“Whose Warfare on Medicine? #BHeard City Corridor, Offered by BRIC to Deal with America’s Longest Warfare

On Could 23rd, BRIC will likely be internet hosting a big neighborhood occasion titled, Whose Warfare On Medicine? A #BHeard City Corridor. The occasion is free and will likely be held on the BRIC Home, 647 Fulton Avenue from 6:30 to eight:30 p.m..

The occasion will deliver collectively stakeholders, thought leaders and Brooklyn’s communities to actually problem the concept behind America’s longest-running battle, asking: Who advantages from the drug battle? How can we start to reverse the collateral injury to our communities? And the way can we bridge the hole between public well being and the prison justice system?

A stay panel dialogue will likely be led by:

  • Kassandra Frederique – New York State Director, Drug Coverage Alliance
  • Eric Gonzalez –  Kings County District Lawyer
  • Dr. Hillary Kunins – Asst. Commissioner, Dept. of Well being and Psychological Hygiene
  • Tom Robbins – Contributing Author, The Marshall Undertaking
  • Chino Hardin – Discipline Coordinator, The Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Options

On the occasion, the Drug Coverage Alliance will showcase Secure Form, a pop up exhibit that permits guests to expertise what a safer consumption area seems to be like. The exhibit is supposed to demystify what the amenities are and the providers obtainable for folks whereas educating communities about hurt discount and different health-based approaches to addressing problematic drug use. As guests stroll via the exhibit, they expertise a clear desk, mirror, good lighting, syringe disposal case, and sterile injecting gear, in addition to an knowledgeable attendant to reply questions on how the amenities work and the way they provide wrap-around providers like drug therapy referrals, data on the best way to entry healthcare and insurance coverage, and extra.

Mayor Invoice de Blasio made nationwide information earlier this month when he introduced his assist for safer consumption areas as a technique to fight the overdose disaster. The Mayor’s plan requires 4 websites to open after a 6-to-12-month interval of outreach to the communities the place they are going to be situated. They might function as pilot applications for a 12 months.

Overdose Prevention Facilities would doubtless be co-sited with current applications that have interaction individuals who use medication, reminiscent of syringe change applications. There are discussions concerning the facilities being situated in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. Skilled workers could be obtainable to manage naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug, and referrals to therapy and counseling.

The Mayor’s assist follows years of advocacy by community-based teams, people who find themselves immediately affected, religion leaders, medical professionals, therapy suppliers, housing service suppliers, and Metropolis Council members who’ve referred to as for New York Metropolis to implement safer consumption areas as a confirmed public well being intervention to save lots of lives.

Word to press: The Secure Form exhibit will likely be in BRIC’s TV studio earlier than and after the City Corridor. Media availability 5 to six:30 p.m.

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Mayor Invoice de Blasio to Instruct NYPD to Cease Arresting New Yorkers for Marijuana

Assertion from the Drug Coverage Alliance and VOCAL-NY attributable to Kassandra Frederique (Drug Coverage Alliance) and Jeremy Saunders (VOCAL-NY)

The Every day Information is reporting that New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice De Blasio is creating an official job pressure to organize for when marijuana is legalized in New York and also will direct the NYPD to cease arresting individuals for marijuana; each public burning and low-level possession will obtain summonses solely underneath the coverage shift.

Under is an announcement from the Drug Coverage Alliance and VOCAL-NY.

“After many years of community-led efforts to scale back the harms attributable to racially-biased enforcement of marijuana prohibition, New York Metropolis seems poised to take one other step ahead to curb arrests additional. It’s important that the brand new NYPD coverage on marijuana–which Mayor de Blasio has so far not shared publicly–cannot embody carve outs primarily based on, for instance, prison file, or parole/probation standing; doesn’t present police with imprecise discretionary authority to arrest for “public security” justifications; and corrects quite than exacerbates the present concentrating on of Black and Latino New Yorkers by NYPD for marijuana summonses. With the Metropolis lastly acknowledging that implementing marijuana prohibition is futile, and strain from advocates to handle the legacy of racial disparities from enforcement, it’s the Metropolis’s responsibility to systematically handle the harms and collateral penalties of previous marijuana arrests – by file sealing and restoration of rights – and to make sure that implementation consists of revisions of regressive marijuana insurance policies at different Metropolis businesses comparable to NYCHA and Administration for Kids’s Providers (ACS).”    

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Saturday 5/19: Free Reside Scan Occasion at Akoma Unity Heart to Assist Individuals Get A Copy of Their Prison File

In an effort to assist individuals cut back or clear their prior marijuana convictions, the Drug Coverage Alliance is internet hosting a free reside scan occasion in San Bernardino in order that residents can receive free copies of their prison information. This occasion is sponsored in partnership with the Workplace of Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes, All of Us or None, Authorized Providers for Prisoners with Youngsters, and Beginning Over Inc. Acquiring a replica of 1’s prison document is important to start the document change course of.

The reside scan occasion might be on Saturday, Might 19th, at Akoma Unity Heart in San Bernardino. A full authorized clinic might be held in San Bernardino on June 23 to assist attendees clear their information.

California’s marijuana legalization regulation permits individuals to retroactively cut back or clear marijuana convictions for exercise that’s now authorized or much less severely punished since Proposition 64 handed in 2016. To make sure that individuals are given the chance to clear or cut back these and different convictions, it’s essential that they be given an opportunity to acquire a replica of their document.

What:             Free Reside Scan Occasion to Acquire Copy of Prison File
When:            Saturday, Might 19th, 2018, 10:30am – 2:30pm PDT
The place:           Akoma Unity Heart
                           1367 North California Avenue
                           San Bernardino, California 92411

“Accessing a replica of 1’s prison document is a small however usually troublesome step to finish earlier than an individual can clear or cut back previous convictions,” mentioned Rodney Holcombe, a workers legal professional for the Drug Coverage Alliance. “The method could be complicated to navigate, and the related prices are fairly excessive. That’s why it’s crucial that we host reside scan occasions forward of our authorized clinics in order that this burden is lifted from the shoulders of individuals who wish to change their information and lives.”

Within the state of California, there are four,800 obstacles to housing, employment, and citizenship that exist for somebody with a prison document. Lowering or expunging prior convictions, together with prior marijuana convictions, removes 1000’s of obstacles that permit individuals to totally reenter their group and society. It’s not simple to scale back or dismiss prior convictions with out first acquiring one’s document, so these occasions are important to successfully implement the document change provisions of Prop. 64.

The retroactive penalty discount provisions of Prop. 64 have been a precedence for the Drug Coverage Alliance when the initiative was drafted. DPA and its companions have hosted dozens of reside scan occasions and expungement gala’s to assist a whole lot of individuals get copies of their information and to have their information modified. These gala’s have generated intensive media protection throughout the state of California – and even nationally within the Los Angeles Instances and Washington Submit – and have helped this situation achieve momentum on a systemic degree. Earlier this yr, San Francisco’s district legal professional introduced that town will clear or cut back 1000’s of marijuana convictions relationship again a long time. Seattle then made the same announcement the next week. A number of weeks later, the Sonoma County district legal professional’s workplace mentioned it’s going to start clearing or decreasing practically three,000 marijuana-related convictions.

Individuals on the lookout for extra data on the way to get their information diminished or expunged can discover out extra on the Drug Coverage Alliance’s web site.

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Marijuana Legalization Approaching Tipping Level in New York

Extreme racial disparities in marijuana arrests and requires marijuana legalization are producing an avalanche of stories in New York.

The Drug Coverage Alliance is at present main a marketing campaign, Begin SMART New York, to legalize marijuana in New York for grownup use, with a concentrate on racial, social and financial justice. We can be found to touch upon the quite a few tales being talked about proper now, together with:

  • Entrance web page NY Occasions Story: extreme racial disparities in marijuana arrests proceed in NYC
  • NYC Speaker Corey Johnson and Rev. Sharpton press convention at the moment about legalizing marijuana
  • District Attorneys of Manhattan and Brooklyn weighing plans to cease prosecuting the overwhelming majority of individuals arrested on marijuana costs
  • NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s new examine taking a look at financial advantages of legalizing marijuana in New York: tax income projected at $ 1.three billion statewide
  • The NY Democrats plan to return out in assist of marijuana legalization
  • NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s new examine taking a look at financial advantages of legalizing marijuana in New York: tax income projected at $ 1.three billion statewide

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

“The conversations about overpolicing of marijuana in primarily communities of shade and the financial potential that legalization represents are clearly intertwined. The best way by which New York legalizes marijuana should be attentive to our legacy because the marijuana arrest capital of the world. With tax income estimates of greater than $ 1 billion, New York policymakers should prioritize repairing the harms brought on by prohibition in committees of shade throughout the state, because the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act proposes.

“The latest NY Occasions investigation highlights once more what a number of stories from the Drug Coverage Alliance have proven: the enforcement of marijuana prohibition has been carried out in a systemically biased means that has had devastating results on communities throughout New York State, primarily these of shade and low-income communities. Prohibition enforcement has saddled a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals with prison data that yield vital collateral penalties for them—and their families–including restricted entry to housing, employment, and training alternatives.

“Marijuana prohibition has additionally been a justification for a drastic improve in policing actions in sure communities. Ending marijuana prohibition and establishing a system to tax and regulate marijuana for grownup use is the sensible alternative for New York communities as a result of it’ll alleviate one of many greatest causes of detrimental interactions with regulation enforcement. Legalizing marijuana may also present a possibility, because of the income it’ll generate, for the communities which were most devastated to begin to restore the harms of the drug struggle.

“As NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s just-released examine exhibits, legalizing marijuana for adults over the age of 21 is a sound financial funding for the state of New York. Within the states with current regulated markets, beforehand static economies have skilled a brand new small enterprise increase, job progress, and advantages to all kinds of ancillary industries. Given the Comptroller’s findings that almost all of marijuana consumed in New York is exterior of NYC, a regulated marijuana market may additionally present alternatives for small companies in small cities throughout the state to domesticate a enterprise mannequin that isn’t reliant on entry to giant quantities of capital however is as a substitute depending on native assets and entrepreneurs’ personal ingenuity and creativity.

“Crucially, regulating this business with provisions to make sure variety in licensing and employment represents a essential first step towards repairing the harms of the drug struggle and assuaging the disproportionate burden that communities of shade have borne in consequence.”

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After Historic Announcement of Mayor de Blasio’s Help of Safer Consumption Areas (SCS), Neighborhood Shifts Consideration and Strain to Governor Cuomo

Drug Coverage Activists and Neighborhood Members Rally Exterior Governor Cuomo’s NYC Workplace to Demand Pressing Motion on Overdose Prevention

New York, NY: A coalition of activists, service suppliers, and drug coverage reformers will rally exterior Governor Cuomo’s New York Metropolis Workplace to demand that New York State Division of Well being take pressing motion to assist safer consumption areas as a life-saving technique.

Audio system will give attention to 2017 being the deadliest 12 months for overdoses in New York Metropolis historical past, and the way they’ll preserve stress on the state till DOH takes motion. After the prolonged marketing campaign for Mayor de Blasio to launch the long-awaited supervised consumption areas feasibility research, the coalition is ready to make use of the identical ways that ushered town’s historic announcement to garner state unity on this public well being intervention.

Nearly two weeks in the past, the Mayor got here out in assist of safer consumption areas (SCS) after years of neighborhood advocacy and up to date months of stress. One of many benchmarks to implementing SCS put forth by the Mayor is the State Division of Well being, which solutions to Governor Andrew Cuomo, formally approving the 4 proposed pilot applications. Over two weeks in the past, town despatched a letter to the state defining its intention to open these websites. The State Division of Well being Commissioner Dr. Zucker has but to return or reply to the letter despatched by town.

What: Rally to Urge Governor Cuomo to Reply Instantly to SCS
When: Wednesday, Might 16th at 12 pm
The place: Cuomo’s NYC Workplace–633 third Ave, New York, NY 10017

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Entrance Web page NY Instances Story: Extreme Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests Proceed in NYC

A significant investigation by the New York Instances discovered continued racial disparities in marijuana enforcement and arrests in each neighborhood within the Metropolis.

The Instances discovered, “Throughout town, black individuals have been arrested on low-level marijuana fees at eight occasions the speed of white, non-Hispanic individuals over the previous three years. Hispanic individuals have been arrested at 5 occasions the speed of white individuals. In Manhattan, the hole is even starker: Black individuals there have been arrested at 15 occasions the speed of white individuals.”

The Instances additionally debunked the NYPD rationalization for the disparities, which the police attribute to extra 311 and 911 complaints in sure neighborhoods.

“New York’s marijuana arrest campaign is inflicting vital harms to the Metropolis’s most susceptible communities and has lengthy been used as a justification for the hyper-policing of communities of shade,” mentioned Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director for the Drug Coverage Alliance.  “NYPD is funneling tens of 1000’s of New Yorkers into the maze of the felony justice system yearly and placing individuals susceptible to deportation, dropping custody of their youngsters, and barring them from employment and housing – all for nothing greater than a small quantity of marijuana.”
 
“Given New York’s embarrassing historical past because the marijuana arrest capital of the world, we should deal with repairing the harms of prohibition and ending the biased policing practices which have ruined the lives of so many younger Black and Latino New Yorkers. Finally, the easiest way to handle the disparities and challenges posed by prohibition is to create a system to tax and regulate marijuana that can reinvest in communities which have been most harmed by the marijuana arrest campaign,” Frederique continued.

DPA has constantly documented the NYPD’s racist marijuana enforcement over the previous decade, together with the discharge of a number of stories.

DPA is at present main a marketing campaign, Begin Sensible New York, to cross marijuana legalization in New York, with a deal with racial, social and financial justice.

Final week, Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Liz Krueger have been joined by organizations and teams devoted to felony justice reform, civil rights, and public well being as they stood in assist of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), a invoice that may legalize the manufacturing, distribution, and use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. The invoice would successfully finish marijuana prohibition in New York State and would create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a way much like alcohol.

The laws additionally ensures tax income generated from marijuana legalization is put to make use of repairing communities devastated by harsh enforcement of prohibition by directing income to fund job coaching, grownup training, youth improvement programming, set up or develop neighborhood facilities, bolster re-entry providers for the previously incarcerated, and in any other case assist community-focused programming in communities which have been disproportionately impacted by the drug conflict, along with training, public well being, and drug remedy.

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Could 11: Free Convention in Binghamton Will Discover Efficient Responses to Opioid Overdose in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier

New York (Binghamton) –Opioid overdose charges have elevated all through New York State since 2006, and overdose is now the main explanation for unintended loss of life. Drug use has affected all communities throughout New York, however most of our drug coverage, schooling, and therapy companies, give attention to city areas. In actual fact:

 

  • The variety of opioid-related deaths in rural counties in New York State has elevated by 295%
  • The opioid loss of life charge in rural New York has elevated by 332%
  • Charges of heroin-related deaths, particularly in suburban and rural counties in New York, have elevated by 442% since 2012.

On Friday, Could 11th, greater than 150 advocates, companies suppliers, medical professionals, and different consultants will come collectively at a free day-long conference and technique session in Binghamton entitled, Drug use in Upstate New York: Methods for Change and Lowering the Harms.

 

This occasion is especially well timed as there may be unprecedented momentum constructing in Ithaca and New York Metropolis for life-saving supervised consumption areas and on the flip facet, comes on the heels of a number of senators from the area passing a slate of draconian payments targeted on increasing criminalization and enforcement methods.

 

“As charges of opioid overdose proceed to climb in Upstate New York, communities want methods for addressing drug use which are conscious of distinctive regional wants, assets, and challenges. That mentioned, the proof is obvious about what works in communities of all sizes: centering public well being not criminalization,” mentioned Kassandra Frederique, New York state director on the Drug Coverage Alliance. “New York is in a novel place to step up and implement revolutionary drug insurance policies rooted in science, compassion, and public well being quite than punitive approaches. By bringing collectively such a wide selection of consultants, this convention guarantees to generate vital options that may assist save lives.”

  

Co-hosted by Binghamton College’s Institute for Justice and Properly-Being and the Drug Coverage Alliance, the convention will present an outline of the issues surrounding drug use in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier.

Present conversations surrounding opioid use doesn’t handle the distinct challenges suburban and rural drug customers’ expertise, reminiscent of gaps inside companies, transportation, and lack of entry to service suppliers.

“Fact Pharm has been advocating for drug person well being, hurt discount and an finish to the criminalizing of substance customers within the Southern Tier. We’ve been tireless in our efforts to show the discrimination of medical suppliers in direction of substance customers, the gaps in companies, situations on the jail, the racial divide in our space and the wrestle of households making an attempt to acquire efficient assist for his or her family members. Sadly, we are sometimes left to easily assist the households who lose their family members as a consequence of a damaged system with no choices past complete abstinence. We’re excited and grateful our allies are coming to assist our name for ahead considering and efficient lifesaving measures,” mentioned Alexis Pleus, Govt Director of Fact Pharm.

Panelists will converse to those points and focus on a variety of methods to tailor prevention, hurt discount, and therapy for rural settings, reminiscent of implementing cell well being and social companies. 

 

Panelists and attendees will generate finest practices for decreasing harms related to drug use in suburban and rural areas, methods for transferring native coverage change ahead, and focus on the function of the legal justice system in relation to drug use. Attendees will even have the chance to work in small, regional teams and develop native methods and concrete plans for serving to individuals who use medicine of their communities. 

 

Through the facilitated regional breakouts, consultants will sit with teams and workshop methods for distinct circumstances of represented communities. Specialists offering assist will vary from numerous backgrounds, together with housing, drugs, hurt discount, legislation enforcement, and coverage.

 

The occasion is free, however members should pre-register right here.

 

The Drug Coverage Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s main drug coverage reform group and fights for drug insurance policies based mostly on science, compassion, well being and human rights.

 

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Advocates Demand Marijuana Legalization in New York Concentrate on Racial and Financial Justice

Albany —Advocates assembled within the state capitol in the present day to induce state Legislators and the Governor to maneuver on marijuana reform and emphasize that marijuana legalization stays a social, racial, and financial justice problem.

Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Liz Krueger had been joined by organizations and teams devoted to legal justice reform, civil rights, and public well being as they stood in help of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), a invoice that might legalize the manufacturing, distribution, and use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. The invoice would successfully finish marijuana prohibition in New York State and would create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a way just like alcohol.

“New York households have suffered for too lengthy from the damaging results of marijuana prohibition. Closely racialized enforcement has meant that African American and Latino communities have borne the brunt of this misguided coverage, with younger folks locked up in jail, and locked out of jobs, housing, and training. Permitting grownup private use, with applicable regulation and taxation, is the type of sensible, accountable, fact-based drug coverage that our communities desperately want,” stated Senator Liz Krueger.

“It’s about time for New York to revisit our marijuana insurance policies. Regardless of heightened rhetoric on the difficulty over the previous couple of years, our legal guidelines haven’t modified since 1977. Persons are nonetheless being arrested for low-level possession daily — and younger black and brown New Yorkers are getting arrested at alarming charges. It is mindless to be having this dialogue whereas so many are nonetheless being harmed by our outdated drug legal guidelines. Prohibition should finish.” stated Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “Not solely have these arrests created an excessive amount of hurt in communities throughout the state and stunted development alternatives for generations however we’re additionally lacking out on an enormous financial growth alternative. I feel people are beginning to see and agree that prohibition has failed. I’m most desirous about ensuring that we modify course in a accountable means and that we work to restore among the hurt that prohibition has brought on by reinvesting in communities.”

9 states and the District of Columbia have now ended marijuana prohibition of their jurisdictions. These states have diminished their general court docket filings of marijuana associated offenses by 94%. They’ve utilized the much-needed income to rebuild crumbling infrastructure, help training, and put money into communities. And a rising physique of analysis factors to how entry to authorized marijuana is usually a highly effective software for decreasing opioid overdoses—with 25 % drops in overdose deaths in states with authorized frameworks for marijuana. 

“We have to transfer past our utterly damaged prohibition mannequin on marijuana to a smart tax-and-regulate mannequin,” stated Meeting Well being Committee Chair Richard Gottfried. “It’s well known that marijuana is much less dangerous than alcohol and our regulation is dishonest in how we deal with it.  Continued criminalization of marijuana doesn’t forestall marijuana use.  It creates an unlawful drug market that prices tens of millions of in regulation enforcement and different assets whereas disproportionately affecting minority communities.”

“The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act would handle one of the ineffective and costly insurance policies in our State, which has solely served to criminalize communities like those I characterize,” stated State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Legal guidelines surrounding marijuana are outdated and are costing New Yorkers their freedom and our State cash. I’m proud to affix Senator Krueger and the two out of three New Yorkers who help pushing for legalization in order that we will make investments that new income the place we’d like it probably the most.”

As states throughout the country–and notably the Northeast–continue to reform their marijuana coverage, elevated strain is on New York to legalize. A rising variety of elected officers from throughout the state have publicly voiced their help for legalization and the Governor has begun to check the difficulty. Advocates emphasised the necessity for reform be rooted in racial and financial justice—not solely a money seize—and highlighted that legalization should middle those that have been impacted.

The MRTA consists of efforts to restore the numerous harm performed to communities below prohibition, reminiscent of sealing low-level marijuana arrests and convictions, eradicating a constructive marijuana take a look at as justification for violating an individual’s parole or probation association, and eliminating marijuana use or a previous arrest as a justification for denying an individual entry to employment or licensing alternatives.

“Regardless of a big drop in marijuana busts, the overwhelming majority of these arrested are Black and Latino. Surveys present that the utilization of marijuana is similar between minorities and Whites but, there are big racial disparities between the 2. The legalization of marijuana is the start to finish of the biased criminalization of minorities in New York,” stated Assemblymember Latrice Walker.

“The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is lengthy overdue and provides New York a possibility to steer in legal justice reform as we rank second within the nation within the variety of marijuana arrests, a deplorable statistic that’s paying homage to the battle on medicine. Low-level marijuana offenses disproportionately impacts Black and Latino communities and unnecessarily leaves a everlasting stain on oftentimes first-time, non-violent offenders’ information. I strongly urge my colleagues and New York residents to help this common sense laws that can save the state tens of millions of in enforcement and assist to rebuild lives. ” stated Assemblymember Michael Blake.

Advocates launched the Begin SMART NY marketing campaign (Wise Marijuana Entry by way of Regulated Commerce) in help of the MRTA laws final yr and pointed to their efforts as a key purpose for the elevated dialogue of the difficulty, together with the groundswell of public help. Public opinion polls present two-thirds of New Yorkers favor legalizing marijuana for grownup use within the state.

The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers acknowledge the advantages of legalizing leisure use of marijuana by adults. For many years, the impacts of enforcement have fallen disproportionately on black, brown and poor New Yorkers, tearing aside communities with over-incarceration, lack of jobs, housing, and even custody of 1’s personal kids. The Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act wouldn’t simply profit the state financial system — it’s designed to learn the communities which have suffered most below criminalization,” stated Erika Lorshbough, New York Civil Liberties Union.

“We help the Begin SMART NY marketing campaign to finish marijuana prohibition in New York and transfer towards a framework centered round repairing the previous harms disproportionately visited upon communities of colour and bringing public security and neighborhood constructing. We stand with Drug Coverage Alliance, defenders, and neighborhood teams in calling for an finish of a racially unjust system of marijuana prohibition and for the dedication of reinvestment into these most impacted by this type of policing,” stated Anthony Posada, Group Justice Unit,

The Authorized Assist Society.

The laws additionally ensures tax income generated from marijuana legalization is put to make use of repairing communities devastated by harsh enforcement of prohibition by directing income to fund job coaching, grownup training, youth growth programming, set up or develop neighborhood facilities, bolster re-entry companies for the previously incarcerated, and in any other case help community-focused programming in communities which were disproportionately impacted by the drug battle, along with training, public well being, and drug therapy.

To extend range in possession throughout the marijuana trade, the MRTA requires entities that obtain a license to stipulate particular actions they are going to take to supply a workforce that resembles the neighborhood through which the license is used, in step with New York’s Minority and Ladies-Owned Companies initiative.

“New York’s marijuana arrest campaign has resulted in vital harms for many who are most weak and has been used as a justification for the hyper-policing of communities of colour. Over the past 20 years, greater than 800,000 lives had been irrevocably broken by our draconian marijuana arrest insurance policies. As New York lastly sheds its embarrassing distinction of being the marijuana arrest capital of the world, we should restore the harms of prohibition and finish the biased policing practices which have ruined the lives of so many younger Black and Latino New Yorkers,” stated Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director for the Drug Coverage Alliance. “In the end, one of the best ways to deal with the disparities and challenges posed by prohibition is to legalize and regulate marijuana in New York.”

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TUESDAY Press Convention: Advocates Demand Marijuana Legalization in New York Give attention to Racial and Financial Justice

ALBANY, N.Y. –  On Might eight, a coalition of neighborhood advocates led by Drug Coverage Alliance will be part of Senator Liz Krueger (D-New York Metropolis) and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) to push the Legislature and the Governor to move the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA, S.3040B/A.3506B), which might legalize marijuana for grownup use. The Begin SMART NY marketing campaign (SMART stands for Smart Marijuana Entry via Regulated Commerce) is the main voice for marijuana reform within the state and believes that marijuana legalization supplies a major alternative to enact significant social, racial, and financial justice insurance policies.

Marijuana legalization is coming to New York. At the moment, 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for grownup use. Regulated markets have been established and opened in six of these states, with Massachusetts and Vermont coming quickly. Jurisdictions bordering New York, together with New Jersey, Connecticut, and Canada, are all working to move legalization measures. Current endorsements by state and federal lawmakers, spurred by important public assist, display that New York might be among the many subsequent states to legalize marijuana for grownup use.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act supplies a framework for legalizing marijuana in a manner that can uplift communities and make sure that New York’s hashish trade is various and inclusive. The invoice would set up a authorized marketplace for marijuana in New York, create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a way just like alcohol for adults over the age of 21, search to restore harms of prohibition by addressing previous prison convictions, and reinvest assets in communities which were most impacted by the drug warfare.

Study extra at Begin SMART NY.

What:               Press Convention for Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act

 

When:              2 pm, Tuesday, Might eight, 2018

 

Who:                Senator Liz Krueger (D-NYC), invoice prime sponsor

Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo), invoice prime sponsor

Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx)

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-NYC)

Assemblymember Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn)

Begin SMART NY coalition:

  • Kassandra Frederique, Drug Coverage Alliance
  • David Schermerhorn, VOCAL-NY
  • India Walton, Open Buffalo
  • Anthony Posada, Authorized Assist Society
  • Jared Chausow, Brooklyn Defenders Providers
  • Erika Lorshbough, New York Civil Liberties Union         

                                           People immediately impacted by marijuana prohibition

The place: Senate Chambers, New York State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224

 

Begin SMART NY is a marketing campaign to finish marijuana prohibition and restore the harms to communities convened by the Drug Coverage Alliance in partnership with teams devoted to ending marijuana prohibition.

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Fentanyl: The Newest Deadly Injection Cocktail Ingredient?

Capital punishment in the United States has been thrown into a tailspin recently, as a nationwide shortage of the medications required for lethal injections has forced some states to explore alternative methods of execution.

One of the alternatives being considered? The synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

A Closer Look at Fentanyl

As an implement of execution, fentanyl does have some obvious advantages.

  • #1 – Fentanyl is extremely potent.

    The synthetic opioid is 50 times more powerful than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine, and even one milligram – a grain about the size of a single piece of sea salt – is enough to cause an overdose.

  • #2 – Fentanyl is readily available.

    Doctors frequently use it during surgery or prescribe it to late-stage cancer patients. Illegal fentanyl isn’t too difficult to find either. According to data from the National Forensic Laboratory Information System, confiscations, or seizures of fentanyl increased by nearly seven times from 2012 to 2014.

The Capital Punishment Debate

Not everyone’s on board with the use of an opioid in lethal injections, however.

Joel Zigot, a professor of anesthesiology and surgery at Emory University, tells The Washington Post, “There’s no medical or scientific basis for any of it. It’s just a series of attempts: obtain certain drugs, try them out on prisoners, and see if and how they die.”

A total of 31 death penalty states are currently exploring new methods of execution, as well as examining the traditional forms of capital punishment, such as the electric chair or firing squad. Mississippi has even approved the use of even nitrogen gas chambers.

Texas is among the states re-evaluating their options. It’s also the first state to carry out a sentence of death by lethal injection. This method uses intravenous delivery of a three-drug cocktail which includes:

  • An anesthetic or sedative to decrease anxiety
  • Pancuronium bromide to paralyze muscles used in breathing
  • Potassium chloride to stop the heart.

Over the past decade executions by lethal injection have significantly decreased due to the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to supply prisons with the necessary medications. Representatives for these businesses explain, they don’t want their products to be used to kill people or the negative press associated with this controversial issue. As a result, only 23 inmates were put to death in 2017 – the second-fewest executions in more than a quarter-century. Also, the inadequate supply is the driving force behind the search for alternative methods of execution.

Are Inmates Being Used as Guinea Pigs?

Nevada and Nebraska have already chosen to use fentanyl as their alternative form of lethal injection. These states plan to supply prison executioners with the potent opioid – a move that’s drawing criticism from opponents who call it a dangerous human experiment that puts inmates at serious risk.

“The use of fentanyl by states greatly heightens the risk of a botched – and therefore painful – execution in the ways that past execution drugs have demonstrated,” states Deborah Denno, an expert on lethal injection at Fordham University.

She goes on to explain, “Each new drug introduces yet another reckless exercise by states in selecting protocols based solely on their accessibility.”

Additional Reading:   The Human Rights Model of Drug Use and Drug Problems

Image Source: iStock

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First Injection Websites Will Open Their Doorways This Summer time

Will "safe" injection sites prevent fatal overdoses or encourage more IV drug use?

Will “safe” injection sites prevent fatal overdoses or encourage more IV drug use?

It’s a controversial subject. Both sides of the debate have significant support. Here’s the question:

Would we, as a nation, be better off with supervised injection sites?

They’ve been discussed, proposed, shot down, and encouraged in various parts of the country. Many wonder if these sites help curb the financial, criminal, and healthcare costs of the current opioid crisis in America.

Well…ready or not, here they come.

What is an SIS?

The first two supervised injection sites (SIS) in the U.S. are scheduled to open in San Francisco by summer of 2018. The project got the green light after years of persistent efforts by the city’s activists and a unanimous vote by the local health commission.

The SF Safe Injection Services Task Force offered a cost-benefit analysis that claims San Francisco will save $ 3.5 million dollars a year through the safe injection program.

Laura Thomas, California state director for Drug Policy Alliance, explains, “There are over 120 of these around the world at this point, and they all operate on the same basic idea. You show up; you check in; you use your drugs; you hang out for a while, interact with the staff and then go on your way.”

The supervised injection sites or “safe” sites will be able to serve an estimated 22,000 of the city’s IV drug users by offering services such as:

  • A safe place for people to use drugs
  • Access to hygiene supplies
  • Access to needle disposal boxes
  • Access to medically trained staff

Various staff members will be on site 24/7 to provide drug counseling and/or medical assistance in case of an emergency. Advocates hope the site will keep dirty needles off the streets and reduce the number of fatal overdoses in the city (currently about 100 per year).

All in Favor: Yay or Nay?

Of course, intravenous drug use is still against the law in San Francisco, so these sites will be privately funded, rather than government subsidized. Legislative efforts are currently underway in an attempt to protect those associated with the site from arrest, but they’ve yet to pass. Project developers say the danger of incarceration probably won’t stop the sites from opening.

These “safe” sites are extremely controversial, so the city may experience push-back from non-supporters. Although, a recent poll of 500 registered San Francisco voters revealed 67 percent of respondents were in favor of the project.

However, one undetermined factor could affect the level of support in the future: locations for the sites haven’t been identified. Once these are determined and announced, will the idea be just as popular? One has to wonder if a case of NIMBY (not in my back yard) might thwart site developers’ efforts.

Looks like we’ll find out this summer.

Additional Reading:   Does Data Show Supervised Injection Sites Save Lives?

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Mayor Invoice de Blasio to Deliver Protected Injection Websites to New York Metropolis

Mayor Invoice de Blasio has simply introduced that he’s shifting ahead with safer consumption areas as a method to fight the overdose disaster. The transfer follows years of advocacy by community-based teams, people who find themselves instantly affected, religion leaders, medical professionals, therapy suppliers, housing service suppliers, and Metropolis Council members who’ve referred to as for New York Metropolis to implement safer consumption areas as a confirmed public well being intervention to avoid wasting lives.  

Here’s a assertion Kassandra Frederique, New York state director on the Drug Coverage Alliance

“Mayor de Blasio’s embrace of safer consumption areas is a essential step ahead in stopping overdose deaths in New York Metropolis. We all know that safer consumption areas are an evidence-based resolution that may assist dramatically in saving lives, lowering criminalization, and bettering public well being,” stated Kassandra Frederique, New York state director on the Drug Coverage Alliance. “New York can and should be a frontrunner now in saving lives by opening safer consumption areas swiftly.”

Background:

Each seven hours, somebody dies of a drug overdose in New York Metropolis.

Almost 100 safer consumption areas exist world wide. They’ve been rigorously evaluated and proven to steeply scale back overdose deaths, HIV and viral hepatitis infections, and public dysfunction, and to extend entry to drug therapy and different healthcare. Hundreds of thousands of injections having taken place at a few of them, but not one overdose loss of life has been documented in these services.

Momentum for safer consumption areas is constructing throughout the nation, with officers in Philadelphia saying their plan to create Complete Consumer Engagement Websites (CUES), successfully safer consumption areas, at a press convention on January 23, 2018. Final 12 months, San Francisco’s metropolis well being officers stated they may doubtlessly open secure injection websites inside Eight-12 months. Kings County in Washington State has been authorised to open an SCS. Maryland, Vermont, California, Maine and Massachusetts have all launched laws to approve the websites. Past educational analysis, a rising physique of editorial boards and opinion items have highlighted the necessity: New York Occasions, Washington Publish, USA In the present day, US Information, Huffington Publish, Baltimore Solar, Seattle Occasions, Bloomberg Information, LA Occasions, The Nation, and the Boston Globe.

The  American Medical Affiliation (AMA) voted to assist the event of pilot safer consumption areas. The New York Academy of Medication and Massachusetts Medical Society additionally each publicly assist safer consumption areas, and the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation printed a evaluation of analysis supporting safer consumption areas. In April 2017, greater than 100 New York Metropolis healthcare professionals signed an open letter in assist of safer consumption areas, urging elected representatives to undertake them as a public well being intervention to stop overdose deaths.

See Finish Overdose NY for extra about safer consumption areas: http://endoverdoseny.com/safer-consumption-spaces.

For extra background on the marketing campaign for supervised injection services, go to www.SIFNYC.org.

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Trump’s Common Counsel for Drug Czar All of the sudden Dismissed

Lawrence Muir, the general counsel for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has been fired.

Lawrence Muir, the general counsel for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has been fired.

Lawrence Muir – also known as Chip – the acting chief of staff and general counsel for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was fired suddenly for unknown reasons, according to CNN.

This abrupt dismissal is the latest development in the Trump administration’s rather confusing approach to the opioid crisis.

Is Trump’s Dedication Questionable?

Muir’s departure comes at a time that the future of the agency is uncertain, despite President Donald Trump’s vow to make the opioid epidemic one of his administration’s top priorities. The Trump administration’s failure to propose a strategy has led many to question their commitment. Finally in October, he took a first step by declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

Trump’s announcement came after what seemed like years of pleading, campaigning, and lobbying from activists groups, public officials, families of those lost to overdose, and healthcare professionals. He stated, “We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.” Yet it took months before we saw action.

Before being fired, Muir was a political appointee with unfettered access to key White House meetings about the opioid epidemic. He’d been attempting to obtain a congressional reauthorization for the drug czar office – which has been slowly deteriorating over the years. Currently the agency has around 70 employees, but many staff members have reported feeling “concerned” about their future.

A source told CNN, “They’re either shutting us down or reducing us to atrophy, where we amount to zero,”. A counsellor at the White House, Kellyanne Conway, will still be involved in the administration’s efforts to deal with the crisis.

Too Little, Too Late?

However, this latest development has caused public concern about whether President Trump intends to put the full weight of the office he holds into tackling the opioid crisis. We’ve seen quadruple the number in deaths from overdose since 1999. Between 2000 and 2015, 50,000 Americans died of drug overdoses. In 2016, the number shot up to 64,000.

The acting Health and Human Services Secretary, Eric Hargan, announced in November President Trump will donate his third quarter salary to the Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to tackle the opioid epidemic. His donation will be used for a public awareness campaign – warning people about the dangers and risks of opioid dependency. Is it enough?

Let us know what you think about the issue. Sound off in the comments section below!

Additional Reading:   Trump’s Commission Offers 50 Ways to Reduce Addiction

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Councilmember Levin Joins Activists in Civil Disobedience to Voice their Anger on the Mayor’s Silence on SCS to Stop Overdose Deaths

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Could 2, 2018

 

Photographs from at the moment’s motion (Credit score: Melissa Moore, Drug Coverage Alliance)

Metropolis Councilmember Steve Levin and 10 activists have been arrested for blocking visitors on Broadway exterior Metropolis Corridor following a rally demanding that the Mayor launch the lengthy overdue Safer Consumption Areas (SCS) feasibility examine and are available out in help of SCS within the midst of a catastrophic overdose epidemic impacting the Metropolis.

“There’s a path we are able to take the place fewer of our neighbors,  our associates, and our members of the family lose their lives,” mentioned Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the Common Welfare Committee. “ That path is thru a critical dedication to hurt discount and safer consumption areas particularly. The drug warfare has failed. In its wake is a public well being disaster of super proportion. We now have a software that’s confirmed to extend entry to remedy and cut back deadly overdoses. We will take motion at the moment. Practically two years in the past, the Council commissioned a examine on safer consumption areas. At this time, our message to the administration is easy – launch the examine. Each seven hours, one other New Yorker loses their life to a drug overdose. Time isn’t on our facet – act now.”

“I see extra individuals dying of overdose than ever earlier than. It’s a disaster and both the Mayor is simply too afraid to behave or he simply doesn’t care,” mentioned Asia Betancourt, Group Chief at VOCAL-NY. “The scientific proof round SCS is evident—it saves lives and connects individuals to care. Why can’t he prioritize our lives over these political video games?” 

“In a second when New York State’s overdose disaster continues to grow–with overdose deaths killing extra New Yorkers than visitors accidents, homicides, and suicide combined–we want daring considering and motion,” mentioned Kassandra Frederique, New York State director of the Drug Coverage Alliance. “If we need to save lives, cut back criminalization, and finish racial disparities, we want complete, revolutionary, and forward-thinking approaches like safer consumption areas. New York is in a novel place to step up and implement revolutionary drug insurance policies rooted in science, compassion, and public well being as we did with syringe exchanges earlier than. It’s time for Mayor de Blasio to take motion to save lots of lives instantly.”

Particulars: For over three months, activists and advocates have held actions and teach-ins, attended city halls, rallied elected officers in help, and met with Metropolis Corridor to induce Mayor de Blasio to launch the feasibility examine commissioned by the Metropolis Council in 2016. The Mayor has repeatedly said that SCS are very “complicated,” together with his latest statements suggesting his concern on this situation lies with managing regulation enforcement Mayor de Blasio has not spoken publicly concerning the important physique of analysis exhibiting SCS to be a profoundly profitable public well being intervention which have the potential to save lots of hundreds of lives.

Because the Mayor delays, New Yorkers are dying of overdose at a regarding price: 1,374 individuals died of overdose in New York Metropolis in 2016, and our metropolis is on observe for a rise in 2017, marking the sixth yr of will increase.

A wide selection of public figures vocally help safer consumption areas and have known as on the Mayor to not solely launch the feasibility examine but additionally implement them instantly in NYC: former Mayor David Dinkins, considered one of Mayor de Blasio’s mentors;  Metropolis Council Speaker Corey Johnson; Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the Common Welfare Committee; Council Member Diana Ayala, Chair of the Psychological Well being, Disabilities, and Dependancy Committee; Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Well being Committee Former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields; and the New York Instances Editorial Board. Moreover, key NYC officers have signaled their help, with Well being Commissioner Dr. Bassett stating, “I believe the general public well being literature is evident” and NYPD Commissioner O’Neill stating, “That is concerning the sanctity of human life, maintaining individuals protected, ensuring that folks keep alive.”

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Alcohol Poisoning: three Issues to Count on Throughout Your ER Go to

I was scared, but I drank too much and knew I needed to go to the ER.

I was scared, but I drank too much and knew I needed to go to the ER.

Several years ago, when I was first trying to get sober, I went on a terrible drinking binge. A really, really terrible one.

I drank around the clock for two solid weeks. I stopped eating. I reached for a beer as soon as I woke up and drank until I passed out. All I did was sit on the couch and drink while tears poured out of my eyes.

I was terrified of going to the hospital – I’d had some pretty bad experiences there – but I was even more frightened of brain damage caused by alcohol poisoning and too little food. So, I finally called a friend and asked him to take me to the emergency room.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made – one that literally saved my life.

Face Down Your Fears

The definition of alcohol poisoning is “the ingestion of a lethal or potentially lethal amount of alcohol.” Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflex. Without medical intervention, alcohol poisoning lead to coma and death.

If you’re drinking copious amounts of alcohol like I was, your chances of alcohol poisoning are high. Going to the hospital is a scary thought, but choosing not to go could lead to your death. While I can’t remove all your fears, I can help to shed some light on what happens when you go to the emergency room.

Let’s take a look at three things you can likely expect once you get there:

  • #1 – You will undergo a medical evaluation and a doctor will take steps to stabilize you.

    When you’ve been drinking a great deal, especially if you haven’t been eating very much, your body’s probably malnourished and dehydrated. Doctors will likely perform lab tests to check for any deficiencies, then give you IV fluids and other nutrients as needed. When I was in the emergency room, I remember my physician asking if I’d been taking a thiamine supplement. I thought it was an odd question at the time, but I later learned chronic alcoholism is linked to the development of Wernicke–Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS). WKS is caused by a severe acute deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) and can result in an inability to make new memories, permanent brain damage, and numerous other mental and physical effects.

  • #2 – You could be assessed by a mental health professional.

    If available on staff, a mental health professional may be called in to speak with you. He or she will likely ask if you feel suicidal or if you feel like hurting yourself or others. It’s important to be honest. No one is judging you; these people are professionals and it’s their job to help you. When I was in the hospital, I could honestly say that I didn’t want to harm myself – I was there because I wanted to live!

  • #3 – Your doctor may recommended that you to check into medical detox.

    Most hospitals have some kind of detox unit where patients are able to medically (and safely) cleanse their bodies of alcohol. Once there, medical staff will administer medications like Librium to lower your anxiety and minimize your risk of seizure. If you’ve been drinking a lot and for a long time, you probably already know it’s incredibly dangerous to go “cold turkey.”
    Most medical detox programs offer different levels of therapy. The one I went to frankly didn’t provide much one-on-one counseling, but they assured my medical safety as I detoxed off of alcohol. I kept telling myself I’d much rather be uncomfortable for a little while than to be dead. So don’t give up! You can do this.

Before You Go to the Hospital…

Before you go to the emergency room, make sure to let your significant other, parents, roommates, or neighbors know you’ll be gone for a few days. That way they can take care of any day-to-day needs things like notifying your job or pet care, and you can focus on healing.

It’s a scary move to make, but it’s the right one for your health. And remember, nothing matters more than saving your own life!

Additional Reading:   Are the Effects of Drinking Too Much Reversible?
Image Source: iStock

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Wednesday: Group Takes to the Streets in Response to Mayor de Blasio’s Stalled Launch of Safer Consumption House (SCS) Feasibility Examine

Mayor de Blasio Slated to Reply to Months of Stress from Advocates Calling for Safer Consumption Areas Amid Overdose Disaster in NYC

Metropolis Corridor, NY: A coalition of activists, service suppliers, and drug coverage reformers will take to the streets to escalate their marketing campaign for protected consumption areas, based mostly on the Mayor’s stalling on the discharge of the long-awaited safer consumption areas (SCS) feasibility research. The Mayor and the First Woman broke their promised April launch deadline, even after months of pledging that the Metropolis Council-commissioned report can be launched “quickly.”  Audio system will concentrate on the overwhelming proof in assist of SCS as a lifesaving intervention and the way the overdose disaster has had a devastating influence on their neighborhood.

What: Rally–Group Responds to Launch of the SCS Feasibility Examine 

The place: Broadway Entrance of Metropolis Corridor

When:  Might 2nd, 10 am

Particulars: For over three months, activists and advocates have held actions and teach-ins, attended city halls, rallied elected officers in assist, and met with Metropolis Corridor to induce Mayor de Blasio to launch the feasibility research commissioned by the Metropolis Council in 2016. The Mayor has repeatedly acknowledged that SCS are very “advanced,” together with his current statements suggesting his concern on this difficulty lies with managing legislation enforcement Mayor de Blasio has not spoken publicly concerning the important physique of analysis displaying SCS to be a profoundly profitable public well being intervention which have the potential to avoid wasting 1000’s of lives.

Because the Mayor delays, New Yorkers are dying of overdose at a regarding charge: 1,374 individuals died of overdose in New York Metropolis in 2016, and our metropolis is on monitor for a rise in 2017, marking the sixth 12 months of will increase.

A wide selection of public figures vocally assist safer consumption areas and have known as on the Mayor to not solely launch the feasibility research but in addition implement them instantly in NYC: former Mayor David Dinkins, one in all Mayor de Blasio’s mentors;  Metropolis Council Speaker Corey Johnson; Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the Normal Welfare Committee; Council Member Diana Ayala, Chair of the Psychological Well being, Disabilities, and Dependancy Committee; Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Well being Committee Former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields; and the New York Occasions Editorial Board. Moreover, key NYC officers have signaled their assist, with Well being Commissioner Dr. Bassett stating, “I feel the general public well being literature is obvious” and NYPD Commissioner O’Neill stating, “That is concerning the sanctity of human life, holding individuals protected, ensuring that individuals keep alive.”

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Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville, Atlantic Metropolis and Mainland-Pleasantville NAACP branches, the Atlantic County Coalition for a Secure Group and the Drug Coverage Alliance Host Discussion board on Marijuana Legalization and Racial Justice

Pleasantville, NJ—On Wednesday, April 25th, the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville, Atlantic Metropolis and Mainland-Pleasantville NAACP branches, the Atlantic County Coalition for a Secure Group and the Drug Coverage Alliance will host, “Set the Captive Free: Marijuana, Morality & Cash,” at 7:00 pm at Mount Zion Baptist Church (353 S. New Street, Pleasantville, NJ 08232).

Because the political debate round marijuana legalization heats up in New Jersey, the discussion board will focus why laws to legalize marijuana in New Jersey have to be honest and equitable and should restore previous harms to communities of coloration.

“America’s decades-long struggle on medication—a facade for a struggle on nonwhite and poor communities—has value New Jersey a whole lot of 1000’s of working folks and dozens of thousands and thousands of taxpayer .  Marijuana prohibition, which originated and stays a racialized concern, assured the disintegration of individuals’s lives, termination of their employment, discontinuation of their housing or court-ordered dislocation of youngsters,” mentioned Pastor Willie Dwayne Francois III, of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville. He continued “If hashish legalization will change into the regulation of New Jersey, we elevate an ethical crucial to the New Jersey legislatures to launch individuals with marijuana-related convictions, expunge their information and create financial alternatives that restore the hurt. The way forward for democracy is determined by the thorough follow of restorative justice for victims of failed draconian drug insurance policies.”

Atlantic Metropolis Councilman Kaleem Shabazz, president of the Atlantic Metropolis NAACP mentioned, “The query of marijuana laws is pregnant with a myriad of points impacting communities of coloration in New Jersey. If marijuana is to be legalized, we should discus with clear evaluation of social justice reform, legal justice disparities in arrests and incarceration, redress of individuals already sentenced. With out addressing and repairing the above considerations, the efforts to legalize will shortchange these most affected by the “struggle on medication” and adverse social situations throughout the state in communities of coloration. We should keep centered on query of social justice, fairness and reform.”

Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Coverage Alliance, agrees, “Till just lately, with the passage of Proposition 64 in California, marijuana legalization initiatives haven’t gone far sufficient to restore the harms of marijuana prohibition. What we’ve seen in California is what we wish to replicate right here in New Jersey. Legalization laws in New Jersey should embody computerized and retroactive expungement and resentencing, significant entry to the marijuana trade for folks of coloration, together with these with prior convictions, and funding of the tax income generated into these communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition.”

The discussion board will likely be facilitated by Kaleem Shabazz. Panelists embody:

  • Rev Willie Dwayne Francois III, Pastor, Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville
  • Bishop Robert F. Hargrove, Sr., Christ Care Unit Missionary Baptist Church and Cathedral of Sickerlville
  • Rev Timothy Jones, Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church of Newark
  • LaQuay Laun Juel, President and Normal Associate, Obsidian Elite Funding Affiliation
  • Roseanne Scotti, Esq., New Jersey State Director, Drug Coverage Alliance

Mount Zion Baptist Church is a historic church in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Mount Zion is a revolutionary household of religion, creativeness and compassion, created by God to reside lives of wholeness and authenticity, known as by God to embody the thoughts and ministry of Jesus, and commanded by God to liberate the world by love for all. The Atlantic Metropolis and Mainland-Pleasantville NAACP branches work to make sure the political, instructional, social, and financial equality of rights of all individuals and to get rid of race-based discrimination.  The Atlantic County Coalition for a Secure Group is a physique of group members and organizations devoted to enhancing and empowering residents to maintain protected communities in Atlantic Metropolis and Pleasantville.  The New Options Marketing campaign of the Drug Coverage Alliance has advocated for legal justice reforms in New Jersey for almost a decade. Truthful and equitable marijuana legalization is the following initiative in its marketing campaign to reform New Jersey’s damaged legal justice system. 

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Drug Testing: How Urine Samples Flip Into Massive Enterprise

How much money do unscrupulous treatment providers make off urine testing?

How much money do unscrupulous treatment providers make off urine testing?

Who knew that substance abuse would create a hot, new commodity for the American market? No, it’s not a new drug. The latest money-maker in addiction treatment circles is “liquid gold.”

With outlandish markups and more than a few fraudulent practices in play, urine drug testing has become quite the profitable business.

Analyzing a urine sample for drugs sounds like it should be a fairly simple, inexpensive process. With today’s technology, you can get a $ 20 kit at the pharmacy and find out if your teen smoked weed last night. Some tests are even cheaper. Why, then, if consumers can get a urine test for less than the cost of lunch, are some labs charging upwards of $ 4,000 per test?

Because they can.

These “entrepreneurs” have found a way to make a buck (or a lot of bucks) off addiction and recovery, and they’re milking it for every possible cent.

Insurance, Fees and Double-Dipping

Insurance companies have begun to cut reimbursement rates in an attempt to moderate skyrocketing billing practices for drug testing. However, lab equipment sales reps report dozens of new facilities are popping up each month. It appears as the demand for urine drug screens grow, so do the number of unscrupulous people looking to turn a profit.

The profiteers in this business include lab owners, rehab facilities and healthcare providers. On the lab side, the site could charge as much as 25 times the government reimbursement rate for urine screens. Of course, private insurers may reimburse at higher rates, and when these carriers are willing to pay out, the cost continues to climb. Any cost not covered is then passed along to the patient. One father was shocked to receive a bill for $ 260,000 to cover dozens of drug tests performed by his son’s clinic and sober home.

It turns out, both the sober living home and clinic were sending samples to the same lab. Couldn’t these two entities share the results from one test? The bill also included charges for “confirmation” tests, which involve re-testing the urine with an additional machine to verify the absence of drugs in the sample. Was this really necessary? Often, these secondary tests look for drugs never used by the patient. At what point are labs performing analyses just for the sake of financial gain and not helping the patient?

Healthcare providers have also gotten in on this lucrative action. Keep in mind, for every test that’s ordered, a doctor must sign off on it. Some physicians bring in between $ 3,000 and $ 8,000 a month from the drug tests performed at just one clinic or sober home – and they often work with multiple facilities.

Rationalizations or Recovery?

Of course, these drug tests are more complex than the at-home kit from Walgreens. They’re more sensitive and can detect a wider variety of substances at smaller amounts. Still, something seems shady about the immense profit margin for these tests. At current rates, a single urine drug screen can cost more than a day of therapy. This structure seems broken. It raises the questions:

  • Are resources going where they will truly help people in recovery?
  • If we look at recovery solely as “big business,” how can we possibly focus on the treatment patients need?
  • Are we trying to help the millions struggling with substance abuse in this country, or do we simply want to cash in on their pain?

Additional Reading:   Medicare Forking Out Millions to Drug Test Seniors

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Apple

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