Buyer Beware: Your Uber Driver Can Secretly Report You for Cannabis.

Your Uber driver is not your friend. In fact, they may very well be narcing on you right now — and you could get banned from the ride-hail app as a result.

The company's Community Guidelines strictly prohibit "bringing open containers of alcohol or drugs into the car," and that apparently includes weed. Marijuana, of course, is recreationally legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, but that doesn't mean Uber is cool with it. 

SEE ALSO: Uber employees 'really enjoyed' London play about Travis Kalanick

One rider found that out the hard way after he got a notification from the company threatening "permanent account deactivation." The offense? Allegedly bringing some drugs into the vehicle.

"We're reaching out because we have received a claim that you may have been in possession of an illegal substance on a recent trip," read a message from Uber tweeted by Mike Mulloy. "We take these claims very seriously," the company added before noting that if he got caught again he could lose access to Uber.  

Are you fucking kidding me @uberpic.twitter.com/FBQa8cCIbj

— mike mulloy (@fakemikemulloy) July 7, 2018

When reached for comment, an Uber spokesperson confirmed that drivers can indeed narc on their passengers right through the app. 

"We have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol for both riders and drivers," the spokesperson explained in an email to Mashable. "If a driver suspects a rider has drugs or alcohol, they can report it to us through in-app support."

Uber also confirmed that it does indeed send out warnings to passengers who have been reported by drivers. 

"For a first time offense, we send a warning to the rider," the spokesperson wrote. "Multiple reports of problematic behavior may result in a review of their account status."

Interestingly, Mulloy claims that he only smelled like weed. 

An illegal substance? I smoked a blunt before I got in your car. Fuck all the way off.

— mike mulloy (@fakemikemulloy) July 7, 2018

We reached out to Mulloy in an attempt to confirm where this went down (his Twitter bio lists LA and Boston), as well as get some additional details, but he didn't really feel like chatting. 

"You don’t think there’s anything more important to write about," he replied over Twitter DM.

Getting narc'd on by your friendly neighborhood Uber driver truly is a buzzkill.  

As of press time, Uber did not respond to a series of follow-up questions, including whether a rider could be banned for bringing weed into the vehicle in a state where marijuana possession is legal. Uber also did not say if the ability to report passengers in-app for suspected drug possession is new, and, if so, when the feature was added. 

Either way, knowing that your driver can most definitely rat you out for holding a little herb is now a real fear. So don't, you know, get paranoid the next time you hazily call an Uber or anything. 

This post was originally published on Mashable.

Why are doctors so against alternative medicine?

Why are doctors so against alternative medicine?

One of the most important developments in health care in recent years has been the remarkable growth of alternative - or complementary - medicine in Ireland, and in all westernised countries. Even most small towns in Ireland, where 20 years ago the concept of alternative medicine was unheard of, now have several alternative medical practitioners, many of whom are almost as busy as the local GP. In Britain, there are now more alternative medical practitioners than GPs, a remarkable development considering that, while the British public does not have to pay to visit their GP, they do have to pay to visit alternative medical practitioners. Clearly, alternative medicine is providing a valuable service.

The majority of medical doctors are quite dismissive of alternative medicine, and many doctors are positively hostile towards it. Doctors say publicly that this is because there is no scientific proof that alternative medicine actually works. I believe this is a smokescreen; the real reasons doctors are so against alternative medicine are much, much deeper. Doctors are scared of alternative medicine: they feel deeply threatened by it. Doctors have spent years of their lives studying and working within the modern medical health system. They feel entitled to reap the financial and other rewards which go with being a medical doctor.

I believe it galls doctors to think that, after all their years of study, sacrifice and hard work, their patients are flocking to alternative practitioners whose beliefs about health are very different from those of the medical profession. One doctor expressed his frustration in a medical journal: "Western medicine has advanced to undreamed-of heights, yet what is very dubious, captures the imagination of the people". I would question the accuracy of both the "undreamed of heights" and the "very dubious" claims which this doctor makes.

Ironically, in many ways, doctors have only themselves to blame for the astonishing growth in alternative medicine. It is the medical profession's own dismissive attitude to alternative medicine; their almost total reliance on drugs as the only valid form of therapy; the major inadequacies of the medical system; and the medical profession's failure to look at the whole person, which have driven people to look elsewhere to have their health needs met.

A small minority of doctors are open to countenancing alternative treatments. While some of this group of doctors are genuinely open to considering alternatives, many doctors have become more tolerant of alternative medicine because they feel they have no choice but to adapt to the views of their patients. But the majority of doctors are very dismissive of alternative medicine. They may not be courageous enough to say this in public, but this view is expressed again and again in medical journals. The medical profession repeatedly says that it must protect the public from these alternative medical charlatans, these rogues whose only desire is to con the public out of their hard-earned money. These doctors seem to forget that people can make up their own minds, that most people quickly sense if they are being duped.

Doctors say that alternative medicine remains scientifically unproven, and therefore cannot be trusted. What these doctors don't say is that many of the everyday medical practices and treatments are also scientifically unproven, but that doesn't stop doctors from prescribing them.

THE medical profession repeatedly raises doubts about the safety of alternative medicine. Doctors preach that these treatments are dubious, and should not be encouraged. In 1995, a GP was quoted in a medical journal as saying that, with regard to alternative forms of medicine, it must first be established that they do no harm, and then whether or not they do any good. Struck by this classic example of double standards, I wrote to that journal. I asked: "What right have doctors to demand of alternative medicine standards which doctors do not demand of themselves?"

  • Conventional medicine does not have an impressive safety record. For instance:

  • Approximately 25 percent of hospital admissions are for iatrogenic reasons, i.e: caused by medical treatments or procedures.

  • Death from medication errors has more than doubled between 1983 and 1993 in the US.

  • Recent studies showed that in the US alone more than 150,000 people die every year at least partly as a result of medical treatment procedures.

  • Every drug doctors prescribe has a long list of potential side-effects, many of which are not discussed with the patients for whom they are prescribed.

Rather than vociferously raise doubts about the safety of alternative medicine, the medical profession would do well to improve the safety of its own everyday medical practice. My own impression is that, overall, the safety record of alternative medicine is far superior to that of modern medicine.

Certainly, alternative medicine still has some work to do. The lack of an overall registration and supervisory body - such as the Medical Council, the body which oversees medical doctors - needs to be addressed. But overall I feel that alternative medicine does have great potential and should be taken much more seriously by the medical profession.

A recent study of GMS patients (i.e. patients with medical cards) revealed that one-third of these patients had used alternative medicine, and 40 percent found alternative medicine more effective than conventional medicine. Some 87 percent - almost nine out of 10 - reported a positive result from their alternative medical treatment. Isn't it about time the medical profession began to listen to the views of their patients?

In a recent study of 200 patients in GP surgeries in Dublin, the authors concluded that the medical profession has paid surprisingly little attention to the health practices of the public and that the reluctance of the medical profession to take note of alternative medicine represents a "significant failure" on the part of the medical profession to meet the health needs of the population.

If the medical profession really had the welfare of the patient as its prime driving force, then modern medicine would join forces with alternative medicine and psychology. They would invite these and other groups - who might have something to offer towards the betterment of health care - around the table. They would put together a holistic health system, a whole-person approach to health care based on the patient's needs, not on the needs of the medical profession (nor, indeed, the priorities of the pharmaceutical industry).

But this is not happening. The medical profession is in effect saying to alternative medicine: "You're on your own. You prove to us that you have something to contribute". When alternative medicine does come up with scientific research - as has occurred in homeopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, among other fields - this research is quickly dismissed by the medical profession.

Unlike conventional modern medicine, which has enormous funding for research available to it from drug companies, alternative medicine has no such funds available for research. Why don't doctors, in the interests of their patients, help to ensure that appropriate funding for research into alternative medicine is made available, instead of dismissing the expansion of alternative medicine at every possible opportunity?

The public is ignoring the protestations of the medical profession. Perhaps people feel that doctors doth protest too much. Perhaps what really galls doctors is that the public is not listening to their warnings about alternative medicine.

The medical profession's refusal to take either alternative medicine or psychology seriously suggests to me that the welfare of the patient is not the profession's prime motivation. Self-interest, and the vested interests of both the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry are preventing the development of a truly holistic health-care system, for which the public has been crying out for years.

Dr. Terry Lynch is a GP who practices in Dooradoyle, Co Limerick as a holistic medical doctor.

Are cannabis vape pens safe? 5 things to know before you inhale

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Concentrates and vapor pens are among some of the fastest growing markets in the cannabis industry.

In fact, the market for concentrates and vapor pens has increased by 145.6 percent between 2014 and 2016 in Washington state alone.

Most often made using solvents to strip the herb’s essential oils from plant material, concentrates are most often used in vaporization or inhaled via special “rigs” used for instant vaporization of oils.

In general, vaporization is considered a far safer alternative to cannabis smoking. In fact, the first long-term, peer-reviewed study on the subject was published in early 2017 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

After examining blood and urine samples from 181 participants, British researchers discovered that those who switched to vaporization and electronic cigarettes showed significantly lower levels of carcinogens and other toxic chemicals than consumers who smoked.

Yet, some experts are calling bluff on the idea that all cannabis vape pens are safe.

Why? The quality of vapor pens can range wildly depending on how a cannabis concentrate was processed and made.

Fortunately, there’s some good news. Not all vape pens carry the same safety risks.

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Here are five things to consider when looking for a safe vapor pen:

1. Some vape pens contain harmful additives

Store your vape cartridges upright, with the oil touching the heating element.

As it turns out, some vape pens may not be so safe.

In a 2017 report published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that certain common additives to vapor pens may pose health risks.

The two additives in question? Propylene glycol (PG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG).

Both substances are commonly added to e-juice and vapor cartridges to thin out an otherwise thick, honey-like material.

Unfortunately, while these additives are generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) they can transform into more dangerous substances when heated to the point of combustion.

The point of combustion for cannabis products is 446F (230C).

Specifically, PG and PEG are both converted to the known carcinogen formaldehyde with heat.

Formaldehyde is also used to preserve cadavers for scientific experimentation and is a well-known lung and skin irritant.

Fortunately, the study found that other additives like vegetable glycerine did not pose a health risk.

The study found that MCT oils can break down into a carcinogen known as acetaldehyde when exposed to high heats, but levels of acetaldehyde from MCT oils were still 33 times less than that found in PEG.

Hoping to play it safe with vapor pens? Opt for products that list their ingredients and do not contain PG or PEG.

Read the full story on vaping at Green Flower Media.

NON-TOXIC WAYS TO WHITEN YOUR TEETH

Herbs and Daily Rituals that  Boost Oral Flora

By: Adriana Ayales (ANIMA MUNDI APOTHECARY)

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ORAL CARE WITH NON-TOXIC FOOD

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Most dentists will tell you that genetics, fluoride treatments, regular dental visits, and proper dental care will result in perfectly healthy teeth. However, for millennia many of our ancestors have kept a perfectly healthy mouth with very simple protocols, that certanily didn't involve a dentist, fluoride fills or even cavity removal.  Interestingly enough, studies show that the modern western world has suffered an unusual amount of tooth decay and dental diseases, more so than the ancients, and even current indigenous tribes that live (very) remotely. You're probably thinking, Hm…well, probably the reason is that they’ve not been exposed to processed foods, like refined sugar, or a lack of exposure to excessive toxicity, (etc.). Well, yes and no. Many indigenous tribes around the world have involved daily dental care practices using plant medicines, and artisan crafted oils (animal and plant based) to not only prevent oral diseases, but for aesthetically pleasing pursuits.

The truth is the most important action you can take to maintain oral health is to eat a healthy diet. Avoiding artificial additives (flavors, colors, preservatives), refined sugars, GMOs, excessive pasteurized foods (or deficient foods in general), etc. Do not consume foods laden with herbicides, pesticides, and preservatives, or deficient and unethically farmed proteins (meat, fish, poultry and dairy) as that naturally weakens the immune system, and strips the body from minerals, contributing to chronic deficiency. Minerals assist our body with strength and rejuvenation, supporting our bones, musculature and body overall. Once we start noticing patterns of deficiency, we can start seeing its manifestation through the body in particular to the mouth area -- some signs are:  : tooth stains, a tongue with white or yellow coating, a crackly tongue, bleeding gums (or gum that easily bleed), chapped or broken lips (regardless of weather)   The healthiest of cultures across the planet share the same pattern within their diet: fresh and whole unadulterated foods. These basic standards, along with natural add-ons and other simple techniques is how the ancients kept their healthy teeth. Below is a shortlist of some of my favorite herbs used for oral care for hundreds of years.

Excerpted from Anima Mundi Apothecary.

WHO Recognizes Chronic Pain as Disease

WHO Recognizes Chronic Pain as Disease

The World Health Organization has adopted a new classification system for chronic pain, assigning it the code ICD-11 in a revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It’s the first time the ICD will include a specific diagnostic code for chronic pain, along with sub-codes for several common chronic pain conditions.

Accused of Over-Prescribing Opioids and at Danger of Losing Her License, Local Doctor Takes Fight to State Medical Board

Accused of Over-Prescribing Opioids and at Danger of Losing Her License, Local Doctor Takes Fight to State Medical Board

Basch is challenging the state’s accusations, saying that she is caring for people who come to her with preexisting excessive use of opioids – some of them in chronic pain. Meanwhile, some of her patients have come to her defense, saying that Basch has provided excellent care when other doctors have been unwilling.