Governor Cuomo Releases Report Recommending New York State Legalize Marijuana for Grownup Use

Right now, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Division of Well being launched an impression evaluation of marijuana legalization. The report concludes that the advantages of taxing and regulating marijuana far outweighs any potential unfavourable penalties. The examine was commissioned by Governor Cuomo and introduced in his deal with on the manager price range proposal.

Beneath is an announcement from Chris Alexander, Coverage Coordinator for the Drug Coverage Alliance:

“We’re happy that the Governor and the State Division of Well being have totally studied the prevailing proof and precisely concluded that legalizing marijuana for grownup use is the best alternative for New York. Marijuana prohibition has devastated our communities, saddled a whole bunch of hundreds with felony data, acted as an simply accessible device for racially biased policing, and stunted the alternatives for complete generations of principally New Yorker’s of colour.

“Now that the report has been launched and its conclusions offered, we’re hopeful that the Governor and the Legislature can totally shift to inspecting the “how” and transfer on from the “if”. Any motion to legalize marijuana should additionally embrace broad document clearing provisions, should create a various and inclusive business, and assure important group reinvestment to restore the hurt that has been achieved. We sit up for partaking with the Governor’s workplace and the Legislature on the methods to greatest transfer New York ahead.”

Be taught extra at smart-ny.com.

Background:

Momentum for marijuana reform is constructing steadily in New York. A ballot of New York voters launched in late 2017 confirmed that 62% of New Yorkers help making marijuana use authorized in New York for adults over 21, and greater than 60% help taxing and regulating marijuana as a method to deal with the state’s looming price range deficit.

Legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York holds important felony justice reform potential. Underneath the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is at the moment pending within the legislature, individuals who have been convicted of low-level possession (together with possession in public view) and low-level sale can have that offense vacated from their document. Different offenses associated to possession or sale that had been beforehand misdemeanors or felonies might be reclassified and sealed. Individuals at the moment incarcerated for such offenses would both be launched or have their sentence appropriately diminished pursuant to the brand new statute.

That is essential as a result of marijuana prohibition enforcement has devastated communities throughout New York State, primarily these of colour and low-income communities. Greater than 800,000 folks have been arrested for possession of small quantities of marijuana in New York State over the previous 20 years, with over 700,000 arrests by the NYPD alone. In consequence, a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals should cope with felony data that yield important collateral penalties for them—and their households, together with restricted entry to housing, employment, and schooling alternatives.

Legalizing and regulating marijuana may also present a chance, because of the income it would generate, for the communities which were most devastated to begin to restore the harms of the drug conflict. The potential tax income for New York from a authorized marijuana market is appreciable: An official examine by the NYC Comptroller in 2018 estimated potential tax income for a authorized marijuana market in New York State can be greater than $ 1.three billion yearly.

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What’s the Take care of Kratom?

Kratom only started circulating widely in the US in the last six years. Currently, it is a legal substance in the US on a federal level.

Kratom only started circulating widely in the US in the last six years. Currently, it is a legal substance in the US on a federal level.

Kratom is a new drug, recently introduced to American markets. Its usage has stirred a debate between ardent followers and stalwart opposition about whether it’s a new, all-natural dietary supplement and possible painkiller, or just another opioid to add to the pile. Here’s an FAQ to shed some light on the substance.

What is kratom?

Mitragyna speciosa. This Southeast Asian tree and close relative of the coffee plant has long been a controversial plant in its

native land. Some locals use it as traditional medicine, some farmworkers use it as a stimulant before a long day in the fields, others mix it into alcoholic cocktails for recreation. Its leaves contain compounds that produce mind-altering effects, making the plant a source for painkillers and recreational drug use. People in America have found many uses for it in the past six years, ranging from dietary supplement to coffee substitute, from opioid withdrawal medicine to recreational substance.

What are the effects of kratom?

Kratom’s chemical makeup affects the brain in ways similar to stimulants and opioids. The plant contains two compounds that interact with opioid receptors in the brain. These chemicals can cause mild stimulation in small doses, alleviate pain in medium doses, and induce euphoria in large doses. Individuals who use kratom as a stimulant experience increased alertness and energy.

Its health and behavioral effects, which can range from mild to severe, include:

  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Nausea; Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Nervousness
  • Respiratory depression

Does kratom make you “high?”

Kratom affects the brain by altering its chemistry. Similar to opioids, it can produce a euphoric effect, or “high.” The compounds in opioids cause a flood of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which regulate moods and influence decisions. They cause a person to feel euphoric and reduce the sensations of anxiety and pain. Kratom interacts with the body in a similar way but its effects vary on the dosage taken. These effects of kratom come on quickly and typically last five to seven hours.

Can you overdose on kratom?

While there is no official medicinal research, overdose from kratom is highly unlikely, unless it is taken in anomalously large amounts or mixed with other substances. While kratom hasn’t been linked to overdose, there have been deaths reported by the FDA, where it is possible that kratom reacted negatively with other opioid and alcoholic substances, inducing a fatal overdose.

Is kratom addictive?

As with other drugs that produce opioid-related effects, kratom can be addictive. With continued use, it can also cause physical dependence, leading to withdrawal symptoms if the user stops taking it. These symptoms include hostility, irritability, insomnia, muscle aches, jerky movements and aggression. People seeking to beat kratom addiction have found behavioral therapy helpful.

Is kratom legal?

Kratom only started circulating widely in the US in the last six years. Currently, it is a legal substance in the US on a federal level. It is often marketed as a dietary supplement and sold in powder or tablet form in tobacco and head shops.

However, some states have banned the substance or are currently working to ban it. The FDA and DEA came close to placing kratom on the list of Schedule 1 drugs (which includes heroin and LSD), but withdrew the decision after massive public outcry, specifically from recovering opioid addicts who used kratom to ease withdrawal symptoms. The future of the drug’s legality is still up in the air.

Learn more about treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction.

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Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer Introduces Invoice to Decriminalize Marijuana on the Federal Degree

Invoice Additionally Takes Steps to Restore Harms of Prohibition, Together with New Grant Program To Facilitate Expungement for Individuals Convicted of Marijuana Possession
 
DPA Assertion: Schumer’s Invoice Demonstrates Legitimacy of Marijuana Reform, however It’s Solely a First Step

Right this moment, Senate minority chief Chuck Schumer launched laws that might decriminalize and de-schedule marijuana on the federal stage by eradicating it from the Managed Substances Act.

“Senate minority chief Chuck Schumer’s introduction of federal marijuana decriminalization laws demonstrates the legitimacy of marijuana reform and is a testomony to the success of state-level marijuana reforms all throughout the nation,” mentioned the Drug Coverage Alliance’s Queen Adesuyi. “It reveals that the talk has shifted from whether or not we should always reform our marijuana legal guidelines to how. As we stand on the horizon of ending marijuana prohibition, lawmakers throughout the nation are working to incorporate measures that start repairing the harms of marijuana criminalization.”

The invoice would additionally take some preliminary steps towards decreasing the decades-long injury of marijuana criminalization. One provision would offer $ 20 million yearly for state and native packages to expunge or seal the legal information of individuals convicted of marijuana possession.  It additionally creates a small enterprise belief fund on the federal stage (primarily based on a fraction of the cash generated by the marijuana business) to offer loans to small companies owned by girls and socially and economically deprived people.

9 states and D.C. have legalized marijuana, and 30 states and D.C. have accredited medical marijuana. Nationally, polls constantly present that almost two-thirds of U.S. adults favor marijuana legalization.

Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act has additionally been launched in each the Home and Senate, gathering quite a few high-profile co-sponsors, together with Senators Kamala Harris and Jeff Merkley final month. This farther-reaching invoice wouldn’t simply decriminalize marijuana – however finish federal marijuana prohibition – whereas additionally together with a wider vary of provisions to restore communities most affected by the conflict on medication.

Earlier this yr, Vermont grew to become the primary state to legalize marijuana by means of the state legislature. New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and quite a few different states have additionally launched payments to legalize marijuana this yr.

The proof to date reveals that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled states to efficiently set security requirements, prohibit youth entry, and enact laws that restrict the potential harms of marijuana use. States are selecting to cease losing cash imposing petty marijuana offenses, and to as an alternative generate hundreds of thousands of a yr in tax revenues.

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June 26: Activists in Tons of of Cities Throughout the Globe Stage Actions Calling for Drug Coverage Reform

‘Assist. Don’t Punish’ Actions a Counter-Demonstration to United Nations ‘Anti-Drug Day’, Usually Utilized by Governments to Tout Punitive Insurance policies

NYC Motion: Rally in Entrance of United Nations Headquarters

On Tuesday, June 26, activists will collect at 1:30 pm at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, reverse the United Nations Headquarters in New York, to name for world drug coverage reform as a part of the Assist. Don’t Punish World Day of Motion. The annual day of motion coincides with the United Nations’ Worldwide Day Towards Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The motion in New York will happen after the launch of the United Nations Workplace on Medicine and Crime 2018 World Drug Report.

Governments all over the world usually select to make use of this present day to have fun their contributions to the worldwide ‘conflict on medicine’. Previously, some governments have even commemorated it by holding executions or public beatings of drug offenders. For instance, from 2009 to 2014, China unveiled executions and different harsh punishments within the lead-up to the Worldwide Day Towards Drug Abuse and in 2008, Indonesia cited the day because it resumed executions after a four-year hiatus.

Nevertheless, over the previous few years, advocates all over the world started to plan counter-demonstrations beneath the worldwide marketing campaign banner of Assist. Don’t Punish, aimed toward reclaiming the message and selling drug coverage reforms primarily based on public well being, growth, and human rights. Final 12 months, 206 cities in 93 international locations held numerous, inventive, and impactful occasions. This 12 months, occasions are being deliberate in cities in dozens of nations throughout six continents. The motion in New York Metropolis will unite New Yorkers with these preventing for drug coverage reform internationally, in a present of solidary and to display the breadth and energy of this motion.

Assist. Do not Punish Day of Motion

When: 1:30 pm
The place: Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, East 47th Road and 1st Avenue, New York
What: Rally in entrance of the United Nations Headquarters to oppose punitive drug insurance policies and to name for world drug coverage reform that promotes well being and human rights. Further data right here.

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New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker to Permit Sufferers who’re Prescribed Opioids to Entry the State’s Medical Marijuana Program

DPA Assertion: Marijuana Vital Software to Fight Opioid Disaster, Research Present Broad Entry is Key

The New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker introduced that sufferers who’re prescribed opioids may have entry to the state’s medical marijuana program.

There’s a rising physique of scientific literature suggesting that authorized entry to marijuana can cut back using opioids in addition to opioid-related overdose deaths. As a latest journal article particulars, there are at the least three main methods marijuana can play a task in decreasing opioid use and misuse: as a therapy for persistent ache earlier than turning to opioids; as a part of an opioid discount technique for sufferers already utilizing opioids; or along side methadone therapy to extend success charges. Further analysis exhibits the potential for marijuana to assist cut back opioid withdrawal signs and subsequently assist ease sufferers away from opioid use. Research have proven that sufferers see marijuana as a viable different to prescription opioid ache remedy, with fewer unwanted side effects and decrease potential for problematic use.

Under is a press release from Melissa Moore, New York Deputy Director, Drug Coverage Alliance Drug Coverage Alliance.

“We applaud the announcement from New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker to permit sufferers who’re prescribed opioids to entry the state’s medical marijuana program.

“Clearly marijuana alone won’t be the reply to New York’s downside with opioid misuse and overdose deaths, however accessible proof signifies that it must be used with different hurt discount methods (akin to increasing naloxone entry, establishing safer consumption websites, and the decriminalizing all substance use) as a part of a essentially numerous and revolutionary method to this combatting this disaster.

“Analysis has proven that broader legal guidelines for marijuana entry (i.e., people who coated extra situations and created simpler affected person entry) have been extra prone to cut back overdose deaths. We urge New York State to maneuver towards legalizing marijuana for grownup use, as research in different authorized states have demonstrated that vital numbers of individuals have been utilizing marijuana obtained from the adult-use market to deal with ache.”

Learn the actual fact sheet about Marijuana and Opioids: http://smart-ny.com/marijuana-and-opioids

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This Thinker Says Dependancy Stigma Prevents Restoration

Unfounded stigmas and stereotypes can block access to addiction treatment.

Unfounded stigmas and stereotypes can block access to addiction treatment.

Thousands of people are unnecessarily dying because we misinterpret how those struggling with addiction think, according to a philosopher, German Lopez.

After a year of reporting on the crisis, Lopez claims the stigma against addiction “is the single biggest reason America is failing in its response to the opioid epidemic,” and to overcome that stigma, we need to first understand it.

In 2016, 42,300 people died of an opioid overdose. Yet treatment programs, medically assisted treatment (MAT), and harm reduction policies (like needle exchanges and supervised injection sites) exist. Lopez argues that the success of these programs has been inhibited by the perception that addiction is a moral failing, along with the myth that helping a person suffering is somehow enabling them, rather than helping them find sobriety.

Cursed By Stigma?

A recent Vox report featured a felony treatment court judge referring to MAT as a “crutch.” That same judge went on to say that, according to the former health and human services secretary, Tom Price, the person is “just substituting one opioid for another.” In Indiana, county commissioner Rodney Fish blocked a needle exchange program, quoting the bible in his reasoning.

While advocacy groups and people speaking openly about recovery have helped change the perception of addiction, there are still many who believe it is a matter of choice – that we have the power of choice to take the drugs over the negative consequences. In choosing drugs, we’re viewed as having weak character or poor judgement.

It is this kind of stigma that Lopez claims is doing the real damage. Philosophically, he believes this is caused by the misguided belief that people always do what they think is best, and that their actions reflect their values and beliefs. Yet, when people take drugs and develop substance use disorder, the power of choice has gone. They are motivated much less by their morals and values and more by their need to fulfill a physical addiction.

The Flawed Philosophy of Addiction

Lopez argues that this flawed philosophy of addiction is what shapes our treatment of it, whether we’re aware of that or not. This is evident in the idea that someone has to hit a rock bottom – to experience the grave consequences of their choices – before they can find recovery.

Another example of that philosophy is that MAT and needle exchange programs are viewed as a means of enabling, mitigating the issues, and leaving the underlying problems unresolved. If that were the case, then why are more and more people finding recovery before they get to deaths door?

Could we adopt a more sympathetic view of substance use disorder? Lopez argues we can. In doing so, he suggests that we need to change our perception of addiction. For example, we must recognize that powerful drugs have the power to hijack rational choice in favor of pleasure.

It is by understanding these scientific facts, as opposed to unfounded judgments, that we might start viewing addiction as a disease instead of a moral failing…and improve our chances of beating this epidemic.

Additional Reading: Wasn’t My Rock Bottom Low Enough For You?

Image Source: iStock

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Canada Turns into Second Nation within the World – And First G-20 Nation – to Legally Regulate Marijuana

Final night time, the Canadian Senate authorised The Hashish Act, making Canada the second nation on the earth to legally regulate all features of the marijuana market – together with manufacturing, sale and consumption – following Uruguay’s historic transfer to take action in 2013. The invoice has already handed the Home of Commons and has the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Celebration.

“Canada ought to be applauded for taking daring and decisive steps in direction of ending the failed prohibition of marijuana,” stated Hannah Hetzer, Senior Worldwide Coverage Supervisor for the Drug Coverage Alliance. “Canada’s progress will provoke help for drug coverage reforms within the U.S. and all around the globe.”

Invoice C-45 permits for the possession of as much as 30 grams of dried marijuana for adults over the age of 18, stipulates that marijuana should be bought in plain packaging with restricted branding, and units penalties for driving below the affect and gross sales to minors.  Canada can have a decentralized mannequin, which implies that every province might be chargeable for a lot of the decision-making on regulatory implementation, together with issues comparable to dwelling cultivation, public use, and zoning.

“Canada’s decentralized system will give provinces the liberty to tailor marijuana legalization to their native wants and contexts, permitting us to check and be taught from the numerous completely different fashions that may emerge,” added Hetzer. “Canada ought to be certain that the harms of marijuana prohibition are rectified, particularly by expunging individuals’s marijuana arrest data and by investing in communities most harmed by prohibition.”

Medical marijuana has been authorized in Canada since 2001, and Prime Minister Trudeau and his Liberal Celebration included marijuana legalization of their 2015 marketing campaign platform.

Beginning with Colorado and Washington in 2012, 9 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana for grownup use.  As detailed in a current DPA report, From Prohibition to Progress: A Standing Report on Marijuana Legalization, the proof to this point exhibits that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled U.S. states to efficiently set security requirements, prohibit youth entry, and enact rules that restrict the potential harms of marijuana use. Constructing on these constructive outcomes, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and quite a few different states are presently contemplating legislative proposals to legalize marijuana.

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Advocates Say Finish the Arrests, Problem Carve-Outs in Mayor de Blasio’s New Marijuana Enforcement Plan

New York—Advocates, group organizations, and Council Members held a press convention and rally difficult Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD’s newly-announced marijuana enforcement coverage, urging the Mayor to finish racially biased marijuana arrests fully. The Mayor and NYPD Commissioner introduced the coverage shift yesterday within the fruits of their 30-day assessment interval to evaluate marijuana enforcement in NYC.
 
Resulting from exclusions within the Mayor’s new coverage, advocates raised considerations that racial disparities in marijuana arrests might proceed—and maybe enhance. They stood strongly against marijuana persevering with for use as a pretext for pointless NYPD interactions with group members.
 
Advocates emphasised that there isn’t a public security justification for arresting anybody for marijuana, particularly given the acute racial disparities in arrests that the 30-day assessment interval was meant to handle. Additional, advocates demanded that the Metropolis’s coverage shift take away any carve-outs (reminiscent of permitting NYPD to arrest folks on parole or probation for marijuana possession or smoking) and pushed again on insurance policies permitting marijuana to nonetheless be used as a pretext for any cease, harassment, or ID verify of group members.
 
Beneath the brand new NYPD coverage, marijuana can nonetheless be used as a instrument for legislation enforcement to criminalize probably the most weak New Yorkers: younger folks, non-citizen immigrants, people who find themselves homeless, and communities of colour.
 
“The affect of routine surveillance, stops, and arrests by police on younger folks is incontrovertibly damaging to their skill to proceed residing full lives, and sustaining their respect and dignity. Marijuana is commonly the excuse used to provoke pointless and life altering interactions between the police and younger folks. The Mayor’s new marijuana coverage will fall far wanting decriminalizing our neighborhoods and conserving younger folks out of a system that’s designed to lure them in cages. Marijuana will nonetheless be a pretext for stops in our communities and a prison summons will nonetheless entrap Black and Latinx youth within the prison authorized system,” mentioned Darian Agostini, Make The Highway New York.
 
“The carve outs primarily create a state of affairs the place officers nonetheless have broad discretion—which we all know doesn’t work and is an enormous issue driving the racial disparities now. We want clear-cut coverage saying no arrests, no justification for placing folks into the prison system—interval,” mentioned Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director, Drug Coverage Alliance. “Summonses generally is a backdoor into the prison justice system, as a result of an arrest warrant is issued for individuals who miss courtroom. This subject needs to be a civil matter—not a prison one.”
 
The carve-out permitting officers to nonetheless make an arrest if they’re unable to confirm an individual’s ID or handle is very problematic. People who find themselves homeless typically don’t have regular entry to identification paperwork and already face elevated criminalization—which once more calls into query the premise for such a carve-out. Organizations that work with younger folks spoke out that youth–who are one of many precept targets of present marijuana enforcement–might not possess ID persistently, and will due to this fact be topic to arrest and saddled with a prison report.
 
That exclusion might additionally affect noncitizen immigrants, who generally battle to acquire identification—and face extraordinarily excessive penalties for a misdemeanor arrest, together with deportation. Immigration activists juxtaposed this exclusion and criminalization with the Mayor’s touting of NYC as a sanctuary metropolis and claims that he’s shielding immigrants from ICE throughout the federal crackdown.
 
“Within the present political local weather, immigrant New Yorkers who’ve any contact with the police, particularly those that get arrested, threat triggering an ICE arrest. Beneath this NYPD coverage, immigrants with out ample identification can be arrested and positioned within the crosshairs of ICE. Those that have ID and are issued a summons should still face disproportionate, harsh immigration penalties; even a marijuana violation may end up in the deportation and everlasting separation of an immigrant from their household and group. We’re deeply disenchanted that this coverage continues to feed the deportation machine, undermining town’s dedication to defending immigrant communities,” mentioned Marie Mark, Supervising Legal professional, Immigrant Protection Challenge.
 
“NYC shouldn’t be actually a sanctuary metropolis if we criminalize folks due to their immigration standing, their lack of entry to identification, or their lack of economic sources,” mentioned Chris Alexander, coverage coordinator, Drug Coverage Alliance.
 
Public defenders took subject with the exemption for New Yorkers who’ve previous involvement with the prison justice system, who can be topic to arrest below the brand new coverage simply due to their history–even in the event that they’re making an attempt to maneuver on with their lives.
 
“I’ve PTSD from being in jail for 30 years and the one factor that helps me with nervousness and stress is marijuana, which I’m not allowed to make use of as a result of I’m on parole. It’s not proper that I can’t get the medication I would like, however different folks can, with none issues. It’s discrimination,” mentioned David Schermerhorn, a Group Chief with VOCAL-NY.
 
“Brooklyn Defender Providers has represented 1000’s of New Yorkers, largely folks of colour, who had been arrested and prosecuted, evicted from NYCHA, subjected to little one removing by ACS, denied skilled licenses, or put into deportation proceedings based mostly on private marijuana use. It’s time to finish these harsh penalties and restore the hurt. We help the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act, however till it turns into legislation, the Metropolis ought to finish its punitive responses to marijuana use throughout companies. Within the meantime, we admire that District Legal professional Eric Gonzalez will transfer to vacate previous low-level marijuana convictions,” mentioned Lisa Schreibersdorf, Government Director of Brooklyn Defender Providers.
 
“The pronounced and longstanding racial disparity on this metropolis’s arrests for marijuana-related offenses is an affront to the idea of equal remedy below the legislation for all.  What most wants to vary is discriminatory policing that unfairly targets our indigent communities of colour; amending our marijuana coverage would take away what has been a key driver of that. Steps should even be taken to alleviate the hurt prompted to anybody unfairly focused up to now, reminiscent of these unduly burdened with a prison report for conduct society is more and more viewing as benign. New York County Defender Providers joins the decision for significant reform on this metropolis’s legislation enforcement marijuana coverage to handle this inequity,” mentioned Stan German, Government Director of New York County Defender Providers.
 
Folks arrested for a low-level marijuana offense will be saddled with a prison conviction that may make it troublesome to get and hold a job, preserve an expert license, acquire instructional loans, safe housing, and hold custody of a kid—exactly the collateral penalties that the Mayor and different Metropolis elected officers have acknowledged are extraordinarily damaging and mustn’t proceed.
 
“Invoice de Blasio informed ‘A Story of Two Cities’ at his mayoral marketing campaign kickoff, however he’s created a plan with carve-outs to make sure that enterprise continues as standard. Mr. Mayor, Black and brown folks from poor communities shouldn’t be town’s ticket to extra money — cease feeding us into the prison justice system and foster care via biased enforcement. We want a good, simply, and equitable NY,” mentioned Joyce McMillan, Little one Welfare Organizing Challenge.
 
Advocates confused that the damaging results of marijuana enforcement prolong past arrests and pushed the Mayor to additionally instruct NYC companies (NYCHA, Administration for Youngsters’s Providers, skilled licensing boards, and so on.) to handle the harms attributable to previous arrests and reform their insurance policies round marijuana.
 
“Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s reforms fall quick of what’s actually wanted to undue a long time of zealous and racially biased marijuana enforcement. New Yorkers of colour will nonetheless be marginalized by these proposed ‘carves outs,’ and our non-citizen purchasers additional threatened by the identification requirement. The proposal additionally doesn’t handle the large tradition shift that should happen at dozen of companies to eradicate collateral penalties that usually embrace eviction from NYCHA, misplaced youngsters to foster care, denial licenses and others nightmarish outcomes. Till full legalization involves New York, decriminalization efforts should not be reform in title solely,” mentioned Anthony Posada, Supervising Legal professional of the Group Justice Unit at The Authorized Help Society.
 
“If the mayor wished to create a plan to make racial disparities in marijuana enforcement worse, he’s completed it with this. By permitting the NYPD to create a plan that feeds off of and widens disparities within the prison justice system, Mayor de Blasio has failed to indicate management. The try to maneuver some arrests to summonses additionally does nothing to handle disparities. The de Blasio administration refuses to satisfy its dedication to publicly report the demographic knowledge on every explicit kind of summons, hiding the racial disparities within the summons system. Subsequently, all this plan will do is push the racial disparities to the summons system after which conceal them from the general public. The NYPD should cease its discriminatory concentrating on of sure New Yorkers for marijuana enforcement – that’s the way in which to finish the racial disparities.” mentioned Monifa Bandele, a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Senior Vice President at MomsRising.
 
“New Yorkers, and particularly younger folks, mustn’t face prison prices for utilizing marijuana, interval,” mentioned Laurie Parise, Government Director of Youth Characterize. “To carve folks out based mostly on previous justice system involvement, which we all know from all the info and reporting out there is racially biased within the first place, undermines your complete purpose of lowering racial disparity in marijuana arrests.”
 
Metropolis Council Members who held hearings on marijuana enforcement earlier this 12 months and have steadily pressed the NYPD and Metropolis Corridor to reform marijuana enforcement additionally spoke out in opposition to the exclusions within the new coverage and the necessity to actually finish marijuana arrests for all New Yorkers:
 
“The Mayor’s new marijuana enforcement coverage is a marginal enchancment, however an actual missed alternative to essentially change how the Metropolis polices marijuana possession and smoking. The legalization practice in New York has left the station. The Mayor ought to get on it,” mentioned Council Member Rory I. Lancman.
 
“I be part of the Drug Coverage Alliance, my Metropolis Council Colleagues, advocacy teams, and group members in calling for the top of racist marijuana enforcement in New York,” mentioned Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “We will not ignore the toll that unjust policing practices and enforcement requirements are having on our communities of colour. The Mayor and the NYPD must cease tweaking inherently unhealthy insurance policies and totally halt the pursuit of prison motion in opposition to misdemeanor marijuana offenses; it’s time to stress our State legislature to legalize marijuana and start a sturdy dialogue of the small print relating to its regulation.”
 
“Regrettably, this marijuana enforcement coverage remix displays the Metropolis nonetheless has but to actually acknowledge the historic and basic racial bias that has disproportionately burdened of communities of colour,” mentioned Black, Latino and Asian Caucus co-chair Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Ten thousand fewer arrests per 12 months will solely end in better numbers of summonses for these New Yorkers, together with the numerous who’ve already handed via the prison justice system and can possible be ensnared once more below the NYPD’s new tips. The Administration ought to return to the drafting board and work extra intentionally with stakeholders representing the women and men stricken by the unequal policing of marijuana to develop a wise coverage that satisfies the necessity for public security in a altering panorama however does not add to their hardship.”

“Marijuana needs to be totally legalized. Over a long time, tens of 1000’s of our neighbors, disproportionately lower-income New Yorkers of colour, have suffered the results of the over-policing of marijuana. So long as a prison framework is in place, these similar communities will proceed to endure. I stand able to work with officers on the state and native stage to understand a authorized, regulated system for adult-use marijuana in order that we are able to construct a fairer justice system and put money into our communities. That is the answer New Yorkers deserve,” mentioned New York Metropolis Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

“Marijuana criminalization has compelled numerous black and brown communities right into a damaged prison justice system that strives to bury them below a rug fairly than handle the crux of what plagues our communities, the jail industrial advanced. The Mayor’s current announcement reinforces the criminalization that has already ravaged our communities for many years and any Marijuana decriminalization that features a carve-out solely serves to perpetuate the very crimes in opposition to our communities that we search to handle,” mentioned Jorge Vasquez, Affiliate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

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What Each Mother or father Must Know About Teen Rehab

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Teen Rehab

Here's what you need to know about addiction treatment for teenagers.

Here’s what you need to know about addiction treatment for teenagers.

Gavin’s family knows he needs help. Gavin knows he needs help. At 16, he is on a destructive path of addiction that will soon lead to overdose and death if he doesn’t change direction – fast. But the thought of rehab is frightening – to both Gavin and his parents.

What goes on in there? What will happen to him? Is it even worth the time, effort, and money?

These are common questions among parents and teenagers. The thought of your child going to rehab can be intimidating, especially for teens. Knowing what to expect and how it can benefit your teen can help. Here’s the scoop…

What Goes on in There?

Each treatment center may vary on the details, but teens can generally expect the following activities and therapies while in rehab:

  • Daily therapy sessions
  • Consistent medical check-ups
  • Academic work
  • Regular meals and snacks
  • Adequate exercise
  • Supervised free time with peers also in recovery
  • A strict routine and structure (possibly with tiered levels, with increasing amounts of freedom based on success)

What Are Some Benefits of Teen Rehab?

A teen recovery program can provide multiple benefits to teens and their families. A few list-toppers include:

  • New environment: When a teen enters rehab, they enter a fresh environment. They are removed from the normal pressures of their lives, including their usual triggers to use drugs. They can focus solely on their recovery. The time away gives them a fresh start, fresh perspective and fresh opportunities.
  • Breathing room: When a teen is struggling with addiction, the entire family is affected. When the teen enters rehab, it gives the entire family a much-needed break. The daily storm of life quiets. Parents can step back and take a deep breath. The physical distance between family members can help start a healing process.
  • Open learning: Teens are often more flexible and more open to new ideas than adults. They have not lived a life filled with drug use. They are still open to change. They are often able to absorb new information better and learn more quickly than adults. When put in an environment that guides them to learn healthier patterns of behavior, many teens do quite well.
  • Healthy structure: While in rehab, the teen will adhere to a strict schedule. Most kids thrive on routine. They know what to expect each day, so life doesn’t feel out of control. This structure helps teens develop healthy routines and focus on establishing and maintaining their sobriety.
  • Family support: Teen rehab typically includes family therapy. This can prove helpful during the teen’s stay, as well as when it’s time for the teen to come home. Final sessions cover how the teen should transition back into family life and what rules are appropriate for parents to establish. Family support can prove invaluable to creating a healthy environment at home.

Learn more about treatment options for alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

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Advocates Slam Mayor de Blasio’s New Marijuana Arrest Plan

Wednesday at Midday: Marijuana Justice Rally at Metropolis Corridor Steps

In response to Mayor de Blasio’s announcement about new insurance policies for marijuana arrests, VOCAL-NY and the Drug Coverage Alliance launched the next assertion, attributable to Civil Rights Marketing campaign Director Nick Encalada-Malinowski and Drug Coverage Alliance New York Director Kassandra Frederique.
 
“It is irritating that because the New York State Well being Division strikes towards legalization, the Metropolis is constant its shameful historical past of racist marijuana enforcement. Additionally it is complicated as a result of the brand new coverage doesn’t seem to deal with racial disparities in any respect, which was the problem that supposedly prompted this in-house evaluate.

“The exceptions that the Mayor has laid out — arrests for folks on parole or probation, folks with prison data, folks with warrants or missing ID, or for ‘officer discretion’ — will compound present collateral penalties and all however assure the established order of racial disparity continues.

“People who find themselves straight impacted weren’t consulted within the Mayor’s evaluate of NYPD enforcement, and though DPA spoke with NYPD the coverage shift is just not reflective of our joint place: we have now firmly mentioned there ought to be no arrests, no summonses, no utilizing marijuana as a pretext for police interactions, and the start of a course of to restore the huge hurt attributable to NYPD’s enforcement of marijuana prohibition which has virtually completely focused communities of colour.”

Tomorrow, June 20, advocates, neighborhood members, and NYC elected officers will maintain a press convention and rally to deal with NYC’s new marijuana coverage and name on the Mayor to additionally instruct the Metropolis’s businesses (NYCHA, Administration for Youngsters’s Providers, skilled licensing boards) to deal with the harms attributable to previous arrests and reform their insurance policies round marijuana.

What:       Marijuana Justice Rally
When:      June 20 at Midday
The place:     Metropolis Corridor steps NYC
                 https://www.fb.com/occasions/237366417036735

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New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker Speaks Out in Favor of Marijuana Legalization in New York, Says DOH Will Launch Examine Quickly

The New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker at the moment spoke out in favor of legalization marijuana for grownup use in New York and stated that the Division of Well being shall be releasing a full research on the subject within the coming days. The research was commissioned by Governor Cuomo and introduced in his tackle on the manager funds proposal.

Commissioner Zucker additionally introduced that sufferers who’re prescribed opioids can have entry to the state’s medical marijuana program.

Under is a press release from Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director for the Drug Coverage Alliance.

“We welcome Commissioner Zucker’s feedback in favor of legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York and sit up for reviewing the total research from the Division of Well being. There’s ample proof that ending marijuana prohibition is a great manner for Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to uphold the rights of all New Yorkers and help financial and racial justice. We urge New York coverage makers to get on board with legalizing marijuana for grownup use, which is supported by a majority of New Yorkers.

In the end, one of the simplest ways to handle the disparities and challenges posed by prohibition is to create a system to tax and regulate marijuana that may restore and reinvest in communities which have been most harmed by the marijuana arrest campaign, as set forth within the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is pending within the Legislature.”

Be taught extra at smart-ny.com.

Background:

Momentum for marijuana reform is constructing steadily in New York. A ballot of New York voters launched in late 2017 confirmed that 62% of New Yorkers help making marijuana use authorized in New York for adults over 21, and greater than 60% help taxing and regulating marijuana as a option to tackle the state’s looming funds deficit.

Legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York holds vital felony justice reform potential. Below the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is at the moment pending within the legislature, individuals who have been convicted of low-level possession (together with possession in public view) and low-level sale can have that offense vacated from their document. Different offenses associated to possession or sale that had been beforehand misdemeanors or felonies could be reclassified and sealed. Individuals at the moment incarcerated for such offenses would both be launched or have their sentence appropriately diminished pursuant to the brand new statute.

That is essential as a result of marijuana prohibition enforcement has devastated communities throughout New York State, primarily these of colour and low-income communities. Greater than 800,000 individuals have been arrested for possession of small quantities of marijuana in New York State over the previous 20 years, with over 700,000 arrests by the NYPD alone. Consequently, a whole lot of hundreds of individuals should cope with felony information that yield vital collateral penalties for them—and their households, together with restricted entry to housing, employment, and schooling alternatives.

Legalizing and regulating marijuana will even present a possibility, as a result of income it can generate, for the communities which have been most devastated to begin to restore the harms of the drug struggle. The potential tax income for New York from a authorized marijuana market is appreciable: An official research by the NYC Comptroller in 2018 estimated potential tax income for a authorized marijuana market in New York State could be greater than $ 1.three billion yearly.

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The Pot Trade Is Overwhelmingly White, and One Congresswoman Needs to Change That

Rep. Barbara Lee of California has crafted a decision to assist open up the marijuana trade to folks of coloration

As reported by Rolling Stone, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat and progressive chief who was first despatched to Washington by Oakland voters in 1998…is formally introducing the RESPECT Decision, the primary laws ever launched in Congress that offers with the racial disparity within the nation’s pot trade head-on, which she has completely shared with Rolling Stone.

“It is essential that Congress members take steps to attach these dots from the start, simply so we do not see the marijuana trade a long time later and begin complaining about it then. We’re choosing up on the inequities now.” – Queen Adesuyi, Drug Coverage Alliance

Learn the complete article right here.

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Right here’s What Can Occur If You Smoke Too A lot Weed

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome can cause severe pain, nausea, and dehydration.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome can cause severe pain, nausea, and dehydration.

Brian just spent the last 10 hours in the shower. Why? It was the only way he knew to get the pain and nausea caused by cannabis overuse to stop.

Brian is one of an estimated 2.7 million Americans who suffer from bouts of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). This condition causes vomiting and pain in heavy marijuana users. It used to be a rare condition, but the recent changes in marijuana laws have resulted in a flare-up in the number cases.

Dr. Eric Lavonas, director of emergency medicine at Denver Health and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians, reports, “CHS went from being something we didn’t know about and never talked about to a very common problem over the last five years.”

A Misdiagnosed Mary Jane

Many marijuana users develop the syndrome after years of smoking pot, so they don’t make the connection to their habit. Yet, the pain and nausea are too severe to ignore. Patients can also become dehydrated, which can lead to kidney damage.

Often misdiagnosed, CHS is frequently mistaken for a psychiatric or anxiety-related syndrome. Appendicitis and bowel obstructions are also commonly suspected. Many CHS sufferers spend thousands of dollars on testing, and even surgery, in attempts to discover the cause of the symptoms. After multiple trips to doctors and emergency rooms, patients eventually receive the right diagnosis: “You’re smoking too much pot.”

Dr. Joseph Habboushe, assistant professor of emergency at N.Y.U. Langone/Bellevue Medical Center, notes, “I know patients who have lost their jobs, gone bankrupt from repeatedly seeking medical care, and have been misdiagnosed for years. Marijuana is probably safer than a lot of other things out there, but the discussion about it has been so politicized and the focus has been on the potential benefits, without looking rigorously at what the potential downside might be. No medication is free from side effects.”

Is There a Cure?

CHS symptoms generally don’t respond to drug treatment. Anecdotal evidence exists for the “hot shower cure.” Patients have reported that taking hot showers is the only way to relieve the pain and nausea – some reporting that they stay in the shower for hours at a time.

There is a silver lining. CHS is curable, and the cure doesn’t require a shot, expensive treatment or surgery. Simply quit using marijuana. Yep – stop smoking marijuana and – voila! No more CHS.

But, getting people to stop using pot can be a challenge. Many have heard for years that marijuana helps relieve nausea, so they have a hard time believing the drug is truly the cause of their symptoms. Others simply don’t want to quit or find it difficult due to addiction.

These obstacles make it likely that many will continue to suffer from CHS. And, as legalization continues to spread, doctors suspect the number of CHS cases will continue to rise.

Additional Reading: Does Marijuana Prevent Nausea and Vomiting or Cause It?

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Right here’s How the NIMBY Perspective Crushes Restoration Enlargement

NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard, often prevents the opening of new treatment centers.

NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard, often prevents the opening of new treatment centers.

They were all set to expand their counseling services into a full residential treatment facility. The county originally bought the building with plans to demolish it, but the team worked hard to restore it to its’ former beauty.

The services provided at their recovery residence were already making a great impact on the lives of many local women struggling with substance abuse. County officials conducted an abundance of inspections, searching for zoning code violations that weren’t present. And then…they received a cease and desist order. NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) strikes again!

The NIMBY attitude is impeding recovery efforts across the nation. In Virginia, the McShin Foundation faces these obstacles and more as it tries to reach under-served populations with peer-based services. Despite the organization’s documented success, they don’t have the full support of many facets of the community.

Why? The foundation is being hindered by the same detrimental attitude that stunts the growth of recovery services across the nation. Too many officials and pessimistic influencers say, “Yes, please offer recovery options for our town…but not in my back yard.”

This kind of judgmental opinion makes recovery expansion nearly impossible in most areas.

Getting to the Root of Stigma

This critical view stems from the persistent, negative stigma attached to chemical dependency. No one wants to admit substance abuse is an issue in their neighborhood. No one wants to admit it’s an issue in their own family. Many want all mention of addiction, including any services offered, to be kept far from home. They want the recovery resources to be available for others, in other locations, but NIMBY!

That is, of course, until it’s their kid or family member who needs help. Then, recovery resources nearby would be great. Miraculously their attitude shifts to, “Hey, why aren’t there more services in my area? We need help here!” Until this tipping point is reached, many people remain in the damaging cycle of stigmatizing substance abuse.

One facet of this harmful stigma is fear. A frequent stereotype is that any locale which offers recovery services will be overrun with drug use. Crime will skyrocket. Property values will plummet. Children will no longer be safe. Community members fear these outcomes for their neighborhoods.

Yet, if the people of the community don’t get the help they need, aren’t these conditions even more likely? It becomes a circular dance, with fear taking the lead and stumbling around the dance floor. Out of step with what could benefit the city, decision-makers guided by this fear make expanding recovery services difficult.

Facing the Facts

NIMBY continues to be an issue everywhere, despite evidence disproving many noted concerns.

Results from a University of Maryland School of Medicine study show crime rates in the immediate vicinities of methadone treatment centers are the same as those in surrounding neighborhoods, and crime rates in proximity to treatment centers are actually “lower than that of convenience stores with the same demographics.”

The NIMBY attitude offers further incongruity among county boards and policy makers. The board of supervisors who are influential in decisions affecting the McShin Foundation offer an example. Their official statement reads, “The county recognizes that addiction is a serious issue and that the establishment of counseling and treatment centers is important.” So, it’s important, but not so important to make expansion of these centers less difficult? Again, we enter a circular NIMBY dance that gets programs nowhere.

Any Solutions in Sight?

To overcome NIMBY obstacles and help those dealing with chemical dependency, community members and policy makers need to do the following:

  • De-stigmatize recovery services
  • Admit substance abuse exists in their town, neighborhood or family
  • Stop shaming those struggling with addiction
  • Dispel fears surrounding recovery services

The current opioid epidemic leaves few untouched by its’ destructive wake and expansion of recovery services is desperately needed across the country.

To defeat the NIMBY attitude, we may need to implement a similar strategy to that of some urban designers. Howard Blackson III, an urban designer, recommends a balanced approach that weighs “individual NIMBY reactions with the collective need of citizens to access the city.” In other words, we can’t ignore that NIMBY attitudes exist, but we can’t let them inhibit the growth of programs essential to the health and well-being of a city and its members at large.

Additional Reading:   Why Did the War on Drugs Become a War on Sobriety?

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U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner Announce Landmark Bipartisan Invoice to Shield States’ Rights to Legalize Marijuana

As we speak, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Modification By Entrusting States (STATES) Act, the Senate’s first-ever bipartisan invoice that might shield states that legalize marijuana. A companion invoice within the Home of Representatives co-sponsored by David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) was additionally introduced right now.

The payments would shield states that legalize marijuana from federal interference, permitting people and companies performing in compliance with state marijuana legal guidelines to function with out the specter of federal prosecution.

“The STATES Act represents a landmark second within the motion to finish the decades-long battle on marijuana,” stated Jolene Forman, workers lawyer on the Drug Coverage Alliance. “It creates a workable framework for approaching the way forward for marijuana coverage.”

9 states and D.C. have legalized marijuana, and 29 states and D.C. have permitted medical marijuana. Nationally, polls persistently present that almost two-thirds of U.S. adults favor marijuana legalization.

Elected officers on either side of the aisle have been galvanized by Legal professional Basic Jeff Classes’ threats to authorized marijuana. The Warren-Gardner STATES Act emerged out of Sen. Gardner’s months-long blockade on Justice Division nominees after Classes rescinded Obama-era steering in January that protected state-level marijuana legalization. President Trump reportedly agreed final month to assist Gardner’s invoice in trade for an finish to the blockade.

Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act has additionally been launched in each the Home and Senate, gathering quite a few high-profile co-sponsors, together with Senators Kamala Harris and Jeff Merkley final month. This far-reaching invoice wouldn’t simply finish federal marijuana prohibition, but additionally features a vary of provisions to restore communities most affected by the battle on medicine.

Earlier this yr, Vermont turned the primary state to legalize marijuana by the state legislature. New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and quite a few different states have additionally launched payments to legalize marijuana this yr.

The proof up to now reveals that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled states to efficiently set security requirements, limit youth entry, and enact laws that restrict the potential harms of marijuana use. States are selecting to cease losing cash implementing petty marijuana offenses, and to as an alternative generate hundreds of thousands of a yr in tax revenues.

“The STATES Act is a primary step towards ending the harms of marijuana prohibition,” added Forman. “This bipartisan proposal clears the best way for states to develop their very own marijuana insurance policies with out worry of federal intervention. It will give states extra alternative to revive communities which have borne the brunt of the drug battle and mass criminalization.”

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Walmart is the Newest Pharmacy Chain to Restrict Opioid RX’s

Walmart's policy caps new opioid prescriptions at a seven-day supply and limits dosages.

Walmart’s policy caps new opioid prescriptions at a seven-day supply and limits dosages.

What happens when over 100 Americans a day die from opioid-related substance abuse? Policies change. The outcry becomes so loud it can’t be ignored, and everyone – including retailers – is forced to stand up and take notice of the opioid epidemic.

The latest addition to nation-wide policy changes is taking place at the Walmart pharmacy counter. The influential retailer announced that store pharmacies will now impose a limit on opioid prescriptions. Their policy will cap new opioid prescriptions for acute pain at a seven-day supply, with dosages limited to 50 MME per day (morphine milligram equivalents).

This change isn’t taking place out of the blue. The policy complies with state laws that enforce the same limits. CVS pharmacy recently made a similar decision, limiting their opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies as of February of this year. Medicare is changing its coverage to limit opioid acute-pain prescriptions as well.

New Limits Hit Hot Button

While the policy change won’t affect everyone, many are concerned it will affect the wrong ones.

The goal of these limits is to prevent abuse and addiction. The logic follows that patients who have access to fewer pills will take them for shorter time periods and will be less likely to become hooked. Additionally, fewer leftover pills will be in circulation. These leftovers have proven to be a direct source of addiction and overdose. Roughly two-thirds of teens who abuse drugs report that home medicine cabinets act as their convenient drug supply. By reducing the number of pills initially provided to patients, the hope is to cure this epidemic from the front end.

Despite major retailers jumping on-board this plan, many have reservations. The concern is that these policies will only hurt patients who truly need the medication. Some claim that those who rely on opioids for daily functioning and use them as prescribed will be the ones who suffer. They point to studies that show only 25% of people who abuse opioids begin with opioids prescribed by their doctor.

Still, if the policy saves those 25% from addiction, wouldn’t it be worth the change? For most, the jury is still out.

Future Trends

Walmart plans to follow up this policy with another in 2020 that requires e-prescriptions for controlled substances. Why? Electronic prescriptions are harder to alter, more difficult to copy and less prone to mistakes.

In January, the retailer also announced a new effort to help with safe disposal of leftover opioids. They will provide free packets of a powder that make disposal easy. Patients can simply pour the powder, DisposeRX, into their prescription bottles and add warm water, and the substance turns into a biodegradable gel that patients can throw away.

These changes are part of Walmart’s ongoing efforts to “be part of the solution to our nation’s opioid epidemic.”

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New York Meeting Passes Key Marijuana Payments: Sealing Marijuana Convictions and Medical Marijuana Entry for Opioid Use Dysfunction

Drug Coverage Alliance: Marijuana Reform and Legalization Should Restore Harms of Mass Criminalization of Communities of Shade Ensuing From Marijuana Prohibition Enforcement

Analysis Exhibits Entry to Authorized Marijuana Can Cut back Overdose Deaths

The New York State Meeting voted yesterday to move a invoice to seal marijuana convictions for people who’ve been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for easy possession of marijuana in public view (A.2142, the Marijuana Sealing Invoice, sponsored by Assm. Crystal Peoples-Stokes–Buffalo). That is the third time the Meeting has handed this laws, underscoring the chamber’s name for marijuana reform to middle those that have been impacted by prohibition’s disproportionate enforcement.

The passage of this laws comes at a time when marijuana reform and broader legalization is being often mentioned by elected officers and candidates for elected workplace throughout the state, a lot of whom have spoken about and acknowledged the injustice that these arrests symbolize. Over the past 20 years, greater than 800,000 New Yorkers have been arrested for easy possession of marijuana. These convicted face vital limitations to accessing schooling, employment, housing alternatives, and different state companies.

The Speaker of the Meeting, amongst others, known as for the clearing of information to be part of any dialogue about legalization. The Governor, who earlier this 12 months launched a research of marijuana legalization, has the flexibility to deal with this challenge head on by following the lead of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and pardoning those that had been arrested underneath the general public view loophole—regardless of marijuana decriminalization in 1977.

“As New York strikes ahead to reform marijuana enforcement and research the useful outcomes of legalization for the state, it’s crucial that any efforts to legalize marijuana for grownup use additionally handle the mass criminalization of communities of colour that has come as a product of the enforcement of marijuana prohibition,” mentioned Christopher Alexander, coverage coordinator on the Drug Coverage Alliance.

The Meeting additionally handed laws that might add opioid use dysfunction to the record of qualifying situations for the state’s medical marijuana program—an essential step ahead for affected person entry throughout New York (A.9016, sponsored by Assm. Daniel O’Donnell). This transfer is aware of the present overdose disaster New York is experiencing and lack of efficient affected person entry to medical marijuana. It has lengthy been recognized that marijuana is an efficient analgesic; furthermore, there may be some proof to recommend that some folks use marijuana to switch opioids. In states with medical marijuana legal guidelines analysis has proven decreased admissions for opioid-related therapy and dramatically diminished charges of opioid overdoses. There’s a rising physique of scientific literature suggesting the potential for marijuana to assist scale back opioid withdrawal signs and subsequently assist ease sufferers away from opioid use.
 
Full marijuana legalization in New York for adults over 21 might be an extra essential device in combating the overdose disaster. Research present a correlation between jurisdictions which have essentially the most liberal authorized framework for marijuana entry (i.e., people who lined extra situations and created simpler affected person entry) garnering essentially the most vital profit in diminished overdose deaths. A latest journal article suggests there are no less than three main methods marijuana can play a task in decreasing opioid use and misuse: as a therapy for power ache earlier than turning to opioids; as a part of an opioid discount technique for sufferers already utilizing opioids; or along with methadone therapy to extend success charges.
 
“Research have proven that sufferers see marijuana as a viable different to prescription opioid ache medicine, with fewer unintended effects and decrease potential for problematic use,” mentioned Melissa Moore, New York Deputy Director, Drug Coverage Alliance. “Clearly marijuana alone won’t be the reply to America’s drawback with opioid misuse and overdose deaths, however out there proof signifies that it needs to be used with different hurt discount methods (comparable to increasing naloxone entry, establishing safer consumption websites, and the decriminalizing all substance use) as a part of a essentially numerous and modern method to this combating this disaster.”

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The Opioid Disaster Price Our Nation $115B in 2017

Think the opioid crisis isn't impacting you or your family? Think again...

Think the opioid crisis isn’t impacting you or your family? Think again…

The CDC estimates more than 62,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdose in 2017. The emotional cost to individuals and families across the nation is impossible to quantify.

The financial toll, however, can be estimated. The current opioid crisis is taking enormous amounts of money away from individuals, local governments, healthcare providers, and federal programs.

A recent report from Altarum, a nonprofit health research institute, reveals some alarming numbers. Totaling the costs since 2001, Altarum reports the opioid epidemic has a current price tag of one trillion dollars. The total from 2017 alone is over $ 115 billion.

In recent years, this sum has grown exponentially and if things don’t change, Altarum estimates our country will lose another $ 500 billion over the next three years to this epidemic.

Who’s Paying This Bill?

In short – we all foot the bill. From Steve the construction worker to good ole’ Uncle Sam, the opioid crisis is snatching money out of everyone’s pocket. If we break down the total, this cost is borne in three main tiers:

  • Individuals: Lost wages due to substance abuse and overdose make up a significant portion of the cost.
  • Private sector: Businesses suffer from lost productivity and health care costs.
  • Governments: Agencies at local, state and federal levels miss out on tax revenue and spend funds for social services, education, health care and criminal justice.

Major Contributors

Multiple sources contribute to this expanding sum. However, lost earnings potential and health care costs make up a significant portion of this staggering amount.

  • Lost earnings: The average age of an overdose victim is 41. Using this figure as a base, Altarum estimates each overdose victim costs the nation $ 800,000 in lost wages and productivity. This loss affects business operations as well as tax revenues. The private sector misses out on the contributions each individual would’ve made, and the government misses out on the taxes.
  • Health care costs: The opioid crisis has racked up a total of $ 215.7 billion in health care related costs from 2001 to 2017. This total is largely made up of emergency room visits, Naloxone administration, and treatment of other complications related to overdose. Recently, a large portion of this cost has fallen to Medicaid.

What Can We Learn?

Are these statistics helpful? Hopefully, yes. Knowing the details about the financial burden of the opioid epidemic could help identify solutions. Once we know the overall scope of the problem and the areas of people it’s affecting most, we can target these sectors with appropriate interventions.

Additional Reading:   7 Ways the Gov’t Could Help the Nation’s Drug Crisis

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Thursday: Canada Anticipated to Formally Approve Marijuana Legalization

Tomorrow, the Canadian Senate is anticipated to approve marijuana legalization laws in a historic vote.  The invoice has the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and has already handed the Home of Commons. Canada will grow to be the second nation on the earth to legally regulate all elements of the marijuana market – together with manufacturing, sale and consumption – following Uruguay’s historic transfer to take action in 2013.

“Canada ought to be applauded for taking daring and decisive steps in direction of ending the failed prohibition of marijuana,” stated Hannah Hetzer, Senior Worldwide Coverage Supervisor for the Drug Coverage Alliance. “Canada’s progress will impress help for drug coverage reforms within the U.S. and all around the globe.”

The Canadian Senate has been finding out Invoice C-45 for the previous six months, and has launched adjustments to the model acquired from the Home. As soon as it passes within the Senate, it is going to be despatched again to the Home of Commons to approve the amendments to the invoice, after which the implementation of authorized marijuana will start.

Invoice C-45 permits for the possession of as much as 30 grams of dried marijuana for adults over the age of 18, stipulates that marijuana have to be bought in plain packaging with restricted branding, and units penalties for driving underneath the affect and gross sales to minors.  Canada may have a decentralized mannequin, which signifies that every province will probably be chargeable for a lot of the decision-making on regulatory implementation, together with issues reminiscent of residence cultivation, public use, and zoning.

“Canada’s decentralized system will give provinces the liberty to tailor marijuana legalization to their native wants and contexts, permitting us to review and study from the numerous completely different fashions that can emerge,” added Hetzer. “Canada ought to be certain that the harms of marijuana prohibition are rectified, particularly by expunging individuals’s marijuana arrest information and by investing in communities most harmed by prohibition.”  

Medical marijuana has been authorized in Canada since 2001, and Prime Minister Trudeau and his Liberal Social gathering included marijuana legalization of their 2015 marketing campaign platform.

Beginning with Colorado and Washington in 2012, 9 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana for grownup use.  As detailed in a current DPA report, From Prohibition to Progress: A Standing Report on Marijuana Legalization, the proof up to now exhibits that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled U.S. states to efficiently set security requirements, limit youth entry, and enact laws that restrict the potential harms of marijuana use. Constructing on these constructive outcomes, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and quite a few different states are at the moment contemplating legislative proposals to legalize marijuana.

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Tuesday Press Convention: New Mexicans’ Help for Taxing and Regulating Hashish Like Alcohol Continues to Improve; New Polling Information to be Launched

SANTA FE – On Tuesday, Might 22nd, new polling information about New Mexican’s attitudes in the direction of adjustments in hashish coverage will probably be launched throughout a press occasion on the State Capitol.  Outcomes present help for hashish legalization reaches a brand new excessive. Brian Sanderoff, from Analysis and Polling, Inc., will current the 2018 polling outcomes.

This occasion will embody remarks from Consultant Javier Martinez who, together with Rep. McCamley, Rep. Maestas, Rep. Armstrong, and Rep. Rubio, launched Home Invoice 312 within the 2018 legislative session.  HB312 is a complete invoice taxing and regulating hashish.  The invoice contains essential provisions that: give native jurisdictions native management by permitting them to opt-out of promoting hashish; shield our youth and public security together with allocating funding to help legislation enforcement companies to find out impairment whereas driving; help an area and sustainable business that protects the environment; present employee and employer protections; allocate funding for a neighborhood reinvestment venture to deal with the harms prohibition of hashish has had on low-income and communities of colour; and, shield medical hashish sufferers and program.

“In terms of hashish legalization in New Mexico, it’s not a matter of if, however when,” acknowledged Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico State Director of the Drug Coverage Alliance. “New Mexicans see this as a chance to help New Mexico’s financial system, the wellbeing of our youngsters, and wholesome communities, whereas repairing a number of the harms of mass incarceration which have fallen hardest on Hispanic/Latino, Black and Native folks.”

At the moment, 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for grownup use.

Earlier this yr, the Drug Coverage Alliance launched a brand new report, From Prohibition to Progress: A Standing Report on Marijuana Legalization, that exhibits how and why hashish legalization is working to date. The report finds that states are saving cash and defending the general public by comprehensively regulating hashish for grownup use. There have been dramatic decreases in hashish arrests and convictions, saving states tens of millions of and stopping the criminalization of hundreds of individuals. Youth hashish use has remained secure in states which have legalized. Entry to authorized hashish is related to reductions in a number of the most troubling harms related to opioid use, together with opioid overdose deaths and untreated opioid use issues. DUI arrests for driving beneath the affect, of alcohol and different medicine, have declined in Colorado and Washington, the primary two states to legalize hashish. On the identical time, states are exceeding their marijuana income estimates and filling their coffers with a whole bunch of tens of millions of .

Who:

  • Consultant Javier Martinez, District 11 (Bernalillo)
  • Brian Sanderoff, Analysis and Polling, Inc.
  • Emily Kaltenbach, State Director, Drug Coverage Alliance
  • Duke Rodriguez, President/CEO, Extremely Well being

What: Polling information launch + press availability with legislators and drug coverage reform advocates
When: Tuesday, Might 22, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
The place: Room 305, State Capitol Bldg., Santa Fe, NM

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