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Researchers Say Smoking Cannabis Could Potentially Increase the Risk of COVID-19

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Doctors have reported that smoking cannabis may increase the smoker’s risk of coronavirus, due to the inflammation caused in the lungs that could potentially reduce the ability of the smoker to fight the COVID-19 – a respiratory disease.

With the global pandemic spreading rapidly, the increasing numbers of infected cases and deaths have been causing panic in the population. A warning has been issued regarding smoking cannabis during the coronavirus outbreak, by experts at the American Lung Association (ALA). Smoking cannabis, regular or occasional, can increase the risks of more severe complications of COVID-19.

According to a statement to CNN, by a chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, Pulmonologist Dr. Albert Rizzo, the smoker’s airways undergo some degree of inflammation, similar to bronchitis, when they smoke cannabis. Dr. Albert Rizzo further added that this holds a similarity with the type of inflammation caused by cigarette smoking, and there are very likely chances of further complications if the smoker were to get infected.

Furthermore, according to ALA, a doctor will face more difficulty diagnosing a patient’s COVID-19 symptoms, if they smoke cannabis. The reason is, dry cough is one of the important symptoms of COVID-19. However, smoking cannabis can cause the smoker to easily mimic this symptom, increasing difficulty in the diagnosis.

Adding difficulty in the diagnosis and hence confounding the ability of health care workers to make a rapid, accurate assessment, would be harmful, according to Dr. Mitchell Glass, who is a pulmonologist and spokesperson for the American Lung Association.

In addition to the current risk of cannabis users during the pandemic, health bosses have reported that smokers are 14 times more likely to develop COVID-19. Furthermore, family members can be put at higher risk of COVID-19 too, due to second-hand smoke, according to the Public Health England (PHE).

Looking at the rapid spread of the pandemic with an increasing number of deaths, there has never been a more essential time to stop smoking, for the protection of the smoker’s health along with the surrounding population, according to Professor John Newton, PHE’s director of health.

According to a small but incredibly impactful survey from China, smokers with COVID-19 put themselves at higher risks of developing severe diseases. The factors that led to the progression of COVID-19 pneumonia in patients at three different hospitals in Wuhan, China, is what the study focused on.

One of the factors that the study identified was a “history of smoking”. The study was conducted between December 30 last year and January 15.

Other significant factors that the study concluded were age, maximum body temperature on admission, and respiratory failure. Chinese Medical Journal was where the study was published. The study concluded that these results could prove to be useful in the enhancement of the ability of management of COVID-19.

PHE added that the repetitive hand to mouth movement by smokers could provide the virus with an easy route of entry.

According to Professor Newton, irrespective of age, quitting the habit of smoking could prove to be beneficial as the body will continue to repair itself during the smoke-free period.

One of the immediate advantages of quitting smoking is the elimination of carbon monoxide from the smoker’s body. Furthermore, the lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris, according to PHE.

Moreover, ease in breathing is enhanced after the relaxation of bronchial tubes within 72 hours of quitting smoking. Also, blood circulation improves, which eventually increases the ease of physical activities such as walking and running, within 12 weeks of quitting smoking.

Smokers can help themselves, their families and their communities, by giving up the habit, according to Hazel Cheeseman, Director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

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Cannabis

Texas A&M Freshman Desires To Expand Cannabis Medical Use

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Cannabis Medical use expansion

Cannabis is an illicit drug that is applicable for treating certain medical conditions. Moreover, marijuana is effective in treating psychological disorders but due to its dependency nature and ability to cause addiction, its use is restricted. 

The cannabis industry continues to explore new products, lines of administration, and much more. Furthermore, researchers are working on finding possibilities to expand the medical use of cannabis. Research and development projects continue to work and explore marijuana deeply. 

Julia Patterson is a Texas A&M freshman and has a political science major. She is the first to become one of the youngest registered lobbyists in Texas, reports The Eagle. Medical use of cannabis to treat epileptic seizures was an effective approach for Julia as she was able to recover from epileptic seizures with marijuana use.  

ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips

Julia Efforts For Expanding Medical Use Of Cannabis In Texas

Julia is currently working on expanding the state’s Compassionate Use Program, and for that, she seeks to influence Texas-Legislatures. She has been very active to encourage and convince lawmakers to expand their medical use of cannabis. Moreover, she has devoted herself to the cause and has been doing so since 2019.

She is also a participant in the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which allows physicians and psychiatrists to use low-THC medicines and products. Moreover, doctors under the program rules can give specific small doses for treating various health-related conditions to those patients who qualify.

In 2015 she advocated for passing the Texas Compassionate Use Program to treat more people with cannabis. In 2019 more qualifying conditions became part of the program. At the time, Julia testified before legislators. 

According to Julia Patterson, expanding the program will make a difference and improve the quality of life. Especially those that can recover from certain diseases with sufficient larger doses of marijuana. Her life altered after getting treatment with marijuana in the form of CBD-oil, and she wants to do the same for others.

Julia desires not only to expand the Compassionate Use Program but also increase the limits of THC. So far, individuals can get only 0.5% THC in any cannabis-based formulation as per the program instructions. However, the program allows for low THC % medication because it is psychoactive and capable of producing a high feeling. Moreover, according to Jayne Reuben, chronic use of high THC medications can lead to Cannabis-use disorder. 

Julia Peterson Recovers From Epileptic Seizers By Using CBD-Oil

Peterson had brain surgery and three medical implants. She was on a ketogenic diet for five years and received various medications. However, of the things she does or eats, nothing was effective in treating or controlling the seizures

She was missing a lot of normal-life and suffering due to epileptic seizures. In February 2018, she was given CBD-oil for treatment through the Compassionate Use Program. According to her, within two months, she was entirely seizure-free. She was able to have a healthy life.

ALSO READ: CBD Oil Solutions To Many Pandemic Mental Health Issues

Along with CBD-oil, she was on second-seizure medication, and the treatment made her life better for good. Moreover, her recovery via medical use of cannabis encourages and motivates her to convince lawmakers to expand the Compassionate Use Program. Furthermore, she suggests that some qualification-conditions shall be part of the list that includes allowing the use of marijuana for non-terminal cancer, PTSD, and chronic pain patients. 

According to Julia, if an individual has a chance of recovery from any disease, by using marijuana, then the doctors shall have access to give the doses. 

According to Julia, increasing the THC percentage from 0.5% to between 1% and 5% will be effective and safe. Julia elaborates that monitoring of patients who receive cannabis-medication always occurs. Furthermore, prescribers monitor, supervise, and administer medication to such patients. The prescriber keeps in check alterations in the condition to ensure intoxication does not occur. They work to improve the quality of life of the patient.

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Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

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Cannabis Indoor Colorado

Public health and safety are the priority of both the government and citizens both. According to Colorado Sun, the allowance of cannabis smoking and vaping indoors will increase health hazards. 

Cannabis is an illegal drug on the federal level, but some states have legalized it for recreational and medical use. Moreover, efforts are being made by lawmakers to legalize marijuana on the state and federal levels. some states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use. 

The government has an emphasis on public safety and health for years. However, in Denver, an ordinance was put forward recommending legalizing the use of cannabis for smoking and vaping within public places. 

According to the drafted ordinance, marijuana smoking and vaping shall be allowed throughout Mile High City, inside every restaurant and establishment. 

ALSO READ: Study Reveals Vaping Cannabis Is More Lethal Than Smoking For Teenagers

Opinions vary towards passing the Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver. Moreover, most Coloradoans do not agree with the Bill as they consider there is no need for people to vape or smoke causing harm to others. 

Denver Efforts For Public Safety And Health

Authorities in Denver have been working hard to create a work environment free from smoking e-cigarettes and cigarettes containing tobacco and cannabis. Moreover, the public appreciates these measures. Furthermore, protective measures against the use of second-hand smoking and vaping within establishments protect public safety and health.

Authorities, to increase public health, closed the last smoking room at Denver International airport. As a result, it becomes 100% smoke-free and enables enhanced protection for public health and safety. 

Over the years, Colorado was able to become a state free from smoking cannabis and tobacco. Moreover, after much effort over a decade, all restaurants, bars, retail stores, and most public places become free from every type of smoking.

In 2006 Colorado adopted the State’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which sets rules and regulations for indoor activities. However, some gaps allowed smoking in small indoor places, long-term care facilities, and small hotels. 

Two years back, Colorado lawmakers made amendments to the Clean Indoor Air Act. According to new amendments, the smoking of tobacco and cannabis within any establishment was not permitted. Moreover, the amendments ensure that no one does e-cigarettes smoking or uses smoking and vaping devices.

Effects Of Second Hand Cannabis Smoke

Legalizing or allowing individuals to smoke or vape freely indoors increases exposure to second-hand smoke or vapor. Moreover, it puts the health of the public at risk. Smoking is dangerous to the health of both the smoker and those who are present in the surroundings sharing the same environment. Furthermore, allowing smoking indoors pollutes the air inside and creates serious health hazards.

ALSO READ: Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

According to research, second-hand smoke of cannabis and tobacco is both lethal and hazardous. Due to marijuana smoke, the individual inhales PM2.5 fine-particulate matter. The PM 2.5 present in marijuana smoke is hazardous. Moreover, PM2.5 comes from wildfires and air pollution. Exposure to PM2.5, directly and indirectly, affects the lungs and cardiovascular system badly. 

Furthermore, secondary exposure to cannabis smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Marijuana smoke also contains 33 carcinogens and thousands of chemicals. Carcinogens can increase the risk of developing cancer to a greater extent. 

In a few words, there is no safe second-hand smoking. Thus, allowing indoor smoking and vaping will affect other individuals within the premises. Moreover, regular workers or visitors who are non-smokers and non-vapors their health will suffer. 

Thus many in Colorado have the opinion that it is not wise to allow indoor smoking and vaping in restaurants, shops, retail stores, and other establishments. Furthermore, individuals think that Denver City Council must take a stand for public safety and health. Moreover, the Denver City Council must opt into the Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver. 

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Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

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Marijuana and jobs

Marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills are under discussion. Other resolutions regarding cannabis to improve the working of the cannabis system also happened, reported nbc news.

It was highlighted that the individuals cannot face disqualification solely because the individual used marijuana. Such measures are unfit and unacceptable. The office of Joe Biden allows individuals to apply for an administrative-job without any limitations on recreational-cannabis use. In addition, the White House has updated its hiring policies and guidelines. According to the new rules for hiring, recreational marijuana use will not prohibit anyone from applying and obtaining a position in the office

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and drug use was a barrier to getting a job in administration in the White House. The Office of Personnel Management Recommendations changes hiring policies. The use of marijuana, even though it is illegal, but its use cannot be the only reason for rejecting an employee or disqualifying one. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

New Guidelines For Hiring And Recreational Use Of Marijuana

The White House allows the selection of candidates on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, marijuana infrequent users will be under consideration for top-secret security clearance selection. Furthermore, the Personnel Security Division and security officials will help in the selection of candidates. 

Kathleen McGettigan is the current director for the Office of Personnel Management. McGettigan released a memorandum about hiring recreational users of marijuana. Shortly after the memorandum, the release of new guidelines occurred. 

According to it, 49% of Americans use marijuana off and on. Moreover, the SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health runs a survey according to which nearly half of the participants have used cannabis. 

Some individuals are disqualified for a job merely based on using marijuana. Moreover, individuals with the best qualification characteristics for a job do not get a job because they use cannabis from time to time. As a result, suitable candidates for jobs are unemployed despite their experience, education, and other skills. 

What is the Vetting Process and How it Helps in Selection?

The appointed individuals for a staff position in the White House undergo a process called the vetting process. During vetting, process officials determine whether individuals qualify for a security clearance or not. 

Moreover, applicants that apply for the staff position must be honest about marijuana and other drug use. The extent of drug use determines for which job the individual is suitable. 

According to the new policy, individuals will not get disqualification for using cannabis from their office immediately. Moreover, such individuals will receive a waiver. Individuals with a waiver must agree that they will never use marijuana again during their government job and they will not hesitate to perform random drug testing. Such individuals will work remotely for some duration. However, the White House did not specify the extent of the duration.

What to Monitor?

Monitoring and selection of employees is the responsibility of McGettigan. The applicants are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are certain things about applicants that the officials must know. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Industry, Celiac Disease, And Processed Flour

Gathering information about drug use and other characteristics of applicants makes the selection process easy. Moreover, applicants must be honest about their character, conduct, and personalities. The officials selecting employees must know the nature of the job for which the applicant applies. And also, the job in which the person is employed. Furthermore, individuals must acquire the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of conduct. 

It is essential to determine whether the applicant has gone to rehabilitation centers at any age. Knowing about applicants and understanding them enables selecting the best candidate for the job. Moreover, individuals with talent, experience, and suitable qualifications will not lose their job only because of infrequent marijuana use. 

Biden’s efforts towards bringing the most suitable administrative workers through amending hiring guidelines will enable them to gather individuals with the highest standards for providing services to individuals. 

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