Why Can’t Veterans Get Medical Marijiuana for PTSD When People (and Even Dogs) Can in 33 States?
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
"I was taking everything from opioids and antidepressants to benzodiazepines and sleeping pills," Distaso told Healthline. "Like countless other veterans, this combat cocktail of drugs I was prescribed quickly threw my life into a tailspin, affecting my ability to perform at work and straining my relationships at home."
Distaso says that living his life in a prescription pill-induced, zombie-like state left his wife and family pleading with him on Christmas morning to come back to them.
"What brought me back to my family, my career, and myself was medical cannabis. It helped me get off the pills and back in control of every facet of my life," Distaso said.
"Sadly, for millions of veterans who rely solely on their VA healthcare benefits, federal law ties the hands of their VA doctors and cruelly denies these veterans access to medical cannabis as a treatment option," he said.
Distaso now works for his fellow veterans as executive director of the Veterans Cannabis Project, which advocates for veterans' cannabis access, education of policymakers, and support for veterans who are seeking treatment options beyond the opiates and other addictive drugs they can get from the VA.
"It is time for Congress to authorize doctors at the VA to recommend and assist veterans in accessing medical cannabis and require the VA to research the impacts of cannabis on common veterans' health issues," Distaso said.
The VA Denial of Cannabis
On the VA's website, marijuana use is still labeled as harmful to veterans.
"Marijuana use for medical conditions is an issue of growing concern," the VA states.
Marijuana also remains on the Schedule I list under the Controlled Substances Act, the same level as heroin.
According to the VA website, "controlled studies have not been conducted to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of medical marijuana for PTSD. Thus, there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD."
However, the tide has turned nationally in terms of the attitude toward marijuana, especially for medicinal purposes.
Despite the unavailability of medicinal marijuana at the VA, veterans nationwide are using cannabis to deal with their PTSD symptoms such as anxiety and depression as well as chronic pain.
And a growing number of scientific studies are showing the medicinal properties of cannabis.
On its website, VA downplays the widespread acceptance of marijuana in the U.S., stating that "several" states have approved the use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.
It's actually far more than "several."
To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana laws that allow eligible people to obtain or grow cannabis to treat a range of conditions.
Results of a new poll from Politico and Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health show that Americans now think marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol, tobacco, or e-cigarettes.
In the survey, 1 in 5 Americans said they believe marijuana is very harmful to people who use it. Twice as many said the same about alcohol, 52 percent characterized e-cigarettes as very harmful, and 80 percent said tobacco cigarettes are very harmful.
And more than 6 in 10 U.S. adults said they favor changing federal law to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
It's the third national survey released within the past month showing strong majority support among Americans for legalizing marijuana.
In addition, almost all of the Democratic presidential candidates agree on removing marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances.
And veterans and the American public in general overwhelmingly support medicinal cannabis for veterans.
In a 2017 survey by the American Legion, 92 percent of veterans said they supported research into medical cannabis and 83 percent support legalizing medical cannabis.
New Study on PTSD and Cannabis
A new study published last week concludes that cannabis may already be helping Canadians cope with the symptoms of depression and thoughts of suicide in people with PTSD.
In an analysis of health survey data collected from more than 24,000 Canadians, researchers from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and University of British Columbia concluded that people who have PTSD but do not medicate with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and have suicidal thoughts than those who reported cannabis use over the past year.
The authors concluded that the study provides preliminary evidence that "cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states."
Stephanie Lake, a research assistant at the BCCSU who led the study, told Newsweek:
"We know that with limited treatment options for PTSD, many patients have taken to medicating with cannabis to alleviate their symptoms. However, this is the first time that results from a nationally representative survey have shown the potential benefits of treating the disorder with cannabis."
This analysis is the first to document the relationships between PTSD, cannabis use, and severe mental health outcomes in a sample representative of the population.
And it begs the question: If a Canadian health survey looked at PTSD and cannabis and came to this conclusion, where is the VA on this issue, which affects as many as 30 percent of the American men and women who served in the wars since the September 2001 terrorist attacks?
Veterans Group Supports Medical Cannabis
Lindsay Rodman, a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, is now executive vice president of communications and legal strategy at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country's largest veteran service organization for post-9/11 war veterans.
She told Healthline that while the VA says it is not allowed to do research, that isn't true.
"They just have to coordinate with other agencies. Just do it," Rodman said.
As a nonpartisan group, Rodman says, "IAVA believes it is important that both sides of the aisle take these issues more seriously."
IAVA's most recent annual national survey showed that 1 in 5 of its members use medical marijuana, according to Rodman.
But fewer than one-third of those veterans said they mentioned this to their doctor because of the stigma attached to marijuana use.
Veterans have legitimate fear of reprisals at VA and in the workforce, where one can lose a job for testing positively for pot.
"We have found anecdotally that in parts of the country where the use of cannabis is less stigmatized, such as San Francisco, they can have an open conversation with the VA physicians," Rodman said. "But in parts of the country where it is still illegal, such as Georgia, providers are more skeptical or judgmental and it shuts up the veteran, and then the veterans do not communicate openly with their provider, and that is dangerous."
Why the VA Won't Budge
The biggest hurdle for veterans seeking cannabis at the VA is that it is still on that Schedule I list of controlled substances.
This means that cannabis still is identified by the federal government as having "no acceptable medical use [and a] high potential for abuse" and risk for arrest with use.
The VA considers all forms of marijuana illegal, meaning veterans can't get help accessing medical marijuana from their VA doctors and have to get it on their own.
During a recent Congressional hearing exploring bills that would allow for expanded access to medical marijuana for veterans, VA representatives reaffirmed their position opposing such policies as long as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
Susan Carter, director of media relations at the VA, told Healthline that her agency is "committed to improving treatment options for veterans and supports research into potential treatment options that may prove valuable."
Carter explains that federal law restricts the VA's ability to conduct research with Schedule I controlled substances, including marijuana.
She adds that conducting any VA research using Schedule I controlled substances "would involve interactions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health , National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)."
She says that these requirements include "review of an investigational new drug application and approval of the research protocol by the FDA; an investigator registration and site licensure by the DEA; and obtaining the medical drug through NIDA and the nationally approved medical marijuana production laboratory."
"The restrictions contained in federal law are clear. Some research is allowed, but must be done in conjunction with the aforementioned federal entities," Carter said. "If Congress wants to facilitate more federal research into Schedule I controlled substances such as marijuana, it can always choose to eliminate these restrictions."
Multiple sources tell Healthline that it isn't just Congress, but the president who can reschedule marijuana and make it available to veterans and make it easier to study by VA scientists.
The executive branch rescheduling is a complicated process involving the FDA and the DEA, among other federal agencies, but multiple sources tell Healthline that it is indeed possible for the president to reschedule a drug.
Despite stating at times that he supports marijuana legalization, President Trump has not yet removed cannabis from Schedule I status.
Former VA Secretary Wants More Research
Dr. David Shulkin, a physician who was secretary of the VA from early 2017 until March 28, 2018, when he was removed by President Trump, says the president can reschedule marijuana.
"There was a change in 2014 when the Drug Enforcement Administration changed hydrocodone combination products from III to Schedule II," Shulkin told Healthline. "It has been done before and that is the executive branch. Does the White House usually get involved at that level? No, they don't. But there is a process to change that. The White House could weigh in on this and the FDA and DEA would follow the normal process."
Shulkin says that the VA has an obligation to study cannabis.
"It's a little bit strange that marijuana is Schedule I and cocaine is Schedule II," Shulkin said. "To say there is no medicinal value or application in cannabinoids is just not true."
Shulkin says there is "already an FDA-approved drug, which is a cannabinoid, for pediatric epilepsy. It is on the market."
Approved by the FDA in June 2018, Epidiolex, is the first drug derived from the cannabis plant in the U.S. to reach local pharmacies.
"I believe there are also some applications accepted for increasing appetite in chemotherapy patients and others," said Shulkin.
He added that when he led the VA, he was told the agency wasn't allowed to even discuss cannabis with veterans and was not allowed to do research.
But he later learned that this was not true.
"We can talk to our patients about it. We just can't prescribe the cannabis," said Shulkin, who writes about his evolving view on medicinal cannabis in his new book, "It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country: Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans."
"We can do research at the VA, but unfortunately the barriers and bureaucracy you have to go through are lengthy and painful," he said. "I can now more effectively articulate the view that Congress is the most likely player to help in streamlining research. And yes, it needs to be done."
Medical Marijuana Research
The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine is the nation's oldest research center for scientific inquiry into the safety and efficacy of cannabis.
CMCR recently announced five new grants worth a total of $3 million to explore the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis as a supplementary or alternative treatment for schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, insomnia, alcohol dependence, and anxiety linked to anorexia.
Research done by CMCR has also shown cannabis to be effective for relieving pain, but there is no such research at CMCR when it comes to studying cannabis for PTSD.
The center, which is directly linked to the VA's regional office in San Diego, does not have any current studies looking at cannabis and PTSD.
Legislation Is Not Moving
Members of Congress have tried to push for new legislation to make medical marijuana available to veterans at the VA. But without success.
Below are just some of the bills that have not moved forward:
The Veterans Equal Access Act would allow VA health providers to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients and fill out the necessary paperwork for them to enroll in state marijuana programs.
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act would direct the VA to conduct a large-scale clinical trial on the effects of cannabis on conditions such as PTSD and chronic pain.
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 would support scientific and medical research into medicinal cannabis for veterans diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, chronic pain, and other illnesses and injuries by clarifying that research into medicinal cannabis is within the authority of the VA.
And the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act would enable VA physicians to issue medical cannabis recommendations in accordance with the laws of states where medical cannabis is legal.
The Safe Harbor Act would also require VA to conduct studies on the effects of medical marijuana on veterans in pain and the relationship between treatment programs involving medical marijuana that are approved by states, the access of veterans to such programs, and a reduction in opioid abuse among veterans.
Ok for Dogs but Not Veterans?
Rodman says it is absurd that Americans in the majority of states now have access to medicinal marijuana but America's veterans do not.
"I have a friend who is not a veteran and does not know too much about veteran issues, and he receives medical marijuana for his dog's anxiety," Rodman said. "He was shocked when I told him that while he can get medicinal marijuana for his dog, a veteran cannot get the same treatment at the VA."
IAVA is an outspoken advocate for veterans who seek medicinal marijuana.
Rodman believes that while there is not currently a large appetite in Washington, D.C., for this issue, there is outside the Beltway.
"I think it's actually a Washington, DC, echo chamber, it is circular logic," Rodman said. "We at IAVA are convinced there is a national appetite for this issue, but politicians in DC only hear themselves and continue to assume that there isn't."
- Marijuana Is More Than Just THC: A Look at the Untapped Healing ... ›
- Fireworks Can Trigger PTSD. Here’s How to Be Considerate on July 4th - EcoWatch ›
- Texas' New Medical Marijuana Law Doesn't Cover Veterans ... ›
- As Vets Demand Cannabis for PTSD, Science Races to Unlock Its ... ›
- Medical Marijuana for PTSD? | Psychology Today ›
- Vets face obstacles to using medical marijuana ›
- VA could prescribe medical marijuana to veterans where legal, if bill ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Olivia Sullivan
One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.
Kamikatsu, Japan. Yuki Shimazu / CC BY-SA 2.0<p>This reveals a worldwide truth: Even products made mostly from easily recyclable materials like paper, aluminum or cardboard can't be sorted and recycled if they contain plastic components that can't be separated.</p><p>The truth is, some materials simply aren't recyclable, and <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782" target="_blank">only 9%</a> of all the plastic ever created has <em>been </em>recycled. As Kamikatsu's residents have painstakingly proven, no matter how many categories consumers sort their waste into or how diligently they scrub down their plastic food containers, most plastics <a href="https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Greenpeace-Report-Circular-Claims-Fall-Flat.pdf" target="_blank">cannot be recycled</a>.</p><p>Meanwhile we keep hearing the <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/504091-the-insanity-of-plastic-recycling" target="_blank">industry-driven narrative</a> that recycling can stop plastic from choking our marine life or littering our natural places. That's intentionally misleading.</p><p>Around the world, as in Kamikatsu, plastic is everywhere. With excessive amounts of plastic products and packaging stocked on store shelves, it's clear that zero-waste goals cannot be achieved by consumers alone. Plastic is not a "zero waste" material, so in order to achieve zero waste, companies must stop making so much plastic.</p>
Marine debris collected at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. NOAA<p>We can achieve that. The first steps include banning some of the worst and most polluting single-use plastics, placing a pause on the development of new plastics facilities, and protecting state and local governments' ability to enact more stringent regulations.</p><p>We must also shift the paradigm by holding producers responsible for the waste they create. By requiring new plastic products to contain recycled plastic and making producers fund the collection and recycling of plastic products, producers would be incentivized to design longer lasting products that can <em>actually</em> be reused and recycled.</p><p>These goals — outlined in numerous scientific studies and advocacy reports — have some forward motion. In the United States, a federal bill was recently introduced in both the House and the Senate, the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5845" target="_blank">Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act</a>. If passed this bill — or others like it on the local, state or national levels — could help move the world beyond single-use plastics and make that needed systemic change a reality.</p><p>The bill hasn't moved forward since it was introduced this past February, but the world is still on a deadline. A recent study published in the journal <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/07/22/science.aba9475" target="_blank"><em>Science</em></a> looked at rising levels of plastic production and said "coordinated global action is urgently needed to reduce plastic consumption, increase rates of reuse, waste collection and recycling, expand safe disposal systems and accelerate innovation in the plastic value chain."</p><p>Requiring producers to stop making nonrecyclable products designed to be thrown out is the first step toward achieving that goal. Only then will Kamikatsu and other towns, cities and countries around the world finally be able to eliminate plastic pollution and reach 100% zero waste.</p><p><em>The opinions expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of </em>The Revelator<em>, the Center for Biological Diversity or their employees.</em></p><p><a href="https://therevelator.org/author/oliviasullivan/" target="_blank">Olivia Sullivan</a> <em><em>is a zero waste associate with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) working on a campaign to move the United States beyond plastic.</em></em></p><p><em><em><span></span>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://therevelator.org/cities-zero-waste/" target="_blank">The Revelator</a>. </em></em></p>
The shelter in place orders that brought clean skies to some of the world's most polluted cities and saw greenhouse gas emissions plummet were just a temporary relief that provided an illusory benefit to the long-term consequences of the climate crisis. According to new research, the COVID-19 lockdowns will have a "neglible" impact on global warming, as Newshub in New Zealand reported.
- Coronavirus Lockdown Linked to Falling Air Pollution Levels in Italy ... ›
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Set for Record Decline Due to ... ›
- Coronavirus Lockdowns Led to Record 17% Emissions Drop ... ›
- India's Air Pollution Plummets in COVID-19 Lockdown - EcoWatch ›
Scientists have discovered and diagnosed the first instance of malignant cancer in a dinosaur, and they did so by using modern medical techniques. They published their results earlier this week in The Lancet Oncology.
- New Blood Test Can Detect Cancer 4 Years Before Symptoms ... ›
- Skull of Smallest Known Dinosaur Found in 99-Million-Year Old Amber ›
- Antarctica Was a Rainforest During the Times of Dinosaurs, New ... ›
- Earth Is Hurtling Towards a Catastrophe Worse Than the Dinosaur ... ›
- Help Save the World's Last Dinosaur - EcoWatch ›
By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.
The Hedonometer measures happiness through analysis of key words on Twitter, which is now used by one in five Americans. This chart covers 18 months from early 2019 to July 2020, showing major dips in 2020. hedonometer.org<p>These same tweets also indicate a potential salve. Before pandemic lockdowns began, doctoral student <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=0P0ZYbIAAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">Aaron Schwartz</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10045" target="_blank">compared tweets before, during, and after visits to 150 parks, playgrounds and plazas</a> in San Francisco. He found that park visits corresponded with a spike in happiness, followed by an afterglow lasting up to four hours.</p><p>Tweets from parks contained fewer negative words such as "no," "not" and "can't," and fewer first-person pronouns like "I" and "me." It seems that nature makes people more positive and less self-obsessed.</p><p>Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. Research has also shown that transmission rates for COVID-19 are <a href="https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Is-risk-of-coronavirus-transmission-lower-15287602.php" target="_blank">much lower outdoors than inside</a>. As scholars who study <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=yFzb2EUAAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">conservation</a> and how nature <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=CCnUeN8AAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">contributes to human well-being</a>, we see opening up parks and creating new ones as a straightforward remedy for Americans' current blues.</p>
Park Visits Are Up During the Pandemic<p>According to the Hedonometer, sentiments expressed online started trending lower in mid-March as the impacts of the pandemic became clear. As lockdowns continued, they registered the lowest sentiment scores on record. Then in late May, effects from George Floyd's death in police custody and the following protests and police response once again could be seen on Twitter. May 31, 2020 was the saddest day of the project.</p><p>Recent surveys of park visitors around the University of Vermont have shown people <a href="https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/sd3h6" target="_blank">using green spaces more</a> since COVID-19 lockdowns began. Many people reported that parks were highly important to their well-being during the pandemic.</p>
<div id="4c7e4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc0ac146ab2a94228f32d973fc2ab272"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1289428912879964160" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">#Goldengatepark #sf #quarantinemood https://t.co/9l3ufnbkt6</div> — Suvd (@Suvd)<a href="https://twitter.com/Suvd19486406/statuses/1289428912879964160">1596258783.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The powerful effects of nature are strongest in large parks with more trees, but smaller neighborhood parks also provide a significant boost. Their impact on happiness is real, measurable and lasting.</p><p>Twitter records show that parks increase happiness to a level similar to the bounce at Christmas, which typically is the happiest day of the year. Schwartz has since expanded his <a href="https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.10658.pdf" target="_blank">Twitter study</a> to the 25 largest cities in the U.S. and found this bounce everywhere.</p><p>Parks and public spaces won't cure COVID-19 or stop police brutality, but they are far more than playgrounds. There is growing evidence that parks contribute to mental and physical health in a range of communities.</p><p>In a 2015 study, for example, Stanford researchers sent people out for one of two walks: through a local park or on a busy street. Those who walked in nature showed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.005" target="_blank">improved moods and better memory performance</a> compared to the urban group. And a team led by <a href="https://penniur.upenn.edu/people/eugenia-gina-south" target="_blank">Gina South</a> of the University of Pennsylvania showed in a 2018 study that greening and cleaning up blighted vacant lots in Philadelphia <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0298" target="_blank">reduced local residents' feelings of depression, worthlessness and poor mental health</a>.</p>
Creative Strategies<p>It isn't easy to create new parks on the scale of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park or the Washington Mall, but smaller projects can expand outdoor space. Options include greening vacant lots, closing streets and investing in existing parks to make them safer, greener and shadier and support wildlife.</p><p>These initiatives don't have to be capital-intensive. In the University of Pennsylvania study, for example, renovating a vacant lot by removing trash, planting grass and trees and installing a low fence cost only about US$1,600.</p><p>Urban green space is most needed in neighborhoods that have lacked funding for parks, especially given <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/nyregion/coronavirus-race-deaths.html" target="_blank">COVID-19's disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx people</a>.</p><p>Cities can also create parklike spaces by <a href="https://theconversation.com/with-fewer-cars-on-us-streets-now-is-the-time-to-reinvent-roadways-and-how-we-use-them-140408" target="_blank">closing streets to cars</a>. Many cities worldwide are currently retooling their transportation systems for the post-COVID-19 world in order to <a href="https://thecityfix.com/blog/bicycles-slower-speeds-livable-city-paris-mayor-anne-hidalgo-plans-ambitious-second-term-dario-hidalgo/" target="_blank">reallocate public space</a>, widen sidewalks and make more space for nature.</p><p>Urban designers, artists, ecologists and other citizens can play a direct role, too, creating pop-up parks and green spaces. Some advocates <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-15/a-brief-history-of-park-ing-day" target="_blank">transform parking spaces into mini-parks</a> with grass, potted trees and seating for just the time on the meter, to make a larger point about turning so much public space over to cars.</p><p>Or cities can invest a little more. Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Arlington, Virginia, have won <a href="https://www.tpl.org/parkscore" target="_blank">national recognition</a> for their ambitious investments in public park systems. These areas could serve as models for neighborhoods that lack access to parks.</p>
<div id="25fd0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="383f0d2df0237e9359c30dcce6cd6c42"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1276558744835379201" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Looking to safely get outside? Check out the best parks for social distancing in this year's top ten ParkScore citi… https://t.co/HJjEtDsrTD</div> — The Trust for Public Land (@The Trust for Public Land)<a href="https://twitter.com/tpl_org/statuses/1276558744835379201">1593190296.0</a></blockquote></div>
A New Park Deal?<p>The United States has historically driven economic recovery with major infrastructure investments, like the New Deal in the 1930s and the 2009 <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/american-recovery-and-reinvestment-act.asp" target="_blank">American Reinvestment and Recovery Act</a>. Such investments could easily include nature-positive spaces.</p><p>Parks are not panaceas, as evidenced by the widely publicized <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/nyregion/amy-cooper-false-report-charge.html" target="_blank">racist confrontation between a white woman and a Black birder</a> in New York's Central Park in early July. But Hedonometer data add to a <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0903?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news" target="_blank">growing body of evidence</a> that they provide <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1807504116" target="_blank">clear mental health benefits</a>. Creating and expanding parks also <a href="https://www.nrpa.org/contentassets/f568e0ca499743a08148e3593c860fc5/economic-impact-study-summary.pdf" target="_blank">generates jobs and economic activity</a>, with much of the money spent locally.</p><p>We believe investments in nature are well worth it, offering both short-term solace in difficult times and long-term benefits to health, economies and communities.</p>
- Growing Up Near Nature Is Good for Your Adult Mental Health, New ... ›
- Doctors Prescribe Spending Time In Parks - EcoWatch ›
- This Is the Best Type of Green Space for Your Mental Health ... ›
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she will attempt to dismantle the National Rifle Association (NRA), arguing that years of corruption and mismanagement warrant the dissolution of the activist organization, as CNN reported.
<div id="7eb49" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="83819841e380a7072ec66d3186c160e8"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1291705003984510977" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨RESPONSE to #Mauritius #OILSpill 🚨 “Once again we see the risks in oil: aggravating the #ClimateCrisis, as well as… https://t.co/PBLioZat6X</div> — Greenpeace Africa (@Greenpeace Africa)<a href="https://twitter.com/Greenpeaceafric/statuses/1291705003984510977">1596801446.0</a></blockquote></div><p>"There is no guaranteed safe way to extract, transport and store fossil fuel products. This oil leak is not a twist of fate, but the choice of our twisted addiction to fossil fuels. We must react by accelerating our withdrawal from fossil fuels," Greenpeace Africa Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager Happy Khambule said in a <a href="https://www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/press/11864/greenpeace-africa-response-to-mauritius-oil-spill/?utm_campaign=oil&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=post&utm_content=single-image&utm_term=mauritius-oil-spill-reactive" target="_blank">statement Friday</a>. "Once again we see the risks in oil: aggravating the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/climate-crisis" target="_self">climate crisis</a>, as well as devastating oceans and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/biodiversity" target="_self">biodiversity</a> and threatening local livelihoods around some of Africa's most precious lagoons."</p>
- Which Country Will Be First to Go Completely Underwater Due to ... ›
- Overfishing Starts Here - EcoWatch ›
By Gianna-Carina Grün
While the first countries are easing their lockdowns, others are reporting more and more new cases every day. Data for the global picture shows the pandemic is far from over. DW has the latest statistics.
What's the Current Global Trend?<p>The goal for all countries is to make it to the blue part of the chart and stay there. Countries and territories in this section reported zero new cases both this week (past seven days) and the week before.</p><p>Currently, that is the case for 14 out of 209 countries and territories. </p>
How Has the Covid-19 Trend Evolved Over the Past Weeks?<p>The situation has improved slightly: 87 countries report more cases this week than last week. </p>
- Coronavirus Has Infected More Than 60,000 Worldwide, New ... ›
- Apple Fire Forces 7,800 to Seek Shelter in Coronavirus-Ravaged ... ›
- CDC Expands List of Those With Higher COVID-19 Risks - EcoWatch ›