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Cannabis side effects

 February 17, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Friday, February 17th.

The adverse side effects of using cannabis. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


If you rode on the Trolley’s blue and orange line last year, you may have been exposed to T-B.

It’s an airborne disease transmitted by inhaling the bacteria in the air.

People with active T-B are often unaware they have the disease and may be contagious for several months before being diagnosed.

San Diego County health officials announced yesterday that, passengers who used the Trolley’s Blue and Orange lines between June 31st and December 31st were potentially exposed and are at risk of infection.

If you may have been exposed, consult with your medical provider or contact the San Diego County T-B Program.


Some good news from S-D-G-AND-E this week…

The utility announced yesterday that natural gas prices for next month are currently trending closer to last year’s prices.

That means our utility bills may continue to trend down in March.

Officials say the significant drop in prices is because of improved weather conditions, less natural gas usage, and the repair of an out-of-state pipeline that has been offline for two years.

S-D-G-AND-E said the high price for natural gas from last month is still hitting customers in their February bills.

The utility said it has a variety of financial assistance programs and resources for customers.


More Mexican nationals are dying along the U-S-Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana while trying to enter the U-S compared to previous years.

That’s according to new data from the Mexican Consulate in San Diego.

From October 20-21 to September last year, at least 46 Mexican nationals died trying to cross the border.

That’s up from 34 in the previous year, and 11 in the year before that.

Dehydration, drowning and border wall-related injuries are the primary causes of death.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


In California, marijuana is legal and a relatively safe drug.

But, legalization has brought an increase in adverse side effects and cannabis-related E-R visits.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has the story.

Michael had been smoking marijuana for at least 20 years when, one day, he started feeling heartburn. Soon after a bowel movement the severe nausea began. “After that I had these vomiting cycles about every 4 hours where I would have this brutal nausea.” Michael is an Ocean Beach resident who didn’t want his last name used. “This went on, on a Sunday. I went to urgent care that night. They couldn’t help me. The next morning I wound up in the emergency room getting an IV for dehydration.” The condition Michael suffered is called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a severe nausea that can happen among people who have used marijuana for a long time. Other side effects of cannabis include a rapid heart rate, paranoia and cannabis-induced psychosis. San Diegan Justin Morrison comes from a family with a history of mental illness. He remembers getting high after seeing a movie. “I had to remain in the parking lot with my friend until about 3 o’clock in the morning. Because during that time I became catatonic, I wasn’t able to speak, I had intense visualizations of regression backward in time, back into the womb! (laughs)” He said his brother had it much worse, ending up in the hospital several times, after using pot, in one case for six months. “It has a particular effect on his attention. And he tends to get hyper-focused on metaphysical elements so he’ll have a conversation with someone and start to believe that this person has mystical powers, that is perhaps a saint or Jesus Christ himself,” A study out of UC San Diego showed that after cannabis was legalized for medical use in California in 1996, many elderly people were ending up in the hospital.  The study found a 1,804% increase in cannabis-related emergency room visits among people older than 65 from 2005 to 2019. Dr. Benjamin Han, a geriatrician and UC San Diego professor, authored the study. The study didn’t specify what conditions caused the hospital visits. But Han said his work with older folks, who used medical cannabis, have been revealing. He said one spoke of a time he swallowed quite a few cannabis laced gummies. “And then two hours later my heart is racing, it’s like, I’m so anxious. I don’t know what’s going on. And then they end up in the emergency department. “Doctors like Han stress that cannabis is not a drug all people need to avoid. Keep in mind, he said, alcohol-related ER visits happen at ten times the rate of cannabis. But there are some groups of people that are at risk of cannabis side effects. Igor Grant, the director of UCSD’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, said many old folks are unfamiliar with cannabis. And when you use cannabis orally, you don’t feel the effect right away. “They think, well, maybe I haven’t taken enough. So they take more. But what is happening is there’s this delayed process of absorption. And then when they take a lot more they get hammered!” Grant said the nausea and vomiting that Michael suffered is not uncommon, but is a bit ironic since cannabis can actually prevent nausea in cancer patients. Justin Morrison said his brother, who suffered psychosis after cannabis use, is doing better., and knows he can’t touch marijuana. Michael from Ocean Beach still uses cannabis to treat his PTSD. But after suffering severe nausea he learned that he was just taking too much, and given the strong THC content in today’s pot, you need to moderate your use of it. “People need to be educated about their marijuana use. And they need to be warned.” He added that these days medicinal users are usually left to figure out the cannabis doses they need, on their own. The study of cannabis has been held back because it remains a schedule one narcotic under federal law. SOQ.  


Over the last few months we’ve been following how San Diego Fire-Rescue is taking on a bigger role providing San Diego’s emergency medical services.

Health Reporter Matt Hoffman says the city is planning to have two ambulance providers responding to 9-1-1 calls.

San Diego Fire-Rescue is moving toward taking over provider responsibilities for San Diego’s EMS.. It means the city’s current ambulance contractor Falck will no longer be in control of billing or where ambulances are stationed. Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell says it’s a significant change -- but one he’s seen be successful in other cities.. Colin Stowell San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief We are going to dictate how many hours, the deployment models, the days, the scheduling -- all of that. All we would be contracting with the private providers only for the ambulance, supplies and the personnel on those ambulances Since Falck took over the 9-1-1 contract in late 2021 they have yet to meet their promised staffing goals.. This new model will allow the city to bring in a secondary provider to backfill any missing hours. All of these changes require approval from the San Diego City Council.MH KPBS News.


A new study is predicting home prices in the county will decrease by the end of the year.

Reporter Kitty Alvarado spoke with one of the authors to find out more.

UC San Diego Professor Allan Timmermann and his colleagues have come up with a new model for forecasting home prices in the San Diego region. Their new formula uses something most of us use everyday… google The model starts with the term “buying a house” but then compiles other search data, with hard data like actual home tours and offers. The results show that home prices in San Diego are predicted to drop. Essentially the number we were coming up with was -12% or so and that’s sort of from the beginning of the year 2023 until the end of the year. Our model predicts a steady decline a steady soft patch The model’s predictability rate is 70 percent, the professor says that’s because new factors can come into play. in San Diego right now and there's not not much supply coming online so that could help to  Kitty Alvarado KPBS News.


Coming up.... We’ve got a couple weekend plan suggestions for you! We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


While Valentine’s Day may be over … one local hotel’s love story with Julian endures.

Reporter Alexander Nguyen takes us to a beloved hotel with deep roots in Black History.

To everyday tourists … it’s a charming bed and breakfast. The only thing that brings to light its history is a bronze plaque in front of the hotel. It reads … “Hotel Robinson … 18-97 … built for Albert Robinson … and wife Margaret on the site of their restaurant-bakery” It’s the sole surviving Julian mining-era hotel. Larry Malone Local Historian “It’s not only one of the oldest hotels owned by African Americans … but it’s also a national historical site.” Larry Malone is a local historian and wrote a book about Black Pioneers in San Diego from the 1880s to the 1920s. “You know a lot of people were really surprised that Julian had that rich history of African American history in Julian.” And part of that history started with a love story … says Chuck Ambers … the curator of the African Diaspora Museum and Research Center. Chuck Ambers Curator, African Diaspora Museum “There's a love relationship between that hotel and Julian. Just like there was a love relationship between Albert and Margaret.” He says Julian was a sleepy little town founded by former confederate soldiers before gold was discovered there. “It was a little podunk city until Fred Coleman, part of the Gold Rush up in Sacramento, followed the geological formations down California, followed to San Diego River in Mission Valley back up to its source hoping to find gold – and he did.” That was 18-69 and that started the first and only Gold Rush in San Diego. Larry Malone Local Historian“Go West young man. They're gold in them hills” The gold rush brought many Black people to Julian because of the opportunities there. Larry Malone Local Historian “yeah, they kind of gathered towards that” Among them was Albert Robinson. David Lewis Historian “He shows up here in Julian in 1880 on the census record.” That's David Lewis. His family has lived in Julian for four generations. He’s the town historian. David Lewis Historian “Albert, I'm assuming, was enslaved wherever he was living at the time. He supposedly came here with a man named Levi Chase.” Chuck Ambers “There's no history about him being an ex-slave. He came into the San Diego area, in El Cajon, as a laborer.” His wife … Margaret … came to Julian later. David Lewis Historian “She marries Albert in 1886 and so that is when I believe they started a bakery and a restaurant business, I believe, here on this site. And they ran that from 1886 until 1902 when they built this hotel.” Chuck Ambers “What's fortunate for them, their property – that little restaurant was right across the street from the city hall where the Butterfield Stage Line coming from Arizona brought Travelers.” The town hall was also the social hub of Julian. “They also held dances there and these dances could last all night, and according to what I've read, the hotel provided meals for those dances at night.”  Larry Malone “Mrs. Robinson, she was famous for apple pies and people will come from miles around to sample Mrs. Robinson's apple pies.” Chuck Ambers “Her name gets linked sometimes with the apple pies, but she wasn't the only one that made apple pies. And so Julian apple pies was not started by Margaret Robinson – that may be a folklore.” Albert died in 1915 and Margaret ran the hotel by herself until 1921 … when she sold it for $15-hundred dollars. There’s a lot of history in this hotel … dignitaries and politicians stayed there, including U-S Grant Jr. … the son of President Ulysses Grant … who went on to build the U-S Grant hotel in downtown San Diego. For Lewis … it’s part of his story and the history of Julian. DAVID Lewis “My great uncle … when he visited the hotel with his family when he was little, Albert would pick him up and put him on his shoulders and bring him into the hotel. He would say he felt 10-feet tall.”


As Black History month continues… one San Diego scientist and engineer is sharing his answer to a familiar question asked by children who don’t have straight hair.


Here’s education Reporter M.G. Perez.

Neil Thompson is a local scientist and engineer who has worked on spinal implants and researched many medical mysteries. So, when his curly haired 9-year old nephew pointed to his scalp and asked WHY? Uncle Neil used science to figure it out…and then wrote a book about it… “because curley hair tends to be less oily than non-curley hair…that’s why it’s curled.” …that is one theory Thompson discovered…another he said is that Black people are descendents of Africa…a continent close to the curly hair was an evolutionary adaptation to protect scalps from intensive heat. In the end, the scientist determined there is no one right answer with no scientific consensus.  MGP KPBS News.


It’s Friday… so it’s time for your weekend arts preview… Courtesy of Arts editor Julia Dixon Evans.

In her top picks this week, a family friendly concert at the Balboa Theatre in Downtown.

The San Diego Symphony will perform "Carnival of the Animals."

The classical music pieces the symphony will perform are inspired by, and sometimes imitate animals.

Including the piece we’re listening to ‘L'elephant’... by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

The concerts are tomorrow at 11 a-m and 12-30 p-m.

And… the music and art department at First Lutheran Church of San Diego is presenting a series of staged readings on Sunday.

'Black Voices, Black Writers' will showcase work by classic and contemporary black writers.

The event starts at 4 p-m and again at 7 p-m on Sunday, at the First Lutheran Church in downtown.

For more info. on these events and others, visit kpbs-dot-org-slash-arts.


That’s it for the podcast today. This podcast is produced by KPBS Senior Producer Brooke Ruth and Producer Emilyn Mohebbi.

I’d like to thank KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman for filling in for me earlier this week, and KPBS editor Joe Guerin for helping out with the podcast.

We’ll be back Tuesday with a piece answering your composting questions, plus more.

As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend. We’ll catch you on Tuesday!

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Legalizing marijuana in California has brought an increase in adverse side effects and cannabis-related ER visits. In other news, we explore a 19th century hotel in Julian and its connection with Black history. Plus, we have some weekend arts events worth checking out.