Thursday, 29 September 2011

2010 had Second Highest Number of Marijuana Arrests in U.S. History

In 2010, more people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes than for any other type of drug crimes. In fact, in 2010, the number of people arrested for marijuana-related crimes was the second highest in U.S. history.

What is even more astounding is that most marijuana-related arrests were for mere possession of the drug, and not for cultivating or selling it. In all, more than 750,000 people were arrested in 2010 for possession of marijuana. Overall, more than 803,000 people were arrested in 2010 for marijuana-related crimes, including cultivating and selling. This is even as several states around the country dabble with medical marijuana laws.

Needless to say, law enforcement agencies’ policy of arresting away the problem, has not worked. It makes little sense that we throw hundreds of thousands of people into prison every year for possessing small quantities of a drug that more and more states are actually trying to legalize. Predictably enough, law enforcement blame the legalization of marijuana in many states for the increase in arrests.

With all those arrests, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers would think that marijuana use has declined dramatically. Au contraire, according to the federal government use of marijuana actually increased in 2010. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana is now the drug of choice for young American adults. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of persons reporting use of marijuana in the past month increased from 6.6% to 6.9%. The increase is especially high among Americans between the age of eighteen and twenty-five, from 18.1% to 18.5%.

SUVs and Pickup Trucks Not As Likely to Be Involved in Fatal Accidents

In the past, SUVs and pickup trucks were much more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than minivans or passenger cars of the same weight. This was because of the increased size of SUVs, as well as the poor alignment of bumper height that transferred much of the traffic accident energy to the smaller vehicle. However, that is no longer the case.

According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report, better design has meant that SUVs and pickup trucks are not as dangerous when involved in accidents with passenger cars as they used to be. Between 2000 and 2001, 1-to 4-year-old sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks weighing between 3,000 and 3,500 pounds were involved in accidents that killed the occupants of the smaller passenger cars at a rate of 44 fatalities per million registered vehicle years. However, between 2008 and 2009, those rates had dropped nearly by two-thirds, to 16 deaths per million registered vehicles year.

The researchers believe that two factors have contributed to these reduced death rates. For one, passenger cars and minivans now now come with better crash protection measures, like advanced airbags. For another, auto makers have invested in enhancing the design of sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, to make them less dangerous in accidents involving smaller cars.

These vehicles are still bigger in size, and the danger to occupants of other cars involved in accidents with SUVs and pickup trucks is still likely to be high. However, enhanced design has meant better bumper alignment between the front structure of the SUV/ pickup truck and the passenger car, reducing the impact of the accident on the smaller vehicle. The new design has come through the efforts of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers.

Los Angeles car accident lawyers have always believed that better auto design is one of the reasons for the reduced number of traffic accident deaths nationwide. As the declining death rates involving SUV accidents show, when automakers and federal safety agencies combine efforts, it leads to better car design and increased safety.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hip Fractures Linked to Early Death in Women

A new study indicates that women who suffer from hip fractures have a much higher likelihood of dying within a year of their injury. In fact, the risk of dying after a hip fracture in women could be as much as twice as high as in women without a fracture. The results of the study have been published in the September issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The researchers analyzed 1,116 women who had suffered a hip fracture. Each of these women was then matched with 4 healthy women, and the comparison was analyzed.

The researchers found that women over 65 who suffered hip fractures were more likely to die within a year after the injury. About 50% of the fatalities involving women who had a hip fracture occurred within three months after the injury, 75% of the deaths occurred within six months after the injury. The risk of death after a hip fracture continued to remain the strongest in women between the age of 65 and 70. For these women, the risk of death continued for a decade after they suffered the injury.

Researchers are at a loss to explain exactly why a hip fracture increases the risk of death in women so greatly. Earlier, it was believed that women who were ill were much more likely to fall, and therefore, suffer a fracture, and these women were much more likely to die faster. That theory no longer makes sense to Los Angeles slip and fall accident lawyers. One possible explanation could be increased psychological stress caused due to hospitalization after a fracture, and depression because of the reduced mobility and movement after a fracture.

Women above 60 are increasingly mobile and independent. They are likely to live alone, and are likely to frequent commercial spaces like shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants. In light of these health concerns involving women, it's important that building designers, contractors, construction companies and owners of these buildings take into consideration safety issues to design safer commercial premises and residences to prevent slip and fall accidents.

FDA Studies Show High Risk of Blood Clots with Yaz and Yasmin

Preliminary studies by the Food and Drug Administration seem to confirm a high risk of blood clots in women who use Yaz, Yasmin and other new generation contraceptive pills. According to the data, these women have a 1½ times higher risk of developing blood clots, compared to women who use other, older contraceptive pills.

The FDA study involved 500,000 women in the United States, and the results have been posted on the agency's website. According to the agency, it does not yet have enough data to conclude firmly that new generation birth-control pills like Yaz and Yasmin are definitely linked to an increased risk of developing blood clots. For now, all that the agency will say is that it is concerned about the increased potential for developing blood clots in women who use pills like Yaz and Yasmin that contain drospirenone.

Both Yasmin and Yaz are manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, and both contain ethinyl estradiol. These new generation pills quickly became very popular among women, because of their ability to treat acne, prevent symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and avoid unwanted pregnancies. However, Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have also been concerned about the increasing number of complaints associating Yaz and Yasmin use with a number of life-threatening side effects. These side effects include pulmonary embolism, life-threatening blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

Bayer faces dozens of personal injury lawsuits filed by women who suffered blood clots from Yaz and Yasmin use. Many of these injuries have also occurred because the drugs are prescribed to teenagers to treat conditions like acne or premenstrual syndrome. The Food and Drug Administration has said that it will meet with two advisory panels later in the year to sift through data about these two pills, from several studies that have been conducted in the past.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Nevada Plane Crash Death Toll Likely to Increase

At least nine people have been confirmed dead in a plane crash at an air show in Nevada, but officials believe that the number is likely to increase. More than 50 people were injured in the accident, and at least 15 were reported to be in critical condition. Several more victims were reported to be in serious condition. The number of injured could be even higher because many of the people left for local hospitals in private vehicles and were not counted in official totals.

The crash occurred at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nevada, and involved a vintage World War II plane. There were thousands of spectators watching the show, when one of the planes went out of control and crashed into the VIP seating area. The pilot and two spectators died instantly. The other victims died in the hospital.

The pilot was a seventy-four-year-old man who had decades of flying on his record. He was a prominent presence in the local flying community. He has been participating in the air show in Reno at least since 1975.

The National Transportation Safety Board will soon begin its investigation into the tragedy. The Board is expected to point to the causes of the crash. Currently, it seems as if a mechanical malfunction with the plane was to blame, but it's too early to say.

Witnesses spoke of a horribly gory post-crash scene, strewn with body parts, and dozens lying injured. This wasn't the first disaster at the National Championship Air Races. Back in 1994, a crash killed two pilots, and two separate incidents in 2007 and 2008 killed a total of four pilots.

The crash is raising concerns among California plane crash lawyers about the safety of such air shows. Around the world, there have been several crashes caused during such air shows recently, including at least two fatal crashes last month in the U.S.