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?

Image Source: iStock

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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 .


  • 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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“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?

Image Source: iStock

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