The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of
the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie
Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the
The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House
voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.
Baker is expected to sign the measure, which would raise cannabis
taxes from what the ballot question envisioned, merge oversight of
recreational and medical marijuana, and change how cities and towns
can ban pot shops.
[continues 675 words]
The legislation proposed in Massachusetts wouldn't change the basic
marijuana rights of adults that the ballot question put in place.
The Massachusetts Legislature is advancing an overhaul of the
voter-passed marijuana legalization law Wednesday, when both chambers
are expected to accept a House-Senate compromise bill in the afternoon.
A final Senate vote, which would send the bill to the governor, is
scheduled for Thursday.
The legislation would change the legalization law passed by 1.8
million voters in November.
[continues 324 words]
Massachusetts companies cannot fire employees who have a prescription
for medical marijuana simply because they use the drug, the state's
highest court ruled Monday, rejecting arguments from employers that
they could summarily enforce strict no-drug policies against such patients.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants said a California
sales and marketing firm discriminated against an employee in its
Foxborough office who uses marijuana to treat Crohn's disease when it
fired her for flunking a drug test without first trying to reach an
accommodation with her.
[continues 723 words]
Representative Ronald Mariano, a Quincy Democrat and the majority
leader, spoke about the revisions to the marijuana law on Monday at
the State House.
The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to approve a broad overhaul
of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week after House
and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill Monday that would hike
marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops.
But the compromise immediately raised the specter of a serious legal
challenge, and the bill drew a rebuke from the top lobbyist for cities
and towns who said, should it pass, most municipalities would have
trouble implementing the law.
[continues 1007 words]
The compact mass spectrometer shows precisely what's in marijuana.
The compact, high-tech chemical sensors made by the Boston startup 908
Devices are used by emergency responders to scan for toxins after
industrial accidents, and by researchers in the pharmaceutical and
energy industries to profile the composition of drugs and petroleum
Now, the firm has unveiled a new sensor intended to give it a foothold
in a less conventional but fast-growing industry: commercial marijuana.
The sensor, dubbed the G908, is a countertop "push-button" mass
spectrometer designed to identify cannabis compounds. Its designers
say the device approaches the accuracy of traditional "gold standard"
lab equipment but is far smaller, faster, cheaper, and easier to use.
[continues 635 words]
Marijuana billboard in South Boston called 'insensitive'
The advertisement was from Weedmaps, a California-based company that
runs an online marijuana dispensary rating service and sells inventory
software to pot shops.
While waiting at a stoplight on East Broadway in South Boston last
week, Sheila Greene looked up at a billboard and was stunned. In white
letters against a black background, a message read: "States that
legalized marijuana had 25% fewer opioid-related deaths."
Greene was bothered by the fact that the advertisement - from
Weedmaps, a California-based company that runs an online marijuana
dispensary rating service and sells inventory software to pot shops -
was placed in a neighborhood hard hit by opioid abuse. "I couldn't
believe it was being advertised," she said.
[continues 821 words]
At least 103 cities and towns - nearly one-third of all Massachusetts
communities - have placed outright bans or other restrictions on
marijuana businesses since voters legalized the drug for recreational
use in November, according to a Globe analysis.
And another 47 municipalities are actively considering restrictions,
the review found, as local elected officials express unease about the
state's venture into legalized recreational marijuana.
Most of the restrictions are temporary, intended to allow local
officials time to consider where marijuana shops should be allowed to
operate in their communities - if at all.
[continues 1266 words]
Strong motivation to seek and continue treatment makes a difference
In "Stop calling addiction a brain disease" (Ideas, June 25), Sally
Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld write of how Michael Botticelli, the
drug czar under President Obama, "drew an analogy between having
cancer and being addicted. 'We don't expect people with cancer to stop
having cancer,' he said." Comparing addiction to progressive brain
cancer is misleading. Better to compare it to diabetes. Diabetics
cannot choose to lower their blood sugar. Diabetics do have a choice,
however - to enter treatment and take their medications and modify
their diets. Addicts have a similar choice. They can enter and remain
in treatment programs. But a strong motivation is necessary. Such
motivation results from the realization that an essential component of
their life is at risk.
[continues 155 words]
Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld do an excellent job, in "Stop
calling addiction a brain disease," explaining how a unidimentional
brain disease model, rather than a biopsychosocial model of addiction,
birthed the opioid epidemic.
The 21st century is not the first time medicine considered addiction a
brain disease. In 1889 Massachusetts built the Massachusetts Hospital
for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates in Foxborough, thinking overuse of
alcohol could be cured in the same fashion as insanity was being cured
at the time.
[continues 116 words]
I cringe to think about some parent whose child is struggling with
opioid addiction reading "Stop calling addiction a brain disease," and
running to the mall to buy "gift cards or movie tickets" as incentives
for their child to "choose" not to use.
I cringe to think about the specialists who have worked so long to
change our cultural thinking around addiction sighing as these
outmoded ideas about addiction-as-a-choice are given prime media play.
And I cringe to think of those who have been blessed not to have the
specter of addiction touch their families reading this and thinking,
"See, it's not a disease."
[continues 215 words]
Independence Day is a celebration of freedom. But on this July Fourth,
for the first time in more than a century, our freedoms in
Massachusetts include the ability to legally buy, possess, and use
These privileges took effect in December, after voters approved a
ballot question on recreational pot use. And that measure remains the
law of the land, despite state legislators' ongoing debate over a
rewrite of the rules.
But it's worth remembering that this freedom is heavily qualified. So,
after consulting with law enforcement experts and studying guidance
issued by state officials, here are some recreational marijuana do's
[continues 786 words]
The fate of marijuana legalization, enshrined in law by about 1.8
million Massachusetts voters, is now in the hands of a half-dozen
lawmakers meeting in secret.
Those legislators' first action on Monday was to kick out members of
the news media, close the door, and begin their deliberations to
reconcile fundamentally different Senate and House rewrites of the
ballot question that legalized adult recreational marijuana's use and
"We're going to ask the press to leave," said Senator Patricia D.
Jehlen, the Senate's point person on pot policy.
[continues 718 words]
BOSTON -- After a week of sharp divisions and heated rhetoric over the
future of the state's recreational marijuana law, it's now up to a
conference committee of six legislators to try and sort everything
On one hand, there's a House bill that infuriated pro-marijuana
activists by proposing a major overhaul of the voter-approved law. On
the other, a more restrained Senate bill won praise from the groups
behind the November ballot question.
Democratic Rep. Mark Cusack, the House bill's lead author, suggested
before the votes that the two chambers were in about 80 percent
agreement on their respective approaches.
[continues 569 words]
A city-run day shelter that will house the homeless along Methadone
ON A RECENT afternoon at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea
Cass Boulevard, a group of people tried to revive an unconscious man
lying on a strip of grass. Only the white soles of the man's sneakers
were visible to motorists as they waited for the light to change.
Another man darted between the idling cars toward a Boston firetruck
and said, "A guy over there OD'd, he needs help."
[continues 174 words]
On the heels of a House rewrite Wednesday of the state's adult-use
recreational marijuana law, approved by voters in November, local
reaction has been mixed.
Increasing the tax rate on marijuana sales from 12 percent to 28
percent and allowing local governing boards to ban or limit pot stores
without asking local voters are among the more significant changes in
the House bill.
On Thursday, the debate over reshaping the law shifted to the state
Senate, where a more modest set of revisions to existing law appeared
headed for passage.
[continues 925 words]
QUINCY, Mass. - A Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensary has
created a culinary delight for patients who don't want to smoke their
pot or eat it in the form of sweets.
Quincy-based Ermont Inc. has been selling cannabis-infused pizza for
about three weeks to rave reviews.
Director of Operations Seth Yaffe says the company has a whole range
of marijuana edibles, but he wanted to offer meals that patients could
eat without a lot of sugar.
The 6-inch cheese pizzas sell for $38 apiece. The tomato sauce
contains 125 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive compound in
marijuana. The company has sold about 200 already. Yaffe says if
patients want toppings, they can add their own.
Only people with state-issued medical marijuana ID cards are eligible
to buy the pies.
President Trump is ill advised to expend resources to shutdown state
legal marijuana businesses ("Pot plans moving forward despite
toughtalk from Trump," Feb. 27).
As Jacob Sullum points out in his column: "According to a recent
Quinnipiac University survey, 59 percent of Americans think
marijuana should be made legal in the United States," while 71
percent "oppose the government enforcing federal laws against
marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational
marijuana." Among Republicans, only 35 percent favored legalization,
but 55 percent opposed federal interference with it."
Steven S. Epstein, Georgetown
I'd like to commend The Boston Globe for bringing attention to a new
home-based program for children and families affected by the opioid
epidemic ("A new program targets children of opioid addicts," Business,
Jan. 16). As the article notes, parental substance use disorders present
safety, developmental, and attachment-related risks to children, and this
is especially so for those under 5 years of age.
Sadly, the number of children affected by parental substance use disorders
in the United States has more than doubled. For example, from 1998 to
2012, cases in which children were removed from the home because of
parental alcohol or substance use rose from 14 to 31 percent of all cases
of children being removed.
[continues 99 words]
Senator Jason M. Lewis proposed legislation that would reduce the amount
of marijuana people 21 years and older could possess in their home from 10
ounces to 2 ounces, and the number of marijuana plants people could grow
from 12 per household to six per household.
The right of Massachusetts adults to possess and grow marijuana would be
sharply curbed, and the ability of retail shops to begin selling
recreational pot next year would be deeply undercut if legislation filed
Friday afternoon by a key state senator becomes law.
[continues 705 words]
[photo] A Walgreens in Boston.
An investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey found that some
Walgreens pharmacies failed to monitor patients' drug use patterns and
didn't use sound professional judgment when dispensing opioids and other
controlled substances - a concern because of soaring overdose deaths in
Walgreens agreed to pay $200,000 and follow certain procedures for
dispensing opioids, in a settlement filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior
"Our records show," Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said in an e-mail,
"that the prescriptions in question were dispensed to patients for a
legitimate medical purpose and issued by licensed practitioners,"
suggesting the drugs were not diverted to the black market.
[continues 828 words]
Will lawmakers gut key parts of marijuana law?
A marijuana joint was rolled.
Marijuana legalization advocates fear the Massachusetts Legislature, which
has already delayed the opening of pot shops, will now gut several key
parts of the law approved by 1.8 million voters in November.
Public comments from Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg about potential
changes are setting off alarm bells among backers.
Rosenberg has raised the prospect of lawmakers sharply increasing the
marijuana tax rate, lowering the 12-plant-per-household limit on
homegrowing pot, and even raising the legal age for purchase, possession,
and use up from 21.
[continues 1067 words]
In a grim indicator of the toll the opioid crisis is taking on children, a
program is being launched in Massachusetts specifically to help newborns,
infants, and toddlers with addicted parents.
Health officials say they believe it's the first such early-intervention
program in the state to target these children, some of whom were born
The government-funded initiative will pay for weekly home visits to 36
low-income families in New Bedford, a South Coast community where the
number of children born with opiates in their bloodstreams is four times
the state average.
[continues 493 words]
Law enforcement and veterinary officials are planning an outreach campaign
to educate veterinarians about a new frontier in the opioid epidemic:
people so desperate for drugs that they take medication that had been
prescribed to pets.
"The misuse of pet medication has serious safety implications - for people
and animals," said Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan, in a letter
that will be printed in the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association
newsletter this week. "Educating people about the signs of drug misuse,
available treatment resources and how to properly store and dispose of all
medications is a crucial part of helping to stem the tide of overdoses and
[continues 393 words]
[photo] (Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe) Paul Jehle, pastor of the
New Testament Church of Cedarville, shook hands with recovering addict
Justin Todd at a Project Outreach drop-in center hosted by the church in
One in a series of occasional articles about opiate abuse and its
It took multiple applications of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone,
Paul Hachey of Plymouth recalled, to revive him in late September. The
38-year-old was "dead" from an OxyContin overdose for three minutes before
he slipped back to life, he said.
[continues 1192 words]
[photo] A marijuana bud.
Across New England, two issues appear to be driving legislatures this year
- - and they both have to do with drugs.
States are grappling with the emergence of marijuana legalization. But the
region is also the epicenter of the opioid crisis, with overdose rates in
New Hampshire among the highest in the country.
These two debates - separate, but not unrelated - transcend party.
Marijuana legalization efforts have been supported by Democrats and
Republicans, but none of the region's six governors fully support
recreational use of the drug. On the opioid crisis as well, there is
bipartisan consensus about the importance of the issue - as well as the
fact there's no silver bullet to solve the problem.
[continues 611 words]
Holyoke has a number of old mill buildings that Mayor Alex B. Morse
believes would make an excellent location for the industry.
HOLYOKE - Vacant mill buildings along a series of canals serve as constant
reminders of this impoverished city's halcyon days as the Paper City of
the World. But the mayor has a distinctly 21st-century plan for the old
Alex B. Morse imagines marijuana growing in them.
Morse, the 27-year-old wunderkind who has been in office for more than
five years , believes his hometown is on the upswing, with the lowest
rates of crime and unemployment in many years. But the city, with a
poverty rate almost three times the state average, requires an infusion of
industry. And the state's nascent recreational marijuana business, he
says, would be a perfect fit.
[continues 1136 words]
WORCESTER - Last year was another rough year in the fight against opioid
addiction, and Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. had some
numbers to prove it at a forum Monday night at Worcester Technical High
The district attorney said there were 148 overdose deaths in Worcester
County last year, and he cautioned that as toxicology test results come
back, that number could still rise. He said for four years that number has
been in the triple digits, and said it has impacted the cities and the
suburbs. He said that in nearly three quarters of those overdose deaths,
the powerful drug fentanyl played a role.
[continues 718 words]
Massachusetts lawmakers have already shown they're willing to tinker with
the marijuana legalization law passed by voters in November. But for now,
at least, it's legal for adults 21 and older to grow marijuana plants at
home: Six plants per person and 12 per household. (Note: Home growing is
legal indoors only in Massachusetts.)
Curious about how to get started? The Boston Public Library has a perhaps
surprising number of books about pot, including several volumes on home
growing. They include:
[continues 232 words]
[photo] MJ Freeway, a Denver company whose tracking software is used by
hundreds of marijuana companies to comply with state regulations, said its
main servers and backup system each went down Sunday morning and remained
offline as of Monday afternoon.
Marijuana shops across the country, including seven medical dispensaries
in Massachusetts, are being affected by the apparent hack of a sales and
inventory system widely used in the cannabis industry.
Two medical marijuana dispensaries in the state suggested patients delay
their appointments until the system was back up or a fix is in place.
[continues 100 words]
In a state that just legalized the recreational use of marijuana, can
field sobriety tests used to determine whether drivers are drunk also be
administered to demonstrate that a person is too high to operate a motor
The state Supreme Judicial Court on Friday took up that question in a case
that is being closely watched by police and advocates for marijuana
The justices also heard arguments over whether police officers can give
jurors their opinion of whether a driver is drugged on marijuana.
[continues 630 words]
Maxwell Baker wanted to be a doctor. His father, a physician himself, said
he would have been a great one.
"He was remarkably brilliant," said Dr. James L. Baker of Holden. "And he
But Maxwell also had an addiction, one that he battled and managed to tame
in the last two years of his life. He fell deeply in love, was taking
pre-med classes in college and was filled with energy and purpose. Two
days before Christmas, he told his dad that his goal was to treat addicts
and educate society about substance abuse.
[continues 840 words]
Lieutenant Michael Pappalardo said the 10-month-old girl's family is
cooperating with an investigation that includes state child-protection
METHUEN - A 10-month-old girl who narrowly survived after ingesting
fentanyl is the latest victim of an opioid epidemic that has been blamed
for hundreds of deaths in Massachusetts.
Police were called to the baby's home shortly before 12:30 p.m. Saturday
when the girl was having trouble breathing. She was rushed to Lawrence
General Hospital, where she stopped breathing twice and had to be
resuscitated. She was later flown by helicopter to Tufts Medical Center in
Boston and was listed Monday in stable condition, according to police.
[continues 755 words]
MILLBURY - After barely drawing a quorum of 100 voters, with an unofficial
count of 108, special town meeting voters approved zoning bylaws Tuesday
to restrict the location of methadone and other medication-assisted drug
treatment centers and to impose a moratorium on recreational marijuana
outlets until May 31, 2018.
Both articles received a two-thirds majority to pass, according to Town
Moderator John M. Bartosiewicz. A vote count was not taken.
Article 3, which established a temporary moratorium on marijuana
establishments and the sale or distribution of marijuana and marijuana
products, was supported by the Planning Board after its public hearing on
the measure earlier in the evening.
[continues 529 words]
Giving away -- or "gifting"-- up to one ounce of marijuana is now legal in
Massachusetts, but are some people pushing the new law too far?
Days after Governor Charlie Baker signed a measure delaying the opening of
recreational marijuana retail shops statewide by six months, a budding
entrepreneur took to Craigslist to offer people a backdoor approach to
getting their hands on some pot - one that authorities say would violate
the new law.
In an ad posted to the website titled "Bud, weed, marijuana, cannabis," a
person who identified himself as "Corey" listed for sale empty plastic
bags ranging in price from $20 to $325. Depending on which bag is
purchased, the seller promised to include a "gift" of marijuana inside.
[continues 416 words]
Medical Marijuana advocates rallied before a public meeting on proposed
changes to the rules.
Proposed changes to the state's medical marijuana program do not address
problems that hamper people from registering for the program, according to
patients and advocates who testified Tuesday at a crowded public hearing
The proposals are part of a larger initiative by the Baker administration
to review and update all state regulations, according to the Massachusetts
Department of Public Health, which oversees the marijuana program.
[continues 705 words]
Senator Elizabeth Warren is leading a new effort to make sure vendors
working with marijuana businesses don't have their banking services taken
As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they
face a critical stumbling block: lack of access to the kind of routine
banking services other businesses take for granted.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is leading an
effort to make sure vendors working with legal marijuana businesses, from
chemists who test marijuana for harmful substances to firms that provide
security, don't have their banking services taken away.
[continues 568 words]
Doctors are being more careful with opioid prescriptions as addiction and
its effects get more recognition.
More than half of doctors across America are curtailing opioid
prescriptions, and nearly 1 in 10 have stopped prescribing the drugs,
according to a new nationwide online survey. But even as physicians
retreat from opioids, some seem to have misgivings: More than one-third of
the respondents said the reduction in prescribing has hurt patients with
The survey, conducted for The Boston Globe by the SERMO physicians social
network, offers fresh evidence of the changes in prescribing practices in
response to the opioid crisis that has killed thousands in New England and
elsewhere around the country. The deaths awakened fears of addiction and
accidental overdose, and led to state and federal regulations aimed at
reining in excessive prescribing.
[continues 994 words]
LUBBOCK, Texas - Across from a sprawling cotton field, among mobile homes
in varying states of decay, one stood out: a double-wide with a new,
expansive metal garage and the only paved driveway on the dead-end street.
It was here that an unemployed former computer repairman with a bad back
ran what a drug informant called the biggest fentanyl ring in Lubbock. All
Sidney Lanier needed was a computer and an elementary knowledge of
chemistry to order shipments of the potent synthetic opioid from China and
turn it into a highly profitable - and dangerous - street drug.
[continues 1455 words]
Action by the governor and legislature doesn't change a new law that
allows adults 21 and older to possess and use limited amounts of
recreational marijuana and grow as many as a dozen pot plants in their
homes, but it pushes back the timetable for opening retail marijuana
stores from the beginning of 2018 until the middle of that year.
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill Friday
aimed at delaying by up to six months the opening of marijuana shops
in the state until mid-2018.
[continues 476 words]
Lexi sat under a highway overpass where she sleeps near a stretch of
Massachusetts Avenue nicknamed "Methadone Mile" in Boston last April.
Just 49-percent of adult patients who check into state-licensed
residential substance abuse centers complete their treatment programs,
while a substantial portion of patients walk away from treatment or
relapse, according to a new state report.
And despite intense focus by advocates and government officials to cast
opioid addiction as not a character problem but a public health crisis,
the stigma attached to substance abuse remains "a significant deterrent to
[continues 611 words]
In November, Massachusetts voters decided to make recreational
marijuana legal, allowing it to be bought and sold in stores by
January 2018. But this week, state lawmakers quietly voted to delay
the sale date by at least six months.
The delay has outraged some marijuana-legalization advocates, less so
because they'll have to wait a few months to buy pot and more so
because they feel the legislature is trying to subvert the will of the
people by fundamentally changing what they voted for. A similar
skirmish is happening in Maine over the minimum wage, and progressives
in both states are worried that their opponents are trying to delay or
even reverse their remarkable success via ballot initiatives.
[continues 581 words]
THE PASSAGE OF the marijuana legalization referendum in November doesn't
mean that the new law's exact language must stay frozen in amber forever.
But the fact that the law was approved directly by the voters should mean
that lawmakers consider changes with more caution than they showed on
Wednesday, when both the House and Senate approved a six-month delay to
some of the law's provisions without hearings or a formal roll-call vote.
That decision, reached in informal session and sent to Governor Charlie
Baker for his signature, doesn't change the basic structure of the
legalization law. But if approved by Baker, it would slightly delay the
opening of marijuana retail stores in Massachusetts and the creation of a
new commission to oversee the industry. Legislative leaders say the delay
will help implement legalization effectively.
[continues 261 words]
Dugan Arnett wandered down Winter Street while looking for marijuana in
Call me old-fashioned, but I trusted Nancy Reagan when she urged me to
Just Say No. I listened when McGruff the Crime Dog insisted that "users
are losers." And when my younger sister arrived home one night back in
high school smelling of the devil's lettuce, I did what any
self-respecting graduate of the DARE program would do: I told my mom.
So when my boss approached me to ask if I'd be willing to go out on
Thursday - the day marijuana officially became legal in Massachusetts -
and attempt to buy some, it's safe to say I was caught off guard.
[continues 1008 words]
Just a half-dozen Massachusetts legislators passed a controversial measure
on Wednesday delaying the opening date for recreational marijuana stores
in Massachusetts by six months.
How could so few legislators decide such an important issue?
The move, which took less than an hour, was extraordinary, but technically
Here's how it works.
First, keep in mind that legislative cycles in Massachusetts run on
two-year calendars, beginning in odd-numbered years. So currently, we are
at the end of a two-year cycle that began in 2015.
[continues 394 words]
A man showed the marijuana he was selling on Boston Common earlier this
It took less than an hour and about a half-dozen state legislators to undo
the will of 1.8 million voters expressed just last month.
The House and Senate passed a bill on Wednesday delaying the opening date
for recreational marijuana stores in Massachusetts by half a year - from
January to summer 2018.
The extraordinary move would unravel a significant part of the marijuana
law. About 1.5 million people voted against legalization on Nov. 8.
[continues 726 words]
BOSTON -- The process for licensing retail marijuana shops would be
delayed by six months under legislation that surfaced Wednesday in the
Senate before clearing both branches, the result of which could push the
legal sale of marijuana, authorized by a successful ballot campaign this
year, well into 2018.
The House and Senate on Wednesday morning during lightly attended informal
sessions passed a bill (S 2524) amended by Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester,
pushing out the effective dates of several key milestones in the new law,
including the dates by which the state will begin accepting applications
and issuing licenses for retail pot shop licenses. The state, under the
bill, would have until July 2018 to issue the first licenses for retail
[continues 591 words]
Andrew Freedman is Colorado's director of marijuana coordination.
DENVER - Marijuana legalization brought unexpected challenges to Colorado,
and it was rarely clear what part of state government was supposed to
solve them, or how.
Businesses were selling marijuana-infused, animal-shaped candy attractive
to children. Residents growing pot at home were selling it illegally in
other states. Growers were applying pesticides to cannabis plants even
though none was specifically approved by the federal government for such
Enter Andrew Freedman, Colorado's pot czar, who is bringing together the
state's bureaucracy, marijuana industry, law enforcement community, and
public health advocates to fix problems no other state had faced.
[continues 1132 words]
Deadly synthetic opioids are streaming into the United States amid a flood
of mail that arrives unscreened from abroad every day, overwhelming the
Postal Service and fueling the drug epidemic gripping much of the country,
security experts and Massachusetts lawmakers say.
Nearly 1 million packages a day enter the country without any advance
electronic information that might flag the presence of dangerous opioids
such as fentanyl, much of which is manufactured in China, said Juliette
Kayyem, a former assistant Homeland Security secretary.
[continues 926 words]
Bonnie Bruce is the mother of a Vermont woman, Tamara, who was found the
day after Thanksgiving passed out from heroin in her car with her fiance
and their two young children.
DORSET, Vt. - The midnight phone call woke them all up. As Bonnie Bruce
struggled to understand what the police officer was saying, her
11-year-old grandson, Elias, appeared in her bedroom doorway and walked to
her bedside, listening. He knew: It was about his mother.
"Wait a minute, what are you telling me?" Bonnie gasped into the phone.
The coil of dread lodged hard in her gut for the past 11 years, since her
daughter first shot heroin into the soft crook of her elbow, abruptly gave
way. "Is she all right?"
[continues 3038 words]
Massachusetts voters legalized the sale and recreational use of
marijuana when they passed Question 4 in November. Folks who work in
the cannabis industry, who authored that legislation, want to squeeze
as much as they can out of the Bay State market even if it means
exploiting minority communities.
Oh, they wouldn't describe it that way. The authors of the legislation
instead called for regulators to encourage "full participation" in the
new industry "by people from communities that have previously been
disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and
to positively impact those communities."
[continues 233 words]