Jamaican reggae vocalist Bob Andy dies aged 75

Socially conscious singers hit version of Young, Gifted and Black reached No 5 in the UK charts with duo Bob and Marcia

Bob Andy, the reggae vocalist who performed a hit version of Young, Gifted and Black as part of the duo Bob and Marcia, has died aged 75 after a short illness.

His death was confirmed by his collaborator on that song, Marcia Griffiths, who told the Jamaica Observer he died at 8am on Friday 27 March.

Bob & Marcia reached No 5 in the UK in 1970 with Young, Gifted and Black, an uptempo recording of the Nina Simone original. They also reached No 11 in 1971 with Pied Piper, which spent 13 weeks in the charts.

Andy was born Keith Anderson in Kingston, Jamaica, and began his career in the groups the Binders and the Paragons before going solo in the mid-1960s. Recording in the legendary Studio One under producer Coxsone Dodd, he cut songs that would become reggae standards, such as Ive Got to Go Back Home and Too Experienced.

He also wrote songs that would be recorded by reggae stars including Gregory Isaacs, Ken Boothe and Delroy Wilson, along with solo numbers for Griffiths, although their partnership ended when she joined the I Threes, Bob Marleys group of backing vocalists.

Young, Gifted and Black was just one of his socially conscious songs. Others, such as Fire Burning and Check It Out, castigated capitalism and the ruling classes. But he suffered from health issues, including migraines, and put music to one side for a number of years from the late 1970s onwards, broadening into acting. He also became an A&R for Tuff Gong records, the label founded by Marley.

As his health improved, Andy returned to music in the 1990s. In 2006, he was awarded Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his services to music.

Reggae DJ David Rodigan was among those paying tribute, writing on Twitter: We all loved you Bob Andy and we know how much you loved us, your legions of fans all over the world. At least you are at peace now; youve left us a truly remarkable repertoire of songs which we will all treasure for ever.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/mar/27/jamaican-reggae-vocalist-bob-andy-dies-aged-75-young-gifted-black

Pain, cancer, death: Michigan families devastated by toxic chemicals in their water

Residents had actually for years been consuming water polluted by unsafe PFAS chemicals and the effect has actually been ruthless

I n the years prior to 2017, Sandy Wynn-Stelt and her hubby had suspicions about the water they drew from a well on their House Street home in the Michigan town of Belmont. She associated the bad taste to it being well water, however the “odd movie” on their early morning coffee was challenging to describe.

By June 2017, state authorities signaled her that PFAS from a close-by, decades-old dump coming from Wolverine World Wide, a shoe giant best understood for the Hush Puppy brand name, had actually infected their well.

Tests discovered stunning levels. The Environmental Protection Agency’s PFAS advisory water limitation is 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Health authorities discovered levels in the well as high as 90,000 ppt.

Wynn-Stelt informed the Guardian she now thinks the PFAS-laden item Wolverine utilizes to make its shoes water and stain resistant lagged that unusual movie.

“I now understand it was most likely Scotchgard,” she stated.

Wynn-Stelt and her next-door neighbors in this little west Michigan neighborhood are amongst the PFAS crisis’s human toll– those suffering the scaries that wait for human beings with excessive of the poisonous chemical in their bodies.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, are a class of about 5,000 fluorinated substances called “permanently chemicals” since they do not naturally break down and there’s no recognized method to damage them. They’re discovered in whatever from food product packaging to clothes to eye liner to firefighting foam. The chemicals are likewise highly connected to cancer, low birth weight, autoimmune conditions, thyroid problems, and a series of other major illness.

By the time Wynn-Stelt discovered of the contamination, it was far too late. She and her spouse, Joe Stelt, had actually been consuming unsafe levels of PFAS for several years, and Stelt had actually passed away from liver cancer in March 2016. The level of PFAS in Wynn-Stelt’s blood skyrocketed to 750 times that of the nationwide average. She now struggles with frequent thyroid issues and established gout, and more major problems are most likely. She has actually been left “frightened to death” and overwhelmed.

“I’m sitting here loaded with this things and not understanding what it’s going to do to me 5 years, 10 years from now,” she stated. “I lost my spouse, my house deserves absolutely nothing. I could not provide it away this near a harmful dump … or after they disposed harmful waste on my land.”

As the chemicals collect around the world, public health authorities have actually discovered more than 700 polluted websites and waterways around the nation, and the PFAS crisis’s breadth is entering into focus. Scientist just recently determined unsafe levels in rain , and locations around military bases are frequently infected . By some price quotes, 21 million Americans are consuming PFAS-contaminated water– in the fall, an ecological group discovered the chemicals in California and Kentucky’s water products.

However, no state has more infected websites than Michigan, although authorities state that’s since the state is performing more tests to search for PFAS. Biosolids infected with it were found 2 years earlier in Lapeer, where a chrome plating center released the chemicals into the Flint River. A couple of hours north in Oscoda, the flying force is declining to tidy up contamination from a shuttered base , while authorities have actually discovered infected wells at schools and day care centers throughout the state.

Still, PFAS production and usage is unabated in the state as Republicans in Michigan , Congress and the White House have effectively obstructed more stringent guidelines.

Meanwhile, those coping with the contamination call life an “outright headache”. Wynn-Stelt stated next-door neighbors have actually dealt with cancer, miscarriages, autoimmune conditions and other health concerns. That consists of Jen Carney, whose kids, ages 15 and 11, are amongst 22 kids living near your house Street dump.

The household’s well evaluated as high as 600 ppt while a next-door neighbors’ hit 11,000 ppt. The Carneys all have raised PFAS levels in their blood, and in the years prior to the discovery, Carney and next-door neighbors struggled with inexplicable twitching, eye discomfort, migraines, distorted vision and numb limbs.

“I was, at the time, 38, and I was believing, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to remain in a wheelchair quickly,'” Carney stated.

Once the household changed from PFAS-contaminated water to tidy water, the problems disappeared. Carney’s kid, nevertheless, hasn’t been so lucky. He withstands serious intestinal issues that required him to miss out on a lot school that Carney now homeschools him. She stated she hopes time will ease his signs.

Though it’s apparent to households in the location that PFAS lag their disorders, the chemicals have not been clinically shown to trigger them, so their health problems can’t be utilized in the claim that regional households have submitted versus Wolverine.

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PFAS-laden animal conceals camouflaged with moss near Meaghan Schweinzger’s house. Picture: Courtesy Meaghan Schweinzger

“I understand in my heart that it’s linked, and my medical care medical professional thinks it’s linked, however we need to have it clinically linked,” Carney stated. “Unfortunately, up until we do that, we can’t hold the polluters responsible.”

The 76-acre House Street land fill most just recently functioned as a Christmas tree farm, and community locals didn’t understand Wolverine had actually formerly utilized it to discard hazardous animal hides treated with 3M’s Scotchgard at its tannery in neighboring Rockford.

The chemicals not just streamed a couple of hundred feet to House Street’s wells, however far beyond. That plume and 6 others from close-by Wolverine garbage dumps now stretch 25 miles and have actually brought PFAS to the state’s waterways. The EPA, state and Wolverine are carrying out a huge clean-up effort. Far, the business has actually set up about 700 whole-home filters and excavated loads of soil in the location. As part of a settlement in a suit coming from the contamination, Wolverine will pay $69.5 m to extend community water service to those around House Street who have personal wells.

“Wolverine will likewise continue the clean-up and removal efforts it started [last] fall around its previous tannery and House Street websites in cooperation with the EPA,” the business stated in a declaration. It’s likewise taking legal action against 3M for presumably hiding Scotchgard’s threats from it and other consumers.

The clean-up effort reaches locations outside Wolverine’s previous garbage dump where it unlawfully discarded. Home Street resident Meaghan Schweinzger’s kids utilized to camp out, sled, and have bonfires in a cleaning at the edge of the woods behind their house. In 2017, Schweinzger was frightened to find that Wolverine had actually likewise left barrels loaded with harmful waste and PFAS-laden animal conceals now camouflaged with moss in the brush simply a couple of feet from where her kids played.

Schweinzger, Wynn-Stelt, and others aren’t taking it resting. They’ve appeared in front of the Michigan legislature, Congress, and spoken at a variety of occasions and conferences to assist put a face on the crisis and share the upsetting unpredictability. Wynn-Stelt stated she believes during the night about Joel Stelt’s bout with cancer, and how she faces what might be a tough health problem without him.

“To understand how agonizing that was for him, and how I actually needed to bring him to the restroom, and how I could not leave his side– it was dreadful to see, and now I believe, ‘Who’s going to do that for me'”? she stated.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/10/toxic-chemicals-michigan-wolverine-chemicals-pfas

Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte says he has autoimmune disease

Rodrigo Duterte revealed he struggles with myasthenia gravis, a year after recommending he might have cancer

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has actually revealed that he experiences an autoimmune illness that can possibly have severe issues, the most recent condition for a leader whose health has actually undergone speculation.

Duterte, 74, was the earliest individual to be chosen president of the nation and concerns about his health have actually swirled considering that taking workplace in 2016, with speculation driven by the president periodically avoiding conferences and occasions, in addition to discussing his health .

Duterte exposed the condition, myasthenia gravis, at a look prior to the Philippine neighborhood late Saturday throughout a see to Russia.

“One of my eyes is smaller sized. It strolls by itself,” he stated, according to a records launched Sunday by his workplace.

“That’s myasthenia gravis. It’s a nerve breakdown. I got it from my grandpa.”

The condition triggers muscle weak point, and can lead to sagging of eyelids, blurred vision in addition to weak point in one’s extremities, according to the United States National Institutes of Health.

The condition can normally be handled with treatment, however approximately 20% of individuals who have the illness experience a minimum of one “crisis” that needs them to utilize a ventilator to assist breathe, the NIH stated.

Duterte offered no sign regarding whether he has actually had any major occurrences as an outcome of the illness.

His administration offers extremely little info about his health and regularly states the president remains in good condition.

Duterte himself, nevertheless, has actually discussed his disorders in his regular, rambling speeches. In October 2018 he informed an audience how he was waiting for the outcomes of a cancer screening.

“I do not understand where I’m now physically, however I need to wait on that,” Duterte stated last October. “But, I will inform you if its cancer, it’s cancer. No more treatment if it’s 3rd phase. I will not lengthen the pain in this workplace or anywhere.”

His remarks triggered instant issue and speculation, however days later on he stated the tests had actually returned unfavorable.

Duterte has actually likewise stated formerly that he struggles with everyday migraines and conditions consisting of Buerger’s illness, a disease that impacts the veins and the arteries of the limbs, and is typically due to smoking cigarettes.

He has actually mentioned his disease as the factor for avoiding occasions throughout tops abroad.

The president, understood for his fatal crackdown on drugs , likewise exposed in 2016 that he utilized to take fentanyl, an effective pain reliever, since of a back injury from bike mishaps.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/07/philippines-leader-rodrigo-duterte-autoimmune-disease-myasthenia-gravis

How big pharma is targeting India’s booming opioid market

As India loosens its stringent narcotics laws, US companies including Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories and a network affiliated with Purdue Pharma are rushing in

Pain, like death, is a universal phenomenon.

The grimace on the womans face, registering her agony to Dr GP Dureja in his East Delhi office, would be recognized anywhere. Slouched shoulders, pinched forehead. She wore a willowy black kurta and cast a disapproving glance at the five pain physicians-in-training huddled behind Dureja, the founder of the Delhi Pain Management Centre and one of Indias pioneering pain physicians.

The five trainees, participants in the centers acclaimed pain fellowship program, recorded the womans consultation on their smartphones, eager to see Indias famous pain doctor do his work. After their fellowships, they will return home, to Chennai, Kashmir, Rajasthan, ready to forge careers in Indias exploding pain industry.

The woman had been under Durejas care for some time now; he diagnosed her with fibromyalgia, a chronic neurological disorder that causes pain throughout the body. But the regimen of Paracetamol and tramadol, an opioid analgesic, was not working and she was beyond fatigued. She wanted more relief.

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Dr GP Dureja, surrounded by medical trainees, talks to a patient at the Delhi Pain Management Centre. Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/The Guardian

Indians once thought of pain relief as an indulgence of the west, Dureja said after the woman left his office gripping her new prescriptions. The old way of thinking was, Nobody has time to complain about pain in our country. But Im getting five to seven new patients per day.

For-profit pain clinics like Delhi Pain Management Centre are opening by the score across Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and other cities in this nation of 1.3 billion people. After decades of stringent narcotics laws, borne of debilitating opium epidemics of centuries past, India is a country ready to salve its pain.

And American pharmaceutical companies architects of the opioid crisis in the United States and avid hunters of new markets stand at the ready to fuel that demand.

For Indian cancer patients who once writhed in agony, there are fentanyl patches from a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.


For the countrys vast army of middle-class office workers wracked with back and neck pain, there is buprenorphine from Mundipharma, a network of companies controlled by the Sackler family, the owners of Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma.

And for the hundreds of millions of aging Indians with aching joints and knees, there are shots of tramadol from Abbott Laboratories.

Palliative care advocates, who recount stories of patients enduring excruciating cancer pain or dying in agony, have persuaded reluctant government officials to allow high-powered opioid painkillers into doctors offices and on to chemists shelves.

But what began as a populist movement to bring inexpensive, Indian-made morphine to the ill has given rise to a pain management industry that promises countless new customers to American pharmaceutical companies facing a government crackdown and mounting lawsuits back home.

The lure of a pain-free life is a revelation in a country where incomes are rising for many city dwellers and 300 million to 400 million people are approaching the middle-class. Newly-minted pain doctors promise aspiring Indians that life has more to offer in a body free from pain.

Dont listen to your forefathers, Dureja said, a mantra for the shifting mindset. They said you should tolerate pain, you should not complain, you should not take painkillers. Now, everybody wants to get rid of pain early.

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Dr GP Dureja performs a procedure on a patient in the operation theatre at the Delhi Pain Management Centre. Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/The Guardian

As major pharmaceutical companies look to capitalize on the opportunity, the playbook unfolding in India seems familiar. Earnest advocates share heartbreaking stories of suffering patients; physicians and pharmaceutical companies champion pain relief for cancer patients and persuade regulators to grant greater access to powerful opioids; well-meaning pain doctors open clinics; shady pain clinics follow; and a spigot of prescription opioids opens first addressing legitimate medical uses but soon spilling into the streets and onto the black market.

A looming deluge of addictive painkillers terrifies some Indian medical professionals, who are keenly aware that despite government regulations most drugs are available for petty cash at local chemist shops.

Are people going to figure out every trick in the game to make [opioid painkillers] widely available? asked Dr Bobby John, a leading Indian public health expert based in New Delhi. Of course it will happen.

Pharmacy shops at Bhagirath Palaces pharmaceuticals market in Old Delhi, India. Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/The Guardian

The market for pain is good

The headquarters of the Pain Clinic of India operates out of a closet-size office in Chembur, a tree-lined suburb in eastern Mumbai. The companys presence on the internet is so prominent that Dr Kailash Kothari, the clinics founder, has turned down requests from people inSouth Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States seeking prescription opioids.

Down an alleyway, the clinics small white-red-and-blue sign is difficult to spot. Around the side of a faded-pink building is a larger sign showing a shirtless, muscular white man gripping his back, another gripping his neck, another clutching his knee; a white woman with an excruciating headache presses her forehead and another grabs her shoulder. Back Pain. Neck Pain. Headache. Knee Pain. Shoulder Pain. Cancer Pain. The sign promises Towards Pain Free Life.

One of the principal architects of pain medicine in India, Kothari runs several clinics in Mumbai, consults at numerous hospitals and flies to his clinic in Goa once a week. He co-founded the Indian Academy of Pain, an educational branch of the Indian Society for the Study of Pain that aims to create standardized training for pain medicine. Asserting control over who can call themselves a pain medicine doctor in this fledgling industry is an urgent question. Spread across the subcontinent are nearly 10 million licensed physicians and a massive number of untrained medical providers. (In rural India, 70% of healthcare providers have no formal medical training.)

A man carries boxes of medicines to a shop in Bhagirath Palaces pharmaceuticals market, Old Delhi, India. Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/The Guardian

General practitioners have started prescribing these drugs, Dureja said. And were not educating the population on when to use and not to use.

At Durejas clinics, as at most medical offices in India, patients pay cash for services and prescriptions. Delhi Pain Management charges $10 for a consultation; $10 for a Johnson & Johnson fentanyl patch; $10 for a Mundipharma buprenorphine patch. Durejas office takes a 15% cut of sales.

There are hints of American pharmas fingerprints in a glass cabinet in the waiting room of his East Delhi clinic: awards from Johnson & Johnson honoring Dureja for symposia on pain management; a plaque for his valuable contribution as a speaker about tapentadol, an opioid marketed by Johnson & Johnson in 2009. The dispensing counter does a brisk business in Ultracet, branded tramadol tablets made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.

Each year, some 20 fellows attend Kotharis three-to six-month training programs, and by his calculation, he has trained 150 aspiring pain doctors. There are more than 50 people who already have their pain clinics in different parts of India, he said.

Kothari remembers when only a few hospitals in Mumbai treated cancer patients and had access to opioids. But every year, we are accessing more of these kinds of drugs, he said. Many chemists, hospitals and medical shops started acquiring the licenses for keeping these drugs, and availability is much, much better. Opioids are available in not just oral, but injectable, patches, syrups.

Photo collage

Most large Indian hospitals have added pain management as a specialty in recent years. At the insistence of the professional societies that accredit hospitals in India, Kothari said, nurses and doctors now are required to assess pain as a fifth vital sign, along with pulse, temperature, breathing and blood pressure.

The pharmaceutical industry has kept pace. Twenty years ago only a few pharmaceutical companies marketed pain medicines in India, Kothari said. Today, almost every company is having pain management as a separate division.

A salesman for Sun Pharma, Indias largest drugmaker by sales, echoed the point during an interview in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana.

Now everyone has a car, and [they get] back pain, and now they take medication. Growing obesity rates in India were also fueling demand, he said, as patients look for relief from weight-related knee and back pain. So the market for pain is good.

Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson did not respond to requests for comment for this report.

Manmohan Singh, a vice-president at Modi-Mundipharma in New Delhi, said opioid pain medications are an important therapeutic option, especially for cancer pain. He also said company promotions stress that physicians should familiarize themselves with product safety information and the potential for adverse effects. Patients should be made aware of the clear treatment goals related to pain and function, as well as the potential opioid side effects and the potential for misuse, abuse and addiction, he said in a written statement.

A man buys medicine from a shop at Bhagirath Palaces pharmaceuticals market in Old Delhi. Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/The Guardian

One false step

The ascendance of pain management in India comes at a fortuitous political moment. Ahead of his reelection earlier this year, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, invested heavily in healthcare. Last fall, the Indian government launched the worlds biggest public health insurance program, called Ayushman Bharat. Dubbed Modicare, it guarantees half a billion poor Indians nearly $7,000 in hospital expenses, paid to private insurers, and, by 2020, the government is to open 150,000 primary care centers. The government has set aside $484m to fund Modis signature program.

None of this would have been possible without the loosening of Indias strict narcotics laws.

The International Narcotics Control Board, established in 1968, and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 codified the bureaucratic thicket for any doctor who wanted to prescribe opioid painkillers. Physicians feared fines, jail sentences and losing their medical license if they skirted regulations.

Dr MR Rajagopal was a young medical student in Thiruvananthapuram at the time and remembers a neighbor with advanced cancer. I [had] seen him screaming his way over weeks to death, Rajagopal said. It was horrendous, and there was nothing being done about it. He chose to become an anesthesiologist because it was the only specialty then focused on pain.

Rajagopal is widely viewed as the father of palliative care in India; whispers of a Nobel prize follow him. For decades, he has worked assiduously to convince national and state lawmakers that opioid medicines are not an indulgence, but a humane refuge, and it is largely a function of his advocacy that morphine and other painkillers can be prescribed in India. Two generations of doctors had not seen a tablet of morphine, he said.

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Indias pain management industry promises countless new customers to US pharmaceutical companies facing mounting lawsuits back home. Photograph: Saumya Khandelwal/The Guardian

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, as amended in 2014, recognized that the need for pain relief was an important obligation of the government. The revised law created a class of medicines called the essential narcotic drugs list, which includes morphine, fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone, codeine and hydrocodone.

Rajagopals days are filled with the tedious work of building a movement: speaking at colleges and public forums, penning editorials and medical papers about palliative care and overseeing Pallium India, a not-for-profit medical center and training institute that is singularly focused on palliative care.

Palliums pharmacy is a testament to Rajagopals persistence. Drugs once banned now fill the shelves: fentanyl injections and patches, oral morphine and, most recently, methadone, approved for pain relief in 2018.

Rajagopal seems aware that one false step would invite the government to clamp down on the availability of opioids, reversing decades of his work. He does not advise using oxycodone or hydrocodone, though they are included on the essential narcotic drugs list, and he does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies, instead putting his hand out to temple trustees and donations from families cared for by Palliums home visiting teams.

But the pharmaceutical industry is a wily adversary. American activists made many of the same arguments decades ago as they sought relief for dying patients. Drugs now commonly prescribed for chronic pain were first approved for use by cancer patients. One of the first formulations of fentanyl, for example, was a lollipop because chemotherapy left cancer patients too nauseated to eat. In India, pain physicians now prescribe fentanyl patches to patients with chronic muscular pain.

Purdue Pharmas international affiliate, Mundipharma, is very good at co-opting regulators, said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. As happened in the US, they are easily converted into useful idiots.

  • Coming tomorrow: The next opioid crisis? Addiction on the rise in India as US drugmakers push pain meds

  • Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a not-for-profit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/27/india-opioids-crisis-us-pain-narcotics

‘Ill never have another child’: the mothers failed by Mexico’s hospitals

In among Mexicos poorest states, females from minority backgrounds are progressively at danger of violent treatment throughout pregnancy and giving birth

Nancy Martnez was 17 when she entered into labour. Her age implied she was thought about a high-risk pregnancy, she was left alone for numerous hours without tracking or discomfort medication.

Nurses informed Martnez to be peaceful and tolerated the discomfort, while physicians buffooned her mom, Nancy Ceron Diaz, rejecting her info about her child’s condition.

“My child was shouting, however it was just when her face turned green that she was moved to the maternity healthcare facility,” states Diaz, 41.

Martnez’s child kid, who suffered asphyxia as an outcome of being caught unaided in the cervix for hours, was entrusted irreversible mental retardation. Now 30 months old, he can not sit unaided or consume strong food, and will require full-time look after the rest of his life.

Martnez’s case, which goes back to January 2017, is amongst a growing number reported to Mexican human rights authorities in an effort to hold medical facilities to represent the violent treatment managed native and primarily bad women and females when they deliver.

Martnez is from Tlapa, the most significant town in the rural La Montaan area of Guerrero– among Mexico’s poorest states, with high rates of teenage pregnancy, baby and maternal death and gender-based violence. There were 5 maternal deaths in La Montaa throughout the very first 3 months of 2019, compared to 9 in the whole preceding year.

Obstetric violence is a legal term created in Latin America to explain harsh, irresponsible and degrading treatment throughout pregnancy, giving birth and the postpartum duration. Such treatment, which occurs in both public and personal healthcare facilities, results in unneeded discomfort and suffering, embarrassment, ill-health, sterility and even death.

The occurrence of obstetric violence is unidentified in Mexico– the exact same uses internationally– however, according to the World Health Organization , teens, impoverished females, those residing in backwoods, and females of colour are most likely to experience violent treatment.

Nancy At 17, Nancy Martnez, was thought about a high-risk pregnancy. She was left alone for hours without keeping track of or medication. Photo: Cesar Rodriguez

In Mexico , the issue is traditionally rooted in racist health policies that methodically turned typical pregnancies into high-risk ones, according to medical historian Elizabeth O’Brien.

“As long as they got the infant out and baptised so it might enter into God’s kingdom, the lady’s life and her capability to deliver in the future didn’t matter,”O’Brien states.

This pattern of treatment is continuous. In 2013, pictures of a native female, Irma Lpez, delivering in an Oaxaca healthcare facility yard after being turned away by personnel stimulated outrage. Practically 50%of infants are provided by caesarean in Latin America– a surgical treatment that increases the danger of dangerous issues for females– compared with an ideal rate of 10-15 %, according to the World Health Organization.

The basic and maternity health centers in Tlapa have actually formally backed zero-tolerance policies versus discrimination, yet some females from neighborhoods without running water are denigrated for being dirty and declined attention till they shower. Others are reprimanded for shrieking in discomfort throughout labour, according to midwife Elizabeth Melgar, the medical organizer at the state school of midwifery. “Obstetric violence keeps occurring, specifically to native ladies who do not speak Spanish,” states Melgar

Consuela Moreno, 32, went to healthcare facility with a piercing headache, queasiness and cold sweats, hardly able to stand.

Tests exposed that she was pregnant and Moreno, currently the mom of 2 kids, informed the responsibility physician something was really incorrect. Her signs were dismissed as common pregnancy grievances.

After 7 hours in the emergency clinic, Moreno pled her other half to take her house. “I ‘d rather pass away in your home than here.”

Her other half states Moreno was buffooned by the medical professional, who insisted she was great– till a coworker found her high blood pressure was alarmingly high.

She was moved to the maternity healthcare facility and hurried to surgical treatment with an ectopic pregnancy. It is uncertain what occurred in theatre, however physicians informed the household that while Moreno would not have the ability to have more kids, she would recuperate.

But Moreno never ever gained back awareness. She passed away a number of days later on, in December 2018, leaving the household ravaged and questioning the care she got.

“No one took her temperature level or high blood pressure for 7 hours, they simply let my better half pass away,” states Fidel Leon, 56. “I feel so guilty for not having loan to take her to a personal healthcare facility. I feel so guilty for being bad.”

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Neil Aria Vitinio, an attorney from the Tlachinollan human rights centre in Tlapa, is representing numerous victims consisting of Martnez and Moreno. “In each case we see an absence of sufficient and prompt medical attention, no understanding of emergency situation standards, no notes, and, typically there is discrimination, inhumane and dishonest treatment,” she states.

“This keeps taking place– regardless of ten years of suggestions to enhance healthcare facility facilities, staffing numbers and training– since there’s no political will.”

The state human rights commission concluded Martnez went through obstetric violence, and made a series of suggestions. The assistance, which has yet to be accepted, consisted of monetary payment and personnel training.

The failure to mark out obstetric violence left teen Griselda Romero not able to have more kids. In June 2017, Romero, who requested her name to be altered, was turned away from medical facility on a number of celebrations after midwives concluded her labour was not far adequate advanced.

Back house, her mom made a tea from epazote, or wormseed– a nutrient-rich herb frequently utilized in Mexican cooking. The discomfort ended up being intolerable, so they returned to medical facility where midwives scolded Romero’s mom about the tea, declaring it had actually accelerated the labour and triggered problems.

The child lady was born healthy, however then a midwife unintentionally took out Romero’s uterus in addition to the placenta. Stressed, the group of nurses and midwives attempted to reinsert the uterus 3 times. Romero was not used discomfort relief at any phase throughout giving birth; no one called her gynaecologist.

“She had my uterus in her hands, I saw it, it was so unpleasant,” states Romero. “One midwife was sobbing, another one yelled at me to be peaceful.”

Romero was ultimately moved to the maternal health center for emergency situation surgical treatment, where physicians carried out a hysterectomy. “This wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t my mom’s fault,” states Romero, now 19, who just recently affirmed at the nationwide human rights commission, which is adjudicating her case.

“Nobody has actually stated sorry. I’ll never ever have another kid. I desire them to apologise and identify the damage they did.”

The basic and maternity medical facilities did not react to duplicated ask for remark.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jun/17/mexico-hospitals-obstetric-violence-mothers-tlapa

US medical group that pushed doctors to prescribe painkillers forced to close

American Pain Society, implicated of being pawn of huge pharma, dealt with multitude of suits over Americas worst drug epidemic

A leading medical society, explained by a United States Senate report as a pawn of the pharmaceutical market for its popular function in pressing physicians to recommend opioids, is to close down in the face of claims blaming it for America’s worst drug epidemic.

The American Pain Society led the project to promote the idea of “discomfort as the 5th essential indication”, which led to health centers throughout the United States presenting smiley-face discomfort scales into seeking advice from spaces in the 2000s and needing medical professionals to focus on discomfort treatment.

Doctors stated the policy led to clients in impact composing their own prescriptions due to the fact that medics dealt with disciplinary action, consisting of principles hearings, if they did not please needs for discomfort relief even in cases where it threatened clients.

The APS is among a group of allegedly independent medical advocacy companies that critics declare were caught by the drug market and utilized to drive sales of narcotic pain relievers that turned into a multibillion-dollar-a-year market.

Last year, a Senate report called the APS as part of a web of companies it stated were developed into “cheerleaders for opioids” by drug producers’ loan. The society took almost $1m from the leading opioid makers over the 5 years to 2017, consisting of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin– the drug that started an epidemic that has actually declared more than 400,000 lives.

This week, the APS was called in another report , by 2 members of Congress, that implicated Purdue of corruptly affecting the World Health Organization into motivating making use of opioids.

A multitude of claims by cities and states have actually targeted the APS along with opioid producers, suppliers and drug stores for apparently driving the epidemic. Today, the society’s board stated it had actually chosen to close the company with a “aching heart”.

It stated: “APS has actually been called as an offender in various spurious claims and goes through many subpoenas. In spite of our best shots, APS was not successful in its efforts to deal with these suits with the requirement for what will be pricey and prolonged lawsuits.”

The subscription, mainly discomfort experts, is anticipated to vote to verify the declare insolvency and closure next week.

The news of the APS’s death was grieved by some experts who stated it had actually been necessary in assisting to money research study and promoting the interests of discomfort clients. Its track record was dented by its close association with the opioid market.

Through the 1980s, the society was at the leading edge of promoting a broad technique to discomfort treatment and bewared about using opioids. Modifications in management led the APS and comparable groups to take a various position in favor of narcotics for discomfort relief.

In 1996, the society released a prominent declaration stating opioids were reliable and safe for treatment of persistent discomfort which the danger of dependency was low, a claim that has actually given that been challenged. The co-author of the declaration and chair of the committee that concurred it was a physician, David Haddox, who was a paid speaker for Purdue Pharma. Haddox went on to end up being the business’s vice-president of health policy and a leading supporter for recommending OxyContin.

Former APS presidents consist of Dr Russell Portenoy, a discomfort expert who has actually given that confessed to overemphasizing claims for the security and efficiency of opioids in order to break down what he considered as baseless resistance within the medical occupation to recommending them. Portenoy was then paid by Purdue Pharma to assist drive sales of OxyContin. He has actually now consented to affirm versus the drugmaker and other business, and implicated them of overemphasizing the advantages and downplaying the threats of opioids.

But the APS’s biggest effect remained in promoting the treatment of discomfort as a 5th essential indication together with high blood pressure, respiration, temperature level and pulse rate, introduced by its then president, Dr James Campbell, in 1996.

The society even copyrighted the expression: “Pain: the 5th Vital Sign.”

The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, which certifies medical facilities, utilized client fulfillment studies to determine whether individuals felt they were getting appropriate discomfort treatment. Since medical facilities feared that disappointed clients might cost them their licenses, medical professionals stated that contributed to press to recommend.

By 2012, more than 250m opioid prescriptions a year were given in the United States, enough to supply every American grownup with 30 days of tablets.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/25/american-pain-society-doctors-painkillers

Dont tell women to shut up about childbirth. Sharing stories saves lives | Suzanne Moore

Giving birth is bloody uncomfortable. Why reject it? Its likewise the experience of a life time, states Guardian writer Suzanne Moore

Mumsnet may be accountable for a lot of doubtful things– penis beaker , anybody?– however will it in fact end the mankind? Will it stop us recreating? This appears a little extreme however obviously by sharing stories about giving birth there, ladies are terrifying other females into “a pathological horror of giving birth”, states a professional. Catriona Jones is a speaker in midwifery at the University of Hull who studies “tocophopbia”. She recommends social networks is partially to blame for this fear-with-no-name (which, obviously, now has one).

Let’s break this down, shall we? Women worry giving birth since pressing out another human being through a little opening in your body is to be divided asunder. They fear the discomfort that preceedings it: labour. They fear the discomfort throughout the real pushing-it-out bit, and frequently have little concept about the discomfort that follows. We “feel the worry and do it anyhow”– simply as that dumb mantra informs us to.

The worry is logical. This is not a workout in fiction when ladies inform each other birth scary stories nowadays. They are informing the fact.

My mom explained giving birth to me therefore: “I was sitting beside your nana on the sofa. I felt a twinge, and she stated, ‘It’s time to pop upstairs’– and you were born.” She likewise stated there was no have to “make any sound”. That expression returned to me when, off my skull on pethidine, I was bring to life my 2nd kid, I believed I remained in a field of huge cows mooing; then I understood these deep, groaning sounds were really originating from me.

For my sins, I have had one natural birth, one on screens (with stated beautiful pethidine), and a caesarean. My experience is that I recuperated far more rapidly from vaginal shipments than caesarean ones. Anecdote is not information, however, and basically I feel females need to have the option.

Choice can not be made in a vacuum. And this is why females talk with each other. You may get the odd sadist who gets a kick out of explaining torn perinea, infection, the destruction of their whole “undercarriage” (!). You likewise find out. In theory everybody desires a low-lit birth swimming pool. In truth, when the shit strikes the fan– or often the birth “partner”– one is eliminated that hi-tech, medicalised births are to be had.

The feminist discourse around birth looks for just a smidgen of control. Ladies need to not need to plead for discomfort relief or caesareans, anymore than they must need to ask to keep whatever as natural as possible. Severe discomfort makes us feel out of control– everyone. To get ready for that, it is needed to understand exactly what alternatives are readily available.

This is not sharing “scary stories”. While children might be stunning, let’s not pretend birth is. It is full-body scary. Why reject it? Who understood that once the infant comes out you still need to provide exactly what appears like a huge internal organ– the placenta? Who really wishes to be sewn up in the most delicate part of your body, while being informed you do not feel it, although you do?

The ecstasy might soothe, however this does not imply you will not be sent out house in discomfort, greatly bleeding– whichever method you have actually delivered. All the squidgy toys and soft infant blankets and consumable cuteness is a big rejection of the blood-and-guts experience of birth. It is informing that numerous female obstetricians choose optional caesareans.

They state you forget the discomfort of giving birth. Yes and no. You primarily question how you survived it. Exactly what I remember is the discomfort after giving birth, which in fact is exactly what much discussion on Mumsnet has to do with. Females feel harmed, aching, cut, fretted about ever making love once again. They fear incontinence and the loss of the capability ever to feel satisfaction once again, along with absolutely deserted by medics. They are implied to be pleased, however their bodies feel broken. They feel that nobody informed them it would be in this manner, and they hesitate.

This does not sustain worry: it fuels action. How else would the scandal of vaginal mesh have been made popular? The truth of an NHS extended to it restricts is: inadequate midwives, too couple of anaesthetists on call, and ante- and postnatal care lowered to six-minute slots. In this context, then, worry of giving birth is not ungrounded, or to be treated with a little CBT.

I would state to any ladies: yes, it bloody injures, however it’s normally just a day approximately from your life. If it does not go as prepared, do not blame yourself. The very best strategy is the one where both you and the kid live at the end of it. It is the experience of a life time. Please do keep talking if you feel psychologically and physically traumatised. You are not spreading out worry. Since females sharing their facts, nevertheless bloody untidy these are, is in fact how we alter things.

Suzanne Moore is a Guardian writer

  • Comments on this piece are premoderated to guarantee the conversation stays on the subjects raised by the author.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/13/women-childbirth-stories-giving-birth-painful

‘National shame’: 147 Indigenous people die in custody in Australia in a decade

Calls for action after Guardian Australia releases damning analysis

Australia’s stunning treatment of Indigenous individuals has actually been laid bare with the publication of brand-new figures by the Guardian revealing 147 Indigenous individuals– a few of them kids– have actually passed away in custody in the previous 10 years.

Opposition celebrations have actually stated it a “nationwide embarassment” and Aboriginal groups have actually required the federal government instantly permit independent tracking of all detention centres, with Indigenous detainees as the top priority.

Just 2.8% of the Australian population recognizes as Indigenous. Native individuals make up 27% of the jail population, 22% of deaths in jail custody and 19% of deaths in authorities custody.

Guardian Australia’s examination into 10 years of deaths in custody cases discovered severe systemic failings:

  • 407 Indigenous individuals have actually passed away because completion of a royal commission that laid out methods to avoid Indigenous deaths in custody practically 30 years back.
  • Native individuals are passing away in custody from treatable medical conditions and are much less most likely than non-Indigenous individuals to get the care they require.
  • Agencies such as authorities watch-houses, healthcare facilities and jails cannot follow all their own treatments in 34% of cases where Indigenous individuals passed away, compared to 21% of cases for non-Indigenous individuals.
  • Psychological health or cognitive disability was a consider 41% of all deaths in custody. Native individuals with a detected psychological health condition or cognitive disability, such as a brain injury or foetal alcohol syndrome condition, got the care they required in simply 53% of cases.
  • Households waited as much as 3 years for inquest findings in some states.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert stated: “Guardian Australia’s ‘Deaths Inside’ database launched today is an extremely crucial effort that shines a light on this destructive concern.”

Pat Dodson, an Indigenous Labor senator, stated: “We are reversing as a country. The present federal government is cannot reveal management and dedication to reversing the dreadful state of how our justice system deals with Indigenous individuals.”

However, the numbers inform just part of the story. Checking out 463 reports by coroners, Guardian Australia discovered a record of systemic failure.

An Aboriginal female with a persistent injury and a tooth abscess was rejected discomfort medication for 6 weeks after being moved to Townsville females’s jail in 2010. Her medical records had actually not shown up with her and, apart from providing Panadol, authorities did not think she needed discomfort relief. 6 weeks after transfer, she took her own life. The coroner stated the discomfort was “a contributing consider her misery” throughout her last weeks.

“It merely can not be that tough to offer individuals in custody medical attention. How can individuals in 2018 be passing away in jail from a tooth abscess?” Siewert stated.

An Aboriginal male suffering a heart attack was made to stroll to a guard station to utilize a portable oxygen system prior to an ambulance was called.

Another Aboriginal guy passed away of cardiovascular disease resting on a concrete bench in a Darwin authorities watch-house cell. The coroner stated “an ill middle-aged Aboriginal male was dealt with like a criminal and jailed like a criminal; he passed away in an authorities cell which was constructed to house wrongdoers … In my view, he was entitled to pass away as a totally free guy.”

Prisoners understood to be at danger of self-harm were kept in cells with hanging points, or positioned in cells alone.

Research by the Guardian discovered that households of those who passed away likewise knowledgeable bad treatment. Coroners have actually criticised unneeded hold-ups in alerting near relative. In one case, a daddy discovered his child had actually passed away when another detainee called him numerous hours after the death, long prior to authorities informed him formally.

An inquest is under method in South Australia into the death of Wayne Morrison, who passed away in health center 3 days after a run-in with corrections personnel at an Adelaide jail left him braindead.

Footage revealed on Monday revealed the occurrence preceeding Morrison’s transfer in the jail van. At one phase, more than 16 officers crowd the corridor where Morrison is being limited, face-down. It is nearly difficult to see him underneath them.

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Footage reveals Indigenous detainee being limited prior to death– video

Once limited, he was brought outdoors and put face-down in the back of a jail escort van to move him. 8 jail personnel, consisting of the chauffeur of the escort car, accompanied Morrison on the journey in the van.

There is no video footage of exactly what took place inside the van, however counsel helping the coroner, Anthony Crocker, informed the court that “when the van reached G Division, Morrison was discovered to be unresponsive and blue”. The journey took a little under 3 minutes.

“Precisely exactly what happened in the van is unidentified as 7 of the 8 jail personnel who accompanied Mr Morrison on the journey have actually decreased to offer cops with declarations,” Crocker stated.

His household informed Guardian Australia they did not get an official notice that he had actually been hurt and were rejected entry to the healthcare facility for more than 10 hours.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/28/national-shame-147-indigenous-people-die-in-custody-in-australia-in-a-decade

‘I don’t think I look like a stoner’: the women changing the face of the cannabis industry

US cannabis laws are slackening, and a number of enterprising women are tapping into female interest in the drug through magazines, cooking, health and fashion. Candice Pires reports

As weeds legal status loosens across the US, the way cannabis is being marketed, sold and celebrated is evolving. An industry that has been dominated by men is finding a female voice in consumers and new business owners. Search #womenofweed on Instagram and youll find a female chef drizzling cannabis oil on to a soup, and a woman relaxing in a rose-petalled bath with a spliff in hand. These are women who are celebrating cannabis as an important part of their lifestyles an aid to their health, as much as their creativity.

The legality of using cannabis differs from state to state (and within states) in the US. In California, youre able to possess an ounce if youre aged 21 or over. In Indiana, possessing any amount could land you up to 180 days in jail. (In the UK, being caught with cannabis in small doses comes with a fine or warning, but production and supply can lead to a prison sentence.)

Still, new business opportunities are emerging. There are now yoga retreats, workouts, day spas, parties, conferences all for women who like weed. One female artist is making gold-trimmed porcelain hash pipes that look more sculptural than functional. Whoopi Goldberg has started a line of cannabis products, including body balms and bath soaks, that help with PMT.

As the weed market continues to grow, women are shifting perceptions of the drug and its users. Stoner stereotypes are being knocked back and women are talking openly about the place weed has in their lives. Ideas of community and equitable access to the industry are held as highly as enjoyment of the leaf. And aesthetic representations are being made through a female lens.

Anja Charbonneau

Editor of womens weed magazine Broccoli

Women see Broccoli as an invitation to communicate about this really private part of their lives: Anja Charbonneau. Photograph: Jules Davies for the Observer

In Portland, Oregon, a city in one of the nine states to legalise recreational marijuana, Anja Charbonneau recently launched Broccoli (a slang term for the drug). Broccoli looks like a design publication and calls itself a magazine created by and for women who love cannabis. The cover of the first issue featured weed ikebana, where a stylist crafted cannabis leaves according to the rules of the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. Inside issue two, Donisha Prendergast, granddaughter of Bob and Rita Marley, speaks about her grandparents legacy. And theres a photo story set in an imaginary cannabis dispensary for cats. Since Broccolis inception, other design-focused cannabis magazines have appeared.

The idea for Broccoli came from cannabis dispensaries and seeing the little stacks of free magazines. I noticed they were all for men, by men, Charbonneau explains. Last summer she decided to test her idea of creating a weed magazine for women. She began by speaking to other women who enjoyed cannabis, as well as women in the industry, asking if theyd be interested in a magazine aimed at them. I almost didnt have to ask, she says. As I was explaining what I wanted to do, I was met with this resounding, Yes! Please do that, we want it. She got together a couple of ex-colleagues from the slow-living lifestyle magazine Kinfolk: a writer she knew and an editor shed admired online. Because cannabis is so new as a legal industry, it feels like theres this opportunity to make womens voices heard while its being built and thats pretty much never, ever happened with any other industry.

Charbonneau has been receiving hundreds of messages of support from women sharing stories of their relationships with weed. It seems women felt like they didnt have permission to talk about this really private part of their lives, she says. Theyve seen Broccoli as an invitation to communicate about it, and theyre like, Let me tell you about my life. Its unlocked something.

Andrea Drummond

The marijuana chef

I hope Im bringing some normalcy to cannabis: Andrea Drummond. Photograph: Amanda E Friedman for the Observer

Andrea Drummonds path into the cannabis industry was rocky. Despite her religious upbringing, she tried cannabis aged 12 or 13, but the experience made her uncomfortable and after getting into a fight with a friend, she ended up doing community service. That made me think that if you smoke marijuana, you end up in jail, she says.

For the bulk of her adult life, Drummond worked largely in roles advising kids to say no to drugs. But when she moved to California in her mid-30s, she looked at people around her and came to the conclusion that cannabis wasnt the gateway drug it had been touted as. I worked for a successful attorney who was an avid user and I became more open-minded.

At 37, Drummond decided to follow her passion to become a chef and signed up for Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, later honing her craft at top Los Angeles restaurants and starting her own catering company. One evening, a friend asked her to make him some brownies from leftover cannabis leaves. I took it on as a challenge, Drummond says. It smelled so beautiful and Im not really big on sweets so I thought, This wants to be something else. Drummond made a cannabis butter for bruschetta. It completely enhanced the flavour of the dish, she says. Another friend insisted Drummond needed to sell her creation. That night in 2012, while high on bruschetta, the trio hatched a plan to start a cannabis catering company: Elevation VIP Cooperative.

After obtaining a medical licence, they were able to serve anyone who held a California State Medical Marijuana ID Card, which werent difficult to acquire, but It wasnt received well, says Drummond. People were afraid and I was begging them to come for dinner at ridiculously low prices, like $30 a head for five courses. But Drummond kept at it, starting a side business in cannabis education to help people understand the plant better. For a while she was homeless and slept in her car. Then, one day, while working on the business from a Starbucks, she received a call from Netflix. They wanted her to cook for a documentary series called Chelsea Does, where host Chelsea Handler would be doing drugs. The exposure led to a flood of enquiries.

On a personal level, she started using cannabis to treat the sciatica shed developed while working in kitchens. I didnt want to take prescription drugs but there were times I was completely immobile, she says. But as soon as I tried cannabis I knew it was the alternative for me.

Last year Drummond published a cookery book, Cannabis Cuisine. I hope Im bringing some normalcy to cannabis with it, she says. I dont think I look like a stoner, she adds. Hopefully that helps normalise it, especially for other women.

Tsion Sunshine Lencho and Amber Senter

Supernova Women, marijuana advocacy organisation

The plant can be used to heal our communities: Amber Senter, above right, with Tsion Sunshine Lencho of Supernova. Photograph: Winni Wintermeyer for the Observer

In Oakland, California, Amber Senter focuses daily on getting other women into the cannabis industry. Her own introduction to weed came via pain relief. As an adult, Senter was diagnosed with lupus, and credits smoking with alleviating sore joints and digestive issues. Her medical condition led her to research the plant extensively and gave her a career in the industry.

In 2015 Senter was working for a consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs apply for cannabis dispensary and cultivation permits. At a networking event she met Tsion Sunshine Lencho, an African-American, Stanford-educated lawyer who was looking for a job in the industry. Senter recruited Lencho and the two began working closely together. We noticed that the groups that we were writing applications for were all well-funded, all male and very white, she says. This is an industry that was built on the backs of black and brown people. We thought, Man, were gaining all this knowledge and essentially gentrifying our industry.

The pair decided to start Supernova Women, to help people in the black community get into the cannabis industry. They recruited two other women with existing cannabis-delivery businesses, Nina Parks and Andrea Unsworth, and the four now work in advocacy, education and networking, primarily for women of colour.

The biggest barrier to the cannabis industry is funding, says Senter. And all the people who know each other with money are white guys. Were teaching women of colour how to raise money and how to be good negotiators. The women we work with are equipped with the skills to run businesses they just dont have the resources or the pathways to money.

On 1 January 2018, cannabis went from being medically to recreationally legal in California. There is a finite number of dispensary licences available. Supernova is now working with city councils on equity legislation for creating licensing programmes that give priority and assistance to marginalised groups.

Ultimately, Supernova wants money made from the industry pumped back into the communities its affected. We dont just want people in the community becoming owners we also want to see the money reinvested in social programmes and education, says Senter. The plant can be used to heal our communities, she says, even though its been used to destroy them.

Harlee Case & Co

Ladies of Paradise, cannabis creative agency

We want to help remove the stigma: Harlee Case, above left, with Jade Daniels, both of Ladies of Paradise. Photograph: Evie McShane for the Observer

Harlee Case started smoking behind her super-religious, strait-laced parents backs when she was 17. She had grown up around cannabis without knowing it. Her small hometown of Central Point in southern Oregon is surrounded by land and perfect cannabis-growing conditions. Now I understand why everyone had these big farms in their back yards, says the 26-year-old, and why people always had cash.

Case is one third of Ladies of Paradise, a women-in-cannabis blog and creative agency. The collective, which includes co-founder Jade Daniels, 30, and new recruit Leighana Martindale, 23, creates cannabis marketing for the female gaze.

Case and Daniels met three years ago. Danielss boyfriend was buying a cannabis farm in southern Oregon and the couple moved to work on it. Both Case and Daniels had fashion backgrounds and large online followings through their Instagram shops, which led them to collaborate on photography and styling.

Last autumn, working the harvest season on the farm and burnt out from their online work, they decided they wanted to redirect peoples eyes to the cannabis industry in a female-driven way, says Case. Our first idea was to spotlight women working in the industry by interviewing them about what theyre doing and styling them in a unique way. They took Danielss online jewellery shop, Ladies of Paradise, and set it off in a new direction. It felt risky and we lost a few followers, but most people were really up for it, says Daniels.

Having recruited Martindale, who had been managing a cannabis dispensary, the trio now work with small cannabis brands that want to bring a female perspective to their photography, styling and events. When a vape pen company approached the women for a revamp of their Instagram feed, the first thing Case decided had to go were the bong girls. Theyre all over the internet, she explains. Case, whos a photographer, likes to feature different types of women. Its about women being women. When we do boudoir stuff, its for us. Not men.

They are keen to broaden the appeal of cannabis among more women. Ideally, if youre my mum and youve never smoked cannabis, seeing a photo of a woman your age with a joint might make it seem less intimidating, says Case. We want to help remove the stigma.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/12/i-dont-think-i-look-like-a-stoner-the-women-changing-the-face-of-the-cannabis-industry

Hawaii’s evacuees on why they live under a volcano: it’s affordable

As the Kilauea volcano erupts, Puna district residents reflect on the threat to an area of affordable housing and great beauty

Imago Mana had always wanted to move to Hawaii. But it was mostly a dream for the computer technology teacher from Virginia, who put it in the back of her mind.

I always thought: I cant do that now, Hawaii is too expensive. Then, around the age of 50, she began getting debilitating migraines. She lost her job, her house, her car. She moved back in with her mother. As she was trying to figure out what to do next, a friend told her about a part of Hawaii where life was a little different, a little wilder. In the district of Puna, Mana found a raw vegan commune where she could work in exchange for living in an off-the-grid hut on 50 acres of jungle. She bought a one-way ticket and boarded a plane four days later.

The minute I got off the plane I knew I was home, Mana said.

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  • A lava flow on Makamae Street in Leilani Estates.

Mana, now 59, has since moved out of the commune and was among those evacuated on Thursday because of the continuing eruptions of the looming Kilauea volcano. Dramatic videos of lava slowly pouring through streets and inching over the land have attracted international attention.

Mana has lived in the Leilani Estates subdivision, which is located in Pahoa, for three years rent-free as a caretaker. Its one of the reasons she has been able to live on her $1,400-a-month disability checks. Now, shes one of many trying to replace the affordable housing she lost in Pahoa where many depend on the low cost of living. In exchange for living in the lava zone, often without infrastructure such as city water or sewer lines, she and others have been able to make a life for themselves without much money.


Puna district and the town of Pahoa, where homes have been destroyed by lava, are among the least expensive places to live in the islands. Its common for three-bedroom, two-bath houses on an acre of land to sell for around $250,000, according to Cathy Fedak, a realtor from Pahoa who also lived in Leilani Estates.

There are a lot of literally starving artists here, said Amedeo Markoff, who opened the Puna Gallery and Gift Emporium in March to sell handcrafted wood pieces and local art. Markoff added that with news of the volcano scaring off tourists, a community where many struggle to make ends meet is in even greater peril.

Markoff said for the residents, businesses and artists, affordable housing is key.

There are a lot of reasons why people want to live in Puna, he said But the No 1 reason is the beauty. The No 2 reason is that real estate is priced so that your average Joe can live here.

Thats certainly the case for Corey Hale, who came to Pahoa from California nearly four years ago and purchased a one-acre plot of land just outside Leilani Estates for $15,000.



  • Top: a fissure eruption fountains more than 200ft into the air, consuming all in its path, near Pahoa. Bottom: video of more volcanic damage.

Hale, who is 54 and a former crisis counselor, intended to build a house on her thickly forested jungle plot at some point, but needed to wait until she got the money together. In the meantime, she lived in a gypsy wagon given to her by a neighbor, went to work fixing leaks and building an outdoor shower out of old wood pallets, and lit oil lamps to see at night.

But having her own land and an inexpensive off-the-grid lifestyle became even more important when she became disabled and saw her monthly income reduced to $340 in food stamps and $338 in cash. Luckily, Hale said, she never went hungry because of the abundance of avocado, mango, papaya and banana trees around her property.

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I created a really good life for myself, she said. It was simple, but it was good life is messy here, but its real and its beautiful.

Hale, who was evacuated on Thursday, said she hoped shed be able to return home soon. For now, shes staying at a Red Cross shelter in Pahoa. Shes been reluctant to make plans because no one knows how long the eruption will continue or how long residents will be kept out of their neighborhoods. And on Tuesday, just as things had become quiet, Hale got another shock when two new volcanic fissures opened up near her property. She fears that even if she can return, the eruption will have changed the place she knew and loved.

With lava, after its gone, its like you come back to a different planet, she said. I had to say goodbye to my land when I left, and my heart hurts.

Henrietta Kaonohiokalani Jeremiah, a musician, retiree and native Hawaiian, also lives in Leilani Estates and is waiting to see if and when she will be able to go back home. She purchased her one-acre plot of land for about $20,000, then built a multi-sided home, similar to a yurt, on the property.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/10/hawaiis-evacuees-on-life-by-the-volcano-people-think-were-crazy-to-live-here