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Celebrity Roundup

4/20/12 12:15pm

Celebrity Roundup: April 20, 2012


Taylor Armstrong could be in trouble.
Photo via

Pop singer Rihanna has demonstrated remarkably little discretion when it comes to tweeting pictures of herself smoking marijuana to her 17 million Twitter followers — so when MTV tweeted, “Yikes! @Rihanna’s marijuana photos from Coachella spark controversy,” with a link to a story about Rihanna’s drug usage, Rihanna was quick to respond, “Yikes…. @rihanna ran out of fucks to give.” MTV’s response to the Barbadian superstar? “Well played,” they tweeted.

A new wrinkle in the ongoing saga of Lindsay Lohan’s Nightclub Fights: Lindsay and her father, Michael Lohan, were just casually enjoying an alcohol-free evening at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood on Wednesday night, when Lindsay somehow got into an altercation with a woman who hurled a drink in Lindsay’s face. Does that count as a relapse?

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills earned headlines for the drug-addled behavior of castmate Kim Richards—but now another Housewife is coming under fire for her substance abuse: Taylor Armstrong. RadarOnline reports that after Taylor’s husband, Russell, committed suicide late last year, Taylor turned to alcohol to deal with her grief—and her drinking has escalated to the point where friends want her to go to rehab.

A California medical marijuana dispensary came under fire this week for selling a strain of cannabis sativa known as “Whitney Houston”—alongside another strain known as “Charlie Sheen.” When reporters followed up, though, the drugs were quickly removed from the dispensary’s online menu. Maybe the proprietors at 45 Cap Elite Herbal Center realized what they were doing was in poor taste—or, just as likely, the good stuff just sold out.

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By Sam Lansky

moderate drinking

4/20/12 11:42am

Moderate Drinking May Prevent Liver Disease


Looks like the liver is complicated.
Photo via

Common knowledge tells us alcohol and livers don't get along, but new research suggests a little drink a day can keep hepatitis away for those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD). The study—published in the online issue of The Journal of Hepatology—was led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Researchers were surprised to find that participants (all 21 and older, of course) who consume modest amounts of alcohol—no more than one or two servings per day—can keep NALFD from progressing into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and on into full-blown cirrhosis. It could be good news for millions of Americans with NALFD.  “Our study showed that those people with modest alcohol intake—two drinks or less daily—had half the odds of developing NASH than people who drank no alcohol,” says senior study author Jeffrey Schwimmer, MD. “The reasons aren’t entirely clear.” Patients with NAFLD also experienced less severe liver scarring if they were moderate drinkers. Schwimmer suggests that even with such findings, doctors should consider their patients individually before suggesting any alcohol consumption. “For a patient with cirrhosis or viral hepatitis, the data says even small amounts of alcohol can be bad. But that may not be applicable to all forms of liver disease.” he said. “40 million Americans have NAFLD. Physicians need to look at their patient’s overall health, their CVD risk, their liver status, whether they’re already drinking modestly or not. They need to put all of these things into a framework to determine risk. I suspect modest alcohol consumption will be an appropriate recommendation for many patients, but clearly not all.”

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By Valerie Tejeda


4/20/12 10:46am

Campus Closed for 4/20 to Stop Pot Rally


Weed lovers gathering at the annual 4/20
"Smoke Out" in 2009. Photo via

The University of Colorado Boulder campus will remain closed today for 4/20, a judge has ruled, despite a lawsuit by marijuana activists. The University's decision was taken to try to prevent the annual pot smoke-out rally and demonstration. The pot-activists filed suit yesterday, but the judge ruled in the favor of CU, after a student, a professor, the dean, and CU campus Police Chief Joe Roy all testified. Activists believe the CU's closure is unconstitutional and violates their First Amendment rights. "CU's proposed closure of an entire campus to shut down an afternoon protest occurring on a small portion of the campus is without legal support or precedent," they state. Officials at CU say the 4/20 event in past years has attracted up to 10,000 people, and the closure is in the best interests of protecting students. "Because of the disruption that 4/20 has caused over the years and the complaints I got from staff faculty and constituents, we took this bold move to close campus," says Chancellor Phil DeStefano. Police officers are at campus entrances today, checking every ID to make sure no visitors get in. Anyone who makes it in without ID could possibly face jail time or a $750 fine for trespassing.

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By Valerie Tejeda


4/20/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: April 20, 2012


Rihanna is messing with people's heads.
Photo via

By Bryan Le

Obama on drugs

4/19/12 5:03pm

Obama Gets People High


Yes, we can. Photo via

In November 2008 it wasn't hard to find a bleeding-heart liberal high on President Barack Obama, but the trip didn't last long. After Obama eventually took office, reality set in and much of the euphoria faded. But that doesn't mean everyone has stopped getting high on the president, they're just doing it in different ways—with ecstasy, LSD, heroin and marijuana named after the commander-in-chief. A story in the Observer today reports that there are at least 26 different types of ecstasy named after the president. There's also a highly popular strain of medical marijuana that goes by the name "Obama OG." And heroin? Back in 2009 you could get Obama branded smack in Sullivan County, New York. Then there's the Obama LSD, which you could have gotten your tongue on in December in 2009. Oddly enough, there's one obvious omission from the list of drugs named after Obama—cocaine. After all, it was his drug of choice.

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By Adam K. Raymond

high seas

4/19/12 4:04pm

Coast Guard Nabs Drug Sub No. 30


The latest scuttled drug sub, pictured here in
its final moments. Photo via

The Coast Guard announced yesterday that two of its cutter ships intercepted another “drug sub”—the 30th in six years—in the Western Caribbean on March 30, with help from the Honduran Navy. The news was kept quiet until the four suspects taken from the sub could be brought to Miami to be charged. Neither the “self-propelled semi-submersible” (SPSS) nor its cargo were recovered. According to a Coast Guard press release, “During the interdiction, the drug sub sank in thousands of feet of water, an act that is common as drug traffickers design their vessels to be difficult to spot and rapidly sink when they detect law enforcement.”

Drug subs first started popping up in the Eastern Pacific in 2006; of the 30 such crafts intercepted by the Coast Guard since then, 25 were spotted in the Pacific, and five in the Caribbean. Built in the jungles of South America, the typical SPSS is about 100 feet long, accommodates a crew of four to five, and has a capacity of up to 10 metric tons and a range of up to 5,000 miles. Retired Army General Barry McCaffrey, the former U.S. drug czar, told the Miami Herald that when he first heard of drug subs, he thought it was “the silliest thing I ever heard of in my life.” But now, with the first four crafts captured in the Caribbean having yielded nearly $700 million in cocaine (these subs were scuttled in shallow water, allowing divers to recover the cargo), it has become clear to McCaffery that drug subs have “turned into another way to do multi-load tons with a fairly low chance of being detected,” given that they do not show up on radar. He added, “The submersible has clearly turned into a preferred delivery system.”

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By Hunter R. Slaton


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