Leptin Hormone – Leptin Resistance Facts for Women

Women find it much harder than men to lose weight and this can be because of the leptin hormone, but there are options for weight loss if you face leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that plays a major role in weight management and appetite and it’s said to have two critical functions (Dr. Oz 2014). First, it crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to receptors in the appetite center in the brain, regulating brain cells that let you know when to stop eating. Next, it increases sympathetic nervous system activity, which stimulates fatty tissue to burn energy.

Leptin

Leptin Hormone Photo by Wikipedia.org

Women who wish to lose weight but have leptin resistance may find it difficult because their brain is not telling them when to stop eating and they won’t be able to burn calories effectively. Venus Factor is a great fat loss system for women and focuses on controlling the leptin hormone and includes a 12-week program with all the tools you need.

Studies in obese humans have been shown to have high quantities of leptin circulating in the blood, but it doesn’t seem to affect energy or appetite. On the other hand, studies in mice have demonstrated that giving animals leptin decreases overeating and obesity. When your body contains more leptin in it than needed but doesn’t respond correctly, this is known as leptin resistance (Dr. Oz 2014). It’s hypothesized that leptin resistance occurs when the leptin hormone is not reaching the right targets and/or the receptors in the leptin stop functioning to tell the cells to respond.

Individuals with leptin resistance may have constant feelings of hunger or cravings so researchers are still working to fully develop and understand effective treatments for leptin resistance. It seems that controlling cravings is the key to fighting the effects of leptin resistance so protein and fiber are factors for fighting hunger. Here are Dr. Oz’s three key steps to control your appetite and start losing weight today:

Step 1: I love oatmeal for breakfast and you can also begin your day with regular oatmeal and peanut butter. Studies have demonstrated that oatmeal is one of the most satisfying breakfast options and can control your hunger cravings throughout the day. Peanut butter contains a good source of protein, which has shown to help reduce the brain signals that cause food cravings as well.

Step 2: Have you ever heard of Irvingia? This supplement derives from African mango extract and has been demonstrated to improve leptin sensitivity and help improve body weight and waist and hip circumference. Always consult your doctor or physician before starting any new supplement or diet.

Step 3: Take a 9 to 12-hour break from food. A recent study showed that people who ate a high-fat diet within a 9 to 12-hour window still lost a significant amount of weight compared to those who were allowed to eat whenever they wanted. Leave a 12-hour window between your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day. For example, if you eat dinner at 9 p.m. on one day, wait until 9 a.m. the next morning to eat for breakfast.

Leptin Hormone Chart

Controlling hunger cravings seems to be the key to fighting leptin resistance. Photo by Perfect Body RX

Leptin resistance can be crucial to women who are struggling to lose weight but controlling your cravings is the key to reversing this disease. Venus Factor, a female fat loss system, is another effective tool to help women around the world control the leptin hormone and lose weight to improve their health.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Marketer

Source: The Dr. Oz Show “Leptin Resistance Fact Sheet” 14 March 2014

Rapper Rick Ross Loses 85 Pounds

Rapper Rick Ross has been blessed with much success in the music industry dropping “Hood Billionaire this past November and recently losing 85 pounds due to lifestyle changes and CrossFit workouts (Singh 2014). The Miami, Florida rapper, born William Leonard Roberts II, lost nearly 90 pounds this past year and I can honestly admit this is motivation and real proof that anyone can lose weight, no excuses!

Rick Ross Loses 85 Pounds

Rick Ross after losing 85 pounds. Photo by Urban Daily

Rick Ross told ABC News’ Sara Haines, “I just feel like I was at a point in my life where you know, so many other positive things were happening in my career, my life. And, you know, two years ago I suffered two seizures. “It was a blessing that Ross woke up from that and now has made positive lifestyle changes to improve his health. He has been featured on many magazine covers such as Vibe and Rolling Stone flaunting his large bare belly (Singh 2014). He told Haines that he loves taking off his shirt and running around but a change was necessary in order to improve his health and save his life.

The Miami rapper made drastic changes, including cutting back on drinking, getting more sleep, and counting calories. “Sodas were the first thing I cut out. Most definitely. That was, majority of my sugar. The way I ate, you know, fast-food,” he said. As we all know, sodas are full of sugar and calories so these drinks have no nutritional value whatsoever. Water and real fruit and vegetable juices are the better diet choices when you begin your weight loss plan. Now, on a regular day, Ross will eat three eggs with turkey bacon in the morning for breakfast then workout afterwards. He calls this “RossFit”, a nice twist on that CrossFit. To the people that question his change, three to four CrossFit workouts every week, he says he still got it and “everything really been going well.”

Rick Ross - BET Hip Hop Awards 2012 - Audience and Show

Rick Ross before weight loss performs at 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET

Ross has been working very hard in the music industry, releasing his latest “Hood Billionaire” album, the Rapper’s second album this year. He said it’s a result of his passion for music and the weight loss doesn’t affect his music or his life.

Source: Singh, N. “How Rapper Rick Ross Lost 85 Pounds” 18 December 2014 Good Morning America

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Fat is Released through Breathing After Weight Loss

When you lose weight, have you ever wondered where the fat goes? Most people believe that fat is converted to energy or heat, which violates the law of conservation of mass. According to researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia, majority of the fat is exhaled or breathed out as carbon dioxide during weight loss (BMJ 2014;349:g7257).

Fat Released through Breathing After Weight Loss

Fat is released through breathing after weight loss. Photo by Healthy Eggs

Professor Andrew Brown and Ruben Meerman stated that excess carbohydrates or protein in the diet is transferred to triglyceride and placed in the lipid droplets of adipocytes. Extra dietary fat does not need conversion other than lipolysis and re-esterification (BMJ 2014; 349:g7257). When people desire to lose weight while keeping their fat-free mass, they are attempting to metabolize those stored triglycerides.

The complete oxidation of a single triglyceride molecule involves many enzymes and biochemical steps and the atoms that make up this formula are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Researchers wanted to study the fat storage that leaves as carbon dioxide or water during weight loss so they traced every atom’s pathway out of the body (BMJ 2014;349:g7257). The results showed that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss and when someone loses 10 kg of fat (triglyceride); 8.4 kg is exhaled as carbon dioxide. The rest of the 28 kg total of CO2 produced is contributed by breathing in oxygen.

When resting, the average 70 kg person consuming a mixed diet exhales 200 ml of carbon dioxide in 12 breaths per minute. At one day of sleeping, resting, and performing light activities that double the resting metabolic rate, each for 8 hours, a person exhales 203g of carbon from the body. If you replace just one hour of rest with exercise, you are increasing the metabolic rate to seven times that of by resting, for instance, jogging eliminates an additional 39g of carbon from your body, increasing the total by nearly 20% to 240g (BMJ 2014;349:g7257). “Physical activity as a weight loss strategy is easily foiled by relatively small quantities of excess food”, says Professor Brown and Meerman.

The main purpose of this study was to demonstrate that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat. Weight loss requires unleashing the carbon stored in fat cells, which reinforce the misconception of “eat less, move more.” The researchers recommend these concepts to be included in secondary school science curriculums and university biochemistry courses to correct widespread misconceptions or myths about weight loss.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor and Internet Marketer

Source: BMJ 2014; 349:g7257

Obie the Dachshund Loses 50 Pounds, Poses for 2015 Calendar

Obie the dachshund recently underwent an incredibly weight loss transformation and has made headlines since weighing a shocking 77 pounds in 2012. A certified veterinary technician by the name of Nora Vanetta, rescued Obie the dog and placed him on a strict diet and exercise routine (Yam 2014). Vanetta celebrated Obie’s weight loss journey by releasing a 2015 calendar.

Obie before weight loss

Obie before weight loss-Caters News.

With more than 2/3 of adults in the U.S. being obese or overweight (Ogden et al., 2014), eating healthier and engaging in daily physical activity are two important factors in protecting our health. “It is so important to introduce pups and kids to a healthy lifestyle and smarter food choices as early as possible,” says Vanetta. The dog’s previous owners fed Obie human food with the intention of spoiling him so there were a lot of changes to be made when Vanetta rescued him (Yam 2014).

Vanetta had no easy task of training Obie to eat dog food again but everything went well with adding a revised diet, now including vegetables. This is amazing news for dogs that are currently overweight and struggling to find a weight loss solution. Dr. Leilani Alvarez, a veterinarian and director of a rehabilitation and fitness service says, “He is a star representation of a perfect body condition.”

Obie After Weight Loss

Obie after weight loss-Caters News

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor and Internet Marketer

Source: Yam, K. “Obese Dachshund Sheds 50 Pounds, Poses for Hot Dog Calendar 15 December 2014 the Huffington Post

Girl Loses 50 Pounds After Weight Loss Surgery

Alexis was morbidly obese by the age of 12 but denied weight loss surgery by her health insurance company to stop the rare condition. Can you imagine that, being denied health care coverage for a serious health condition just because of your age? I understand weight loss surgery may be a risk factor for young children but if the benefits outweigh the odds then why not go for it? Since Alexis first told her story, donations have been pouring in for a gastric-sleeve procedure to help her lose weight (Shapiro 2014).

Alexis - Weight Loss Surgery

Hope and love for Alexis
I know it’s been a little while since I have updated. It’s been very busy with Alexis’ birthday coming up and Christmas. Alexis has been doing really good. She still doesn’t like going to school and gives me a hard time sometimes but she tries her best. She gets very very tired from school. She likes math, reading, and language arts. She doesn’t like music, or computers. She likes learning! She walks about a half mile or more every day at school. She is still scared to try new things that she couldn’t do while she was much heavier, but we are trying. Thank you everyone for caring! Oh yes and she got glasses!
December 7

About 3 years ago, Alexis had surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Unfortunately, the surgery caused her hormones and metabolism to go chaos, increasing her appetite to make her feel hungry all the time. She continued to eat despite her family’s efforts to stop her and eventually gained more than 200 pounds – a rare, medically triggered obesity. Her health also decreased very fast (Shapiro 20014). Her last hope was to undergo a gastric-sleeve procedure to save her health and help her lose weight effectively.

The operation was performed in March at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the operation reduced her stomach size to help curb her appetite. Although the surgery was successful, Alexis still had to endure the agony of recovery but she pulled through very well with the strong support of family and loved ones. Jenny says they have enjoyed so much support and the comments from Facebook shows people really do care about Alexis.

By late June, she had lost 37 pounds and was off to a good start of becoming a new, healthier person (Shapiro 2014). She became a happier person and was back in school for the first time in nearly two years. She had more confidence and became the old, joyful Alexis she was once before. “Hope has been the only thing that has gotten us through,” said Jenny Shapiro, the mother of Alexis. Jenny says that her daughter’s strength and determination have made her even more proud of Alexis and she’s glad she helped her fight all the way.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Shapiro, J. “Once obese but starving Texas girl sees a healthy future months after surgery” 11 December 2014 www.today.com

Prevent Weight Gain With Inulin Propionate Ingredient

Researchers at Imperial College and the University of Glasgow discovered that this newly-developed ingredient is effective at preventing weight gain and fat loss in obese individuals. This ingredient contains propionate, which stimulates the gut to release hormones that act on the brain to stop hunger (Wong 2014). Now, individuals who are struggling to lose weight can take advantage of this new ingredient by feeling fuller longer and reducing calories.

Prevent Weight Gain - Fiber

Prevent weight gain with inulin-propionate ingredient, a dietary fiber. ClipArt photo

Propionate is naturally produced when dietary fiber is fermented by microbes in the belly, but the new ingredient, called inulin-propionate Este (IPE), provides much bigger quantities of propionate than individuals can consume with a normal diet (Wong 2014). With these larger amounts of produced propionate, people can reduce hunger because this ingredient acts as an appetite suppressant to make you feel fuller.

To begin with, twenty individuals were given either inulin or IPE, a dietary fiber, and were allowed to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet. How does that sound, being able to eat all you can eat? The volunteers who were given IPE ate 14% less on average, and had higher concentrations of appetite-reducing hormones in their blood (Wong 2014). This means that if you were to take a dose of IPE and eat at a buffet, your appetite or the amount of food you eat can be reduced by 14 percent. This is a great ingredient that can help you feel fuller longer and lose weight by staying away from the buffet line.

Next, sixty overweight individuals participated in a 24-week study in which half were issued IPE as a powder to add to their food and the other half given inulin. One out of 25 participants issued IPE who finished the study gained more than 3 percent of their body weight, compared to 6 out of 24 given inulin (Wong 2014). Surprisingly, none of the IPE group members gained more than 5% of their body weight, compared with 4 in the inulin group. Also, the IPE group had less fat in their abdomens and livers compared with the inulin group after 24 weeks.

 Lose Weight With Dietary Fibers

Feel fuller with inulin-propionate that acts an appetite suppressant to help you burn calories. ClipArt photo

Professor Gary Frost, who led the study at the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said “Molecules like propionate stimulate the release of gut hormones that control appetite, but you must eat huge quantities of fiber to accomplish a strong effect.” Frost says that this small, proof-of-principle study demonstrates encouraging signs that supplementing one’s diet with the ingredient they’ve developed prevents weight gain in overweight individuals (Wong 2014). “You need to eat it regularly to have an effect. We’re exploring what kinds of foods it could be added to, but something like bread or fruit smoothies might work well” says Frost.

To say the least, this newly-developed ingredient (IPE), can be a real breakthrough for weight loss if combined with daily physical activity. This is new inulin-propionate may be all you need when it comes to an appetite suppressant and an effective tool to burn calories fast for weight loss. If you are new to losing weight you should consult your doctor or physician before making any unusual physical or diet changes. My goal is to help all men and women lose weight and improve their health so hopefully this new inulin-propionate (IPE) ingredient developed by scientists is really effective in reducing your hunger and preventing weight gain.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor and Internet Marketer

Source: Wong, S. “Scientists create food ingredient that will make you feel fuller” 10 December 2014 Imperial College London

Lose Weight With Time-Restricted Diets

Losing weight without counting your calories may seem unusual, but according to researchers at Salk Institute, a simple 12-hour eating period could be the key to weight loss. Snacking during bedtime has become a bad habit for many of us and it seems that burning calories continues to be a struggle. The results of this new study by researchers at the Salk Institute published in Cell Metabolism, suggests that it’s not only what we consume but when we eat it that matters the most (Salk Institute 2014).

Lose Weight

Lose weight with a time-restricted diet. Clip Art photo

Back in 2012, Satchidananda Panda, a Salk associate professor, demonstrated that mice which were fed a high-fat diet, but granted access to that diet for just 8 hours per day, were healthier and smaller than mice given access to the exact same food for the entire day, although the two groups consumed the same amount of calories. This new study demonstrates that the benefits of time limitation is shockingly more important than initially thought and can reverse diabetes and obesity (Salk Institute 2014).

In these days, most of the advice about how to lose weight involves nutrition or changing your diet. But what if you don’t have access to a healthy diet? Panda and his researchers sought out to find how forgiving time-restricted feeding was so he and his group subjected approximately 400 mice to a variety of diets and lengths of time restrictions (Salk Institute 2014). They discovered that the benefits of time-restricted feeding showed up regardless of the weight of the mouse, type of diet and length of the time restriction. The mice were given time limitations of 9 to 12 hours-and ate the same amount of daily calories as their unrestricted counterparts- gained less weight than the controlled subjects regardless of whether their diets were high in fat (Salk Institute).

This study basically shows that you can consume a high fat diet as long as you limit yourself to when you eat and still lose weight. Time-restriction seems to be the key in this study because the amount of calories and the type of diet didn’t make any difference. I believe that when you give your body time to disgust and break down the food, it has a positive effect on your metabolism which in turn helps you burn more calories. Eating a high fat diet between a 9 to 12-hour-window doesn’t seem difficult at all because many of us are busy working long hours to begin with.

High-Fat Diets - Time-Restriction

You can still lose weight if you consume a high-fat diet within a 9 or 12 hour window. Image by © Royalty

Researchers issued some of the time-limited mice a short period of relief on weekends, allowing them free access to high-fat diets for these two days. These mice had less fat mass and gained less weight than the ones allowed a freely available, high-fat meal the entire time. Furthermore, the mice that were fed freely just on weekends appeared much similar as the mice given access to food 9 or 12 hours a day for 7 days a week, meaning that the diet can withstand some temporary interruptions (Salk Institute). The most shocking fact is that it doesn’t matter what the diet is or what period of the week it is because it worked on the weekends as well.

One of the most important facts is that the mice that were already obese by eating a freely available high-fat diet, lost weight by 5 percent within a few days, when researchers restricted their food access to a 9-hour window. Eating this way stopped the mice from gaining more weight (by nearly 25% by the end of a 38-week study) compared to the group kept on the freely available high-fat diet. This study by Panda and his researchers is a great set-up experiment for future research on the causes of diabetes, says Panda. The next step is to investigate the effects of time-restricted diets in humans. Until next time, take care and God bless!


Source: Salk Institute www.salk.edu “Another case against the midnight snack” 2 December 2014
Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor and Internet Marketer

High-Fat Diets: Fat Loss Facts

High-fat diets have been recognized to be a major risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes and other related diseases. According to the World Health Organization, more than 40 million children were overweight in 2010 and this pattern of obesity seems to continue (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). Proper dieting and exercise have always been the most effective ways to lose weight and stop obesity but today we will focus on low and high-fat diets.

Hight-Fat Diets

Diets that are high in fat are known to cause obesity, type 2 diabetes and other related health diseases.

Increased consumption of high-energy foods (foods with elevated quantity of fats, carbohydrates and salt) and lack of exercises are important factors for the pathogenesis of those serious health diseases in modern society (World Health Organization, 2012). Foods such as fried chicken, packaged or processed foods and too many snacks should be avoided because these foods are very high in fat. What about low-fat diets, are they effective? Although low-fat diets have been promoted as healthier and recommended for weight loss, they have also been associated with an increase in carbohydrate intake from plant-based foods (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). Therefore, just reducing the fat intake may not be the best strategy for a healthy lifestyle. Next we will discuss the truth about fat loss and myths about high and low-fat diets.

To be honest, all diets have their good sides and of course, their bad sides. Traditional dietary recommendations (diet and exercise), a low-calorie diet and an increased consumption of carbs and fruits and vegetables remain the best method for weight loss (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). High-fat diets have been associated with weight gain and a low-fat high carbohydrate, fiber, grains, and protein has been proven as the best diet to lose weight (Bray and Popkin, 1998; McManus et al., 2001; Wing and Hill, 2001; Astrop et al., 1997, 2002, 2005). Foods such as whole grains have been proven to speed up your metabolism so I consume these foods every day.

High-fat/high-protein/low-carbohydrate diets, i.e. ketogenic, that force the body to burn fats instead of carbs, in some instances, has been known as a promoter of a rapid weight loss and reduced appetite (Brarata et al., 2003; Bray, 2003; Crowe, 2005). Good fat-burning foods that speed up your metabolism are whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy products and peanuts. We will then have a discussion about the health effects and risks of low and high-fat diets.

Obesity

Over 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children are overweight or obese.

It has been debated in the last century, whether fats are harmful to your health and what role does fat plays in dieting. The 1st Food Guide Pyramid created in 1992 showed fats at the top of the pyramid, meaning that their consumption should be minimized (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). Since there are different types of fats, which fats should you consume that are NOT harmful to your health? Saturated and Trans fatty acids should be avoided at all costs with consumption less than 7 percent. Life expectancy in countries that practiced a Mediterranean diet was among the highest in the world and rates of coronary heart disease (CHD), certain cancers and other diet-related chronic diseases were among the lowest (Willet et al., 1995). The Mediterranean diet consists of eating plant-based foods such as, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, fish and drinking red wine in moderation (Mayo Clinic 2013).

According to proven research, it can be safe to say that daily physical activity along with a Mediterranean diet may be a very effective weight loss plan. Before I even knew what a Mediterranean diet was, I was already consuming the foods it contained so I have been accustomed to this diet plan for a while. The most important factor about this type of diet is that it works. Avoid the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other associated diseases by avoiding high-fat diets and stick to a low-fat diet plan to maximize fat loss. God Bless.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor. Internet Marketer.

Sources:

  1. Ferreira, Joao E., Muniz, N. “Low and High-Fat Diets: Myths vs Reality” February 2013 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

2.    Mayo Clinic Staff “Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan” www.mayoclinic.org 14 June 2013

Criminalization of Poverty in America

Does the criminalization of poverty exist in America? Have you ever wondered why the poor people are the ones most likely to be incarcerated or face steep fines and penalties as opposed to a higher social class? According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the number of ordinances against the publicly poor has been rising since 2006. Also, a Pew Center Study released in March 2009, found states spending a record of over $50 billion on corrections, an amount that the center judged, with an excess of moderation, to be “too much” (Ehrenreich 2009). In the following article I will explain how poverty affects criminalization and possible ways to stop criminalizing poor people for petty crimes.

Criminalization of Poverty

Poor people are being criminalized

To begin with, I believe there are certain laws like truancy and trespassing that are set up to target poor people or individuals who can’t afford to pay hefty fines. For instance, in Los Angeles, the fine for truancy is $250. This is an ingenious anti-truancy policy that discourages parents from sending their kids to school (Ehrenreich 2009). Poor people, especially Blacks and Hispanics are the main ones who face these fees and thrown in jail if they fail to pay these outstanding costs. Can you imagine serving 12 months in jail for stealing a can of beer worth $2? In Augusta Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2 (Balko 2014).

Another way poor people are criminalized is by the government welfare system. Government welfare policies increasingly treat poor people as a criminal class, and the treatment of low-income woman as criminals has occurred at all levels of government (Gustafson 2009). Welfare recipients and section 8 participants go through a vicious evaluation cycle and are subject to drug tests and random home inspections. A welfare recipient has likely signed documents informing her that her welfare grant will be reduced or terminated if she has someone move in without notice, fails to vaccinate her kids, or is convicted of a drug charge (Gustafson 2009). This is known as welfare cheating and this has been going on for as long as welfare reform was created. Government welfare policies increasingly treat poor people as a criminal class, and the treatment of low-income women as criminals has occurred at all levels of government.

Welfare & Poverty

Working low paying jobs and staying on welfare will keep you in poverty.

Next, public housing and court costs from traffic tickets can be a means of criminalizing poor people. A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the U.S. are paid increasingly by the defenders and offenders. It’s a practice that causes poor people to face harsher treatment than others who commit similar crimes and can afford to pay (Balko 2014). Can you imagine paying nearly $300 just to appeal a $20 traffic ticket? Massachusetts’s highest court upheld the state’s $275 fee to appeal traffic tickets as low as $15 (Balko 2014). Laws like these seem to go against our constitutional rights of not being assessed excessive fines or punishment; the punishment must fit the crime. Now that we know that criminalization of poor people does exist, what can there be done to stop it?

Many states are starting to slow down on the criminalization of poverty – for instance, by instructing drug offenders to treatment centers instead of jail, early terminating probation and decreasing the number of individuals locked up for technical violations like missed court appearances (Ehrenreich 2009). This will not only help offenders transition back in the community but also save the state money by decreasing overcrowded prisons or jails. Laws like criminalizing the act of sharing foods with the homeless should be eliminated and underpaying working people for high-productive output needs to come to an end (Ehrenreich 2009). Creating public programs that would realistically alleviate poverty, allowing workers to organize and protest for better wages, and not doing the other things that keep poor people down seems to be the only options to help stop the criminalization of poverty.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor. Internet Marketer.

Sources:

  1. Ehrenreich, B. “Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?” The New York Times 9 August 2009 freedom-school.com
  2. Gustafson, K. “The Criminalization of Poverty” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Spring 2009 law.northwestern.edu
  3. Balko, R. “The Criminalization of Poverty” The Washington Post 23 May 2014

Medical Marijuana Has Many Benefits

The right to Medical Marijuana or Amendment 2 would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Florida under certain conditions. You would have to be a patient or caregiver with an issued license by a physician and you could also attend registered medical marijuana treatment centers (www.ballotpedia.org 2014). Not just anyone can get a medical marijuana license though. Individuals must be diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, glaucoma or HIV. The Florida Department of Health would have the responsibility of regulating medical marijuana and it would issue identification cards and develop procedures for treatment centers. In the following passages I will discuss the pros and cons of medical marijuana, how poor people can obtain it and how I feel about the legalization of medical marijuana and amendment 2.

Medical Marijuana - Amendment 2

Medical marijuana should be legal in Florida

Medical marijuana has many benefits such as relieving symptoms that other drugs like Xanax can at a fortune of the price. The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as cancer and AIDS in patients worldwide (www.medicalmarijuana.procon.org 2014). Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN mentioned that marijuana doesn’t have a high potential for abuse and there are very legitimate applications. Also “sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works”, says Gupta. Arthritis is a very common disease with no current cure and marijuana has been proven to help alleviate the symptoms of this disease as well. Rheumatology reported in 2006 that “In comparison with the placebo, the CBM [cannabis-based medicine] produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest and quality of sleep (www.medicalmarijuana.procon.org). Although there are several legitimate health benefits of medical marijuana, there are still those who disagree and believe legalizing it would be detrimental to society.

Critics who oppose Amendment 2 and the use of medical marijuana think it may be harmful to society by increasing crime. Bishop Ron Allen claimed that marijuana would increase crime and poverty in Berkeley and he explains, “Research tells us that marijuana has the same effects on the pleasure central system in the brain as heroin and crack cocaine.” (www.opposingviews.com 2014) Others like Mason Tvert, of the Marijuana Policy Project disagree with Bishop Allen, saying he didn’t know what he was talking about and marijuana has been proven to be less toxic and less addictive. “The fact is that Medical associations across the country and more than 80% of Americans think marijuana can help seriously ill people (www.opposingviews.com) says Tvert.” A study conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas found that legalized marijuana may reduce crimes like robbery and homicide (Ferner 2014).

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana has many health benefits

Another possible downfall to the use of marijuana is that it may be a gateway or stepping stone to other harmful drugs such as cocaine. The Eagle Forum stated that “Since THC is continually in the body the “high” from pot gradually diminishes so pot smokers usually take other drugs to get a kick (www.medicalmarijuana.procon.org).” Sue Rosche, Founder and President of the National Families in Action says, “This issue received intense press coverage and California’s teenagers got the message, their past month marijuana use increased by approximately 1/3 that year, from 6.5% to 9.2% according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. It’s still continuing to rise: 1997-6.8%, 1998-7.4, and 1999-8.4%. Even if the use of marijuana continues to rise and it is legalized, how will the poor people obtain access to it?

The City of Berkeley, California recently announced a new law in which medical marijuana dispensaries will have to donate 2% of their cannabis to low-income people beginning in August of next year (www.opposingviews.com). I believe this is a great law that other states like Florida can incorporate to regulate to use of medical marijuana if they decide to legalize it. With the donation law, poor people can gain access to the medical marijuana they need which is known to sell for at least $400 an ounce in California. This price is only the street value of the plant-form (what you smoke) of medical marijuana, other forms such as liquid or extracted may cost more. The most important part about state regulation is that poor individuals with “debilitating medical conditions” will have a way to obtain the medical marijuana they need to alleviate their health symptoms.

With all the credible facts that prove the amazing benefits of medical marijuana, I agree and stand firm with the legalization of marijuana. I have a grandmother who has epilepsy seizures and if a dose of prescribed medical marijuana will help her to feel better, why not give her or other patients dosages by pill? The Epilepsy Foundation issued a statement this year that supported the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician-directed care, including medical marijuana (www.opposingviews.com). There is no evidence of anyone dying from marijuana and my research concluded mostly benefits. Weighing out the good health benefits of medical marijuana and the fact that poor people may have a way to obtain it, gives the state of Florida all the facts and reasons it needs to legalize marijuana.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Sources:

1. www.ballotpedia.org  “Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 (2014) Ballotpedia
2. www.medicalmarijuana.procon.org October 2014 ProCon.org
3. www.opposingviews.comBishop Ron Allen Claims Medical Marijuana Will Increase Crime Poverty” 4 Sept. 2014 Opposing Views
4. Ferner, M. “Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Actually Reduce Crime, Study Says” Huffington Post www.huffingtonpost.com 27 March 2014