Man Who Has Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis Says Medical Marijuana Changed His Life

Seth Green, whose multiple debilitating conditions prevented him from living a “normal” life, finally found a solution.

The 23-year-old says in the video above that medical cannabis has helped mitigate the panic attacks, depression and anxiety he experiences due to cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that affects his muscle and cognitive functioning. Medicinal marijuana has also helped him cope with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. Green, who is both a patient and an activist, also suffers from scoliosis and seizures.

“I want to be a normal man in society — or close to it,” Green, who lives in Tennessee, says in the video. “I don’t want to draw an SSI check each month and live broke. I want to get out and be productive and either help people or, if that is not my choosing, work for a living. I don’t want to just sit home.”

Green has become an advocate for medicinal marijuana, sharing the story of his struggles through the nonprofit Healthy Hopes, which helps patients legally obtain medical cannabis. Green’s ailments are listed as qualifying medical conditions in most states’ medical marijuana regulations.

The outspoken activist has held a rally to support Tennessee’s 2014 Herbal Bill, which attracted more than 300 people. He also testified at the state Capitol in Nashville on the same bill in front of the House Health Committee. And he says he doesn’t plan to stop there.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Green said that after he moves to a state such as California, where medical marijuana is legal, he plans to run for a state representative position. Ultimately, he said he hopes to curb government regulation and special interest groups that back major pharmaceutical companies, which he believes offer poor long-term solutions such as pain pills.

Recent research from the American Academy of Neurology indicates that medical marijuana does ease muscle spasms and pain in patients who have multiple sclerosis. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports legal use of medical marijuana, but says that more research is needed on the benefits and side effects.

The legalization of medical marijuana does not draw support everywhere. Some opposed to usage worry about the effect it will have as a gateway drug, the risk of people driving under the influence and a lack of thorough scientific research on cannabis as medicine, the New York Times pointed out.

Medical marijuana use is currently legal in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

For Green, the proof of medical marijuana’s effectiveness is clear day by day, he says. As an activist who wants others to feel relief from their medical conditions just as he has, he wants to make one thing clear:

“I’m not a drug user — I want to be a normal man in society.”

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Home healthcare provider Gentiva rejects Kindred Health’s offer

June 30 (Reuters) – Home healthcare service provider Gentiva Health Services Inc said its board had rejected an unsolicited offer from Kindred Healthcare Inc, saying the offer significantly…

Facebook’s emotional experiments on users aren’t all bad

Facebook scared some of its privacy-conscious users over the weekend by revealing that it performed a scientific study on manipulating the emotional content of users’ News Feeds. Since the study came to light, the company has been accused of acting unethically—even illegally—by subjecting its users to an experiment without notice or consent. While the implications of the study are a little frightening, Facebook’s study might actually have been a responsible thing to do.

The study in question monitored “emotional words” to see how the overall mood of a user’s News Feeds affected that user’s status updates. It turned out that users who saw fewer positive sentiments in their feeds produced fewer positive status updates, and users who saw fewer negative sentiments in feeds produced fewer negative updates. The effect was small, to the tune of one less positive or negative word generated per 1,000 emotional words in News Feeds, but it did exist.

Facebook’s defense of the study hasn’t been exactly deft, with its authors saying that the effects of the study have been overstated and that the experiment was short and no one was permanently scarred. A few reporters have claimed that since Facebook appeared to receive federal funding from the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office for the study, it violated ethical laws by conducting experiments on its users without their consent. Facebook has since announced that the study did not receive federal funding, so it wasn’t subject to those ethical regulations.

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Lawsuit: Female Tinder Exec Called ‘Whore’ In Front Of CEO

By Sarah McBride

SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 (Reuters) – Former Tinder marketing Vice President Whitney Wolfe sued the dating app on Monday claiming sexual harassment and discrimination, making Tinder the latest technology company to face legal trouble over its treatment of women.

Wolfe’s lawsuit said she was publicly labeled a “whore” in front of Chief Executive Officer Sean Rad and was stripped of her co-founder title. The suit said that Rad ignored Wolfe’s complaints. IAC Inc., the media company, owns a majority stake in Los Angeles-based Tinder.

Wolfe is asking for compensatory damages, including lost pay, punitive damages and restitution. The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles.

Tinder and IAC did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

(Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Canadian economy looks south for support — but U.S. recovery is work in progress

OTTAWA — Forget the bad-weather effect, mediocre exports and a recent resurgence of inflation. The most important barometer of Canada’s economy resides — as always — to the south.

That said, the United States remains a work in progress and not without its own, perhaps more worrisome, growing pains.

But the two economies are likely stronger than what appears on the surface, according to economists who see underlying momentum building.

“Most of the domestic sources have run their course, and can grind out modest gains, but they can’t really lead the economy to a new level. We definitely need exports now. And exports equals the U.S.,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

“The view is that the U.S. economy will start to improve, and a somewhat weaker Canadian dollar will offer a bit of  support. But in terms of actual hard data, we’re not seeing signs of that yet.”

There are hints of that in the U.S., with improving consumer confidence, auto sales, home sales and job growth. Add to that a jump in equity markets on both sides of the border, also pointing to a turnaround.

“But it’s certainly not a done deal,” Mr. Porter said. “But I think there’s a pretty good case for improvement in the second half of the year.”

So far in 2014, the Canadian and U.S. economies have fallen short of forecasts.

The Bank of Canada, in its most recent outlook published in April, predicted 1.5% annualized growth in the first quarter of this year. Instead, the economy delivered a 1.2% gain. For the second quarter, the central bank has called for 2.5% growth, but most analysts have penciled in a weaker increase of between 2% and 2.4%.

The bank’s policymakers will issue their next outlook, in the quarterly Monetary Policy Report, on July 16, along with the latest rate decision.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada on Monday delivered its latest reading on the economy, saying growth was limited to just 0.1% in April — the same pace as the previous month. That was below economists’ forecasts of 0.2%.

Even so, the federal data agency said gross domestic product still managed year-over-year growth in April of 2.1% — the same year-over-year rate as the month earlier.

Growth during the month was led by wholesale trade, up 1.3%, and the retail sector, which added 0.8%, including notable gains at food and beverage stores and motor vehicle and parts dealerships. Meanwhile, construction declined by 0.6% in April, while manufacturing, an essential driver of the export market, edged up by 0.2%.

Economic weakness will ensure the Bank of Canada keeps its benchmark interest rate, now at a near-record low of 1%, unchanged until well into 2015, as policymakers wait for stronger signs of a U.S. — and global — recovery, along with a moderating trend of recently strong increases in inflation.

“In the coming months, export-oriented industries can expect to see rising U.S. demand with real GDP growth stateside forecast to advance around 3% after contracting 2.9% in Q1,” said Jonathan Bendiner at TD Economics.

“Domestic sources of growth should also lift economic activity in Q2, as consumers return to the malls after a long winter indoors. Over the second half of 2014 and into 2015, we expect economic growth to accelerate largely based on an improving export sector,” he said.

“With governments still in belt-tightening mode and the high level of household indebtedness, domestic sources of  growth are likely to wane.”

In the U.S, pending home sales — a key indicator of the economy — jumped 6.1% in May, the biggest gain since September, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.

Economists had forecast an increase of 1.5% for the month.

“However, despite the jump in the latest month, sales remain some way below year-ago levels, when low rates and investor buying of distressed homes combined to drive activity,” said Andrew Grantham, an economist at CIBC World Markets.

“The recent trend in home sales should provide some comfort for the Federal Reserve, which has been expressing concern over softness in that area.”

Transgender Connecticut police officer fired, city denies harassment

MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) – A transgender Middletown, Connecticut, police officer who complained for more than a year she had been the target of harassment by fellow officers has been fired, the city’s mayor said on Monday, adding the action was not the result of the gender change.