Well State

Discussing state-level issues, programs, and policies that pertain to health equity.


Searching For Natural Cures: The Power Of Medical Marijuana By: Hannah Rosenberger

Pot is no longer just for rebelling against the man…or your parents. Today marijuana has cut its long hair and is pushing its way forward into productive society. Despite a deeply imbedded cultural stigma attached to marijuana use, an objective look at its incredible health benefits could help it break through.

English: DEA raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in Hollywood, California. Description is from the Flickr photo set. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972, the United States’ Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act. This based the ban of marijuana on the claim that it had “no acceptable medical use.” …read more

The Right to Control What is Inalienably Ours

A poster from a 1921 eugenics conference displays the U.S. states that had implemented sterilization legislation by then (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an African-American woman activist, both racial justice and gender equality are important to me. Thus, I was appalled when I read about the state of North Carolina’s history with eugenic sterilizations. North Carolina sterilized 7,600 people through its sweeping eugenic sterilization program and “the targets of the sterilization were disproportionately Black and female, and almost universally poor.”

Johanna Schoen, a Rutgers University historian who has extensively documented the state’s eugenics policy, stated, “The eugenic sterilization really was …read more

Nature Deficit Disorder: It’s a thing

Cross-posted from Nature Deficit Disorder – It’s a Thing– UNspOILed. Read original post here.

View from Buzzard Rock in George Washington National Forest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently returned from a three day backpacking trip in a remote area of the George Washington National Forest. It was a much needed vacation from my urban-focused life, allowing me to reconnect with nature, and helping ward off symptoms of Nature Deficit Disorder. Yes, that is a thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the city, and actually prefer it to a rural or suburban lifestyle. But as someone who has …read more

Decarceration: Resuscitating our Squandered Resources

Every year, 11% of Baltimore’s population goes through central booking. One in four African American children have a father in prison at some point during their youth compared with one in thirty Caucasian kids. The yearly drug consumption costs in Baltimore total approximately $16 billion, making our city a hotbed for drug raids and high rates of incarceration.

These are all facts that I learned during the Social Determinants of Health Symposium on Squandered Resources: Incarceration – Its Consequences, Costs and Alternatives, which was convened by the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute on April 28th. Speakers examined the reality of …read more

Summer is Coming to Baltimore…Take Advantage of These Fun (and Healthy) Things to Do!

Summer is coming, and the WellPower Blog Team would like to suggest some free or low-cost ways to get involved in the community and stay healthy!

English: The Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s “Brothership”, a converted 1988 Saab 900, which first premiered at Artscape in Baltimore, Maryland, July 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Go to Artscape

From July 18-20 go to “America’s Largest Free Arts Festival.” Here you will find magnificent exhibits, designers, artists, film, and a packed tight schedule of live concerts, dance, theatre and so on. You don’t want to miss it!

Volunteer at Velocipede Bike Project

Volunteer on …read more

Dismantling Barriers to Health, One Word at a Time

Emergency Room (Photo credit: Mark Coggins)

I recently read an article about Deisy Garcia, a woman who filed a police report saying her husband had assaulted her and that she feared for her life. That report, filled out in Spanish, sat untranslated — and without follow up – for months until she and her two children were murdered.

No human being should be denied protection from bodily harm due to language barriers and cultural incompetence. Deisy Garcia’s death could have been prevented had she been given the protection she sought. Her health, well-being, and ultimately her life was taken …read more

The Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program Gives Back to Baltimore

“Peace Corps Volunteers, stay as you are—be servants of peace; work at home as you have worked abroad—humbly, persistently, intelligently. Serve your neighborhoods. Serve your cities. Serve the poor. Join others who serve. Serve…Serve…Serve…that’s the end. That is the challenge. For in the end it will be the servants who save us all.”

– Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps First Director

Kennedy and Johnson greeting Peace Corps volunteers, 1962 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The WellPower Blog is committed to creating a healthier nation by lifting up community involvement, including drawing attention to local organizations striving to end …read more

Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage: A Meaningful Investment

Raise the Minimum Wage (Photo credit: CT Senate Democrats)

There’s a lot of talk about increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016 – including its impact:

Approximately 16.5 million low-wage workers would directly benefit from the proposed increase Roughly 900,000 people living below the poverty line would move above the poverty threshold Both low-and-middle-income families’ incomes are projected to rise, 2.8% for the poorest families to .4% for middle-income families Employment would be reduced by about 500,000, or .3% of total employment Wealthy families with an average income of $180,000 can expect a .4%, or …read more

To Smoke or Not to Smoke (At Age 18): That is the Question

As you may know, during the month of February the WellPower blog team has been considering the pros and cons of raising the legal age of cigarette smoking from 18 to 21. Our fellow colleagues at Campaign Consultation weighed in to let us know what they think about the Maryland Smoking Age debate.

I don’t think that the legal age to smoke should be raised from age 18 to age 21. Adults should continue to make decisions for themselves and deal with the consequences accordingly. – Adiyah Ali

 

 

 

 

 

I think smoking is a dangerous habit, …read more

Legally Responsible

 

its hard keeping this one on one hand and the camera on the other. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Senator Jennie M. Forehand (D-District 17) is retiring this year and her new bill is evidence she wants to end her tenure with a bang. Sen. Forehand is introducing a bill that would further restrict young adults in Maryland from purchasing cigarettes by three years – raising Maryland’s legal smoking age to 21.

Advocates for this bill are likely to argue the severe health detriments caused from first and second-hand smoke warrants such a law:

Pinpointing cigarette smoking as the leading …read more