition or government, that we defend the act and Britain needs to be a beacon of human rights and lead by example,’ he said.’If we abolish the Human Rights Act that is a green light for countries around the world to do exactly as they want on human rights.’last_img read more

Chief ombudsman quits £105k job for parliamentary role

first_imgThe chief legal ombudsman will leave her post at the start of 2018 after just two years in the job. The House of Commons last week approved the appointment of Kathryn Stone as the new parliamentary commissioner for standards, effective from 1 January 2018.It leaves the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) again searching for a chief legal ombudsman. Stone’s appointment in 2016 ended a tumultuous period featuring the resignation of the previous post holder Adam Sampson and the role having to be filled under an interim arrangement.Stone’s £105,000-a-year role mainly involved her scrutinising complaints and how they are handled. Last week a review of the OLC by the Ministry of Justice found the organisation had made ‘significant progress’ in its governance management, although in the long term further efficiencies could be made by merging the roles of chief executive and chief ombudsman.Stone is a former a child protection social worker and chief executive of the national charity Voice UK, which represents the rights of people with learning difficulties. Earlier this year she introduced ‘live chats’ for clients in dispute with lawyers, as part of a three-year plan to improve the process of making and resolving complaints. She said at the time she wanted to ‘make it much easier for consumers to seek support about poor service from the legal industry and get the advice they need’.Wanda Goldwag, chair of the OLC, said: ‘Kathryn has been offered a once in a lifetime role as Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards so will be leaving the Legal Ombudsman at the end of the year.‘Kathryn has been a leading figure at the Legal Ombudsman since taking on the role of chief legal ombudsman in January 2016 and we wish her well for the future in this important new position.’last_img read more