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1 US: Opioid Use Responsible For 20 Percent Of Drop In American MenThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Phillip, Angel Area:United States Lines:52 Added:09/09/2017

Opioid use by American men may account for one-fifth of the decline in their participation in the U.S. labor force, according to a study by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger.

"The opioid crisis and depressed labor-force participation are now intertwined in many parts of the U.S.," Krueger, who was chief economist at the Treasury Department in the Obama administration, wrote in the study released Thursday at a Brookings Institution conference in Washington.

Krueger's study linked county prescription rates to labor force data from the past 15 years, concluding that regional differences in prescription rates were due to variations in medical practices, not health conditions. In previous research, he found that nearly half of men in their prime worker ages not in the labor force take prescription painkillers daily.

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2 US NJ: Editorial: Opioid Crisis Continues To GrowFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:74 Added:07/25/2017

The national opioid crisis is spreading. Despite increased awareness of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the numbers of fatalities and overdoses continue to rise. That is too true in Bergen County.

As Staff Writer Steve Janoski reports, despite the efforts of Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, the county appears on track to surpass last year's totals of 320 overdoses; 259 of which were opioid related. Ninety-eight people died. That's an 11 percent increase in overdoses from 2015 and a 12.6 percent increase in fatalities.

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3 US PA: ACA's Repeal Would Devastate Fight Against Opioid AddictionFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:127 Added:01/13/2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Thursday that Congressional Republicans are on a "rescue" mission to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and that he and President-elect Donald Trump are in perfect sync with the process of replacing Obamacare. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

Funding for mental illness and opioid addiction treatment in Pennsylvania will take a big hit if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, according to research published this week by Harvard Medical School.

More than 181,000 Pennsylvania residents with mental and substance abuse disorders will lose access to services made available under the ACA, concluded Harvard health economics professor Richard G. Frank and New York University public service dean Sherry Glied.

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4 US: Editorial: Mr. Obama's Chance To Show MercyWed, 07 Dec 2016
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:79 Added:12/10/2016

The Constitution gives presidents nearly unlimited authority to grant pardons and commute sentences - decisions that no future administration can reverse. Unfortunately, for most of his presidency, Barack Obama treated mercy as an afterthought. Even as thousands of men and women endured outrageously long sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses as a result of the nation's misguided drug war, Mr. Obama granted relief to only a tiny handful.

In the last two years, however, Mr. Obama has changed course. In 2014 he directed the Justice Department to systematically review cases of people serving out sentences that would be far shorter had they been convicted under new, more lenient sentencing laws.

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5US: Heroin Crisis Left Out Of Presidential RaceThu, 15 Sep 2016
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Singer, Paul Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2016

WASHINGTON - Across the nation, while public concern about heroin addiction is the highest it has been in years, the same can't be said about attention on the national political stage.

Searches about "heroin" peaked last week for the third time this year at the highest level in the past five years, according to data from Google Trends, with the exception of a spike in interest in February 2014 when actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose. Drug overdoses from heroin tripled between 2010 and 2014, and more people died from drug overdoses than car crashes in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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6 US CT: Column: Can Americans Hold Ourselves Together As aMon, 11 Jul 2016
Source:Register Citizen (CT) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:Connecticut Lines:85 Added:07/12/2016

Without a doubt, we Americans are in a bad way. The senseless deaths this week in Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., and now Dallas are devastating beyond comprehension for the victims and their families. Each shooting is also an act in a shared national tragedy. The problems go down to the very roots.

The question of whether as a country we are headed in the right or wrong direction can no longer be answered simply with reference to policy matters such as the economy, education or foreign relations. Instead we face the fundamental question of whether we, the people, as a single people, are holding together and can hold together.

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7 US NM: Column: War on Drugs Forces Us into a War With OurselvesMon, 11 Jul 2016
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:New Mexico Lines:97 Added:07/12/2016

Without a doubt, we Americans are in a bad way.

The senseless deaths this week in Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., and now Dallas are devastating beyond comprehension for the victims and their families. Each shooting is also an act in a shared national tragedy.

The problems go down to the very roots.

The question of whether, as a country, we are headed in the right or wrong direction can no longer be answered simply with reference to policy matters such as the economy, education or foreign relations. Instead, we face the fundamental question of whether we, the people, as a single people, are holding together and can hold together.

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8 US CT: Column: Can Americans Hold Ourselves Together As aMon, 11 Jul 2016
Source:New Haven Register (CT) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:Connecticut Lines:87 Added:07/11/2016

Without a doubt, we Americans are in a bad way. The senseless deaths this week in Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., and now Dallas are devastating beyond comprehension for the victims and their families. Each shooting is also an act in a shared national tragedy. The problems go down to the very roots.

The question of whether as a country we are headed in the right or wrong direction can no longer be answered simply with reference to policy matters such as the economy, education or foreign relations. Instead we face the fundamental question of whether we, the people, as a single people, are holding together and can hold together.

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9 US DC: Column: Does the DEA Share Blame in the Opioid Fight?Fri, 24 Jun 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Davidson, Joe Area:District of Columbia Lines:108 Added:06/24/2016

Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, had a fairly easy time at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where his efforts to change the opaque culture of the agency won praise.

Then it was Sen. Richard J. Durbin's time to ask questions.

The Illinois Democrat wasted little time with niceties. He wanted to know whether the DEA is one of the bad guys in the fight against opioid addiction.

"Who is responsible when it comes to decisions made that have created this and made it worse?" he asked. The DEA, according to Durbin. He quoted Rosenberg's testimony about the DEA's enforcement activities against "the violent cartels and drug trafficking gangs responsible for feeding the heroin and prescription drug epidemic in our communities." But that strategy has "one key element missing, and it is an element that you have responsibility for," he told Rosenberg. "That is the overproduction of opioids by the pharmaceutical industry." The numbers are staggering. In 2014 alone, the industry put 14 billion opioid pills on the market with DEA approval, "enough for every adult in America to have a one-month prescription," Durbin said. More than 28,000 people overdosed and died from prescription opioid and heroin, an illegal opioid, that year. Many heroin addicts started with prescription opioids.

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10 US DC: Vancouver Drug Doc In WashingtonThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Ball, David P. Area:District of Columbia Lines:48 Added:06/17/2016

Safe Injection Site Physician Testifies on Opioid Epidemic

The U.S. Senate turned to Vancouver for answers to America's drug woes on Wednesday, flying in the B.C. doctor behind a prescription heroin study to testify about his pioneering treatment trial.

Dr. Scott MacDonald, lead physician at Providence Health Care's Crosstown Clinic, spoke at the request of the Republican-dominated Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Senate's most powerful committee.

"In British Columbia we need every tool in the toolbox to rise to the challenge the opioid epidemic presents," MacDonald told committee members. "Of course we would like to see an end to people dependent on heroin but for those already suffering it is essential to provide care, and care based on evidence.

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11 US DC: Arlington Police Chief Addresses Senate on Opiod CrisisThu, 16 Jun 2016
Source:Arlington Advocate, The (MA) Author:Sanna, James Area:District of Columbia Lines:80 Added:06/17/2016

ARLINGTON - Arlington's chief of police wasn't in his office on Wednesday, June 15. Instead, he was in Washington D.C.

Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan was testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing on alternative approaches to combating the opioid addiction crisis. He was speaking as a representative of the Police-Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI), sharing his experiences fighting heroin and other drugs in Arlington with an approach emphasizing getting opioid users into treatment.

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12US AK: Legislature Passes Bill Authorizing National BackgroundSat, 23 Apr 2016
Source:Alaska Dispatch News (AK) Author:Andrews, Laurel Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:04/23/2016

Alaska marijuana business owners will be subject to national background checks if a bill that passed the Senate on Friday morning is signed into law.

Senate Bill 165 deals mainly with Alaska's alcohol regulations, including a provision to greatly reduce minor consumption penalties. The bill passed the Senate during the fifth day of overtime for the Legislature and now heads to Gov. Bill Walker's desk for his signature.

A provision in the bill authorizes the Marijuana Control Board to conduct national background checks on business applicants, a key component for the entity tasked with approving the first licenses for Alaska's fledgling legal cannabis industry.

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13 US TN: Pot Referendum Bill Dies In SenateTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:27 Added:04/20/2016

A bill that would have allowed Tennesseans to weigh in on whether to decriminalize possession of low-level amounts of marijuana has failed in the Legislature. The Senate Judiciary Committee killed the proposal April 12.

The measure, which was sponsored by Memphis Democrats Antonio Parkinson and Sara Kyle, would not have legalized marijuana possession. Instead, it would have allowed voters to make their opinion known on whether police should arrest people in possession of one ounce of marijuana or less or give them a warning instead.

The proposal would have allowed Metro governments or municipalities with their own police departments to put the question on whether to arrest or warn to voters during a normal election. The results of the election would be advisory only.

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14US VT: Vermont Pot Legalization Sees A SlowdownSat, 09 Apr 2016
Source:Burlington Free Press (VT) Author:Gram, Dave Area:Vermont Lines:Excerpt Added:04/12/2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Efforts to legalize marijuana in Vermont this year may have gone up in smoke Friday, as a House committee passed a measure that calls for more study after it stripped out Senate-passed provisions that would tax and license pot growers and retailers.

But the chief sponsor of a Senate bill to allow adults to possess up to an ounce of pot said the effort had not been nipped in the bud. "We have a long way to go and a short time to get there" before lawmakers adjourn for the year in about a month, said Sen. Richard Sears, D-Bennington. "But I always hold out hope."

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15 US CA: Column: Warped To This DayWed, 06 Apr 2016
Source:Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Author:Gardner, Fred Area:California Lines:79 Added:04/11/2016

"Nixon's Drug War Was (and Still is) a Racist Tool to Disrupt and Neutralize Black Communities" was the headline of an article published this week by Melissa Franqui, communications director of the Drug Policy Alliance. She was literally stating a half-truth. Her hook was a comment made in 1994 by John Ehrlichman, a top Nixon aide who had done time for his role in the Watergate cover-up, to a very good journalist named Dan Baum. Baum had used the quote at the time, Dr. Sunil Aggarwal cited it in a scholarly article in 2012 (and I cited it, too), but Ehrlichman's blunt confession remained below the radar until Baum recounted it in the new issue of Harpers:

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16 US PA: PA. Senate: House Pot Bill FlawedSat, 26 Mar 2016
Source:Times-Tribune, The (Scranton PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:38 Added:03/26/2016

HARRISBURG (AP) - Some key Senate backers of medical marijuana legalization are expressing concern about a marijuana bill passed by the House last week, raising the possibility of a delay in getting the drug into the hands of Pennsylvania patients suffering from conditions such as cancer and epilepsy.

Senate staff and lawyers found what they say are numerous flaws in the legislation passed by the House last week.

Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, who sponsored the initial bill that overwhelmingly passed the Senate last year, might press for changes and another vote by both chambers instead of agreeing to the House version and sending it to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

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17 US CA: Letters Assigned To Ballot MeasuresSat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA) Author:Vodden, Eric Area:California Lines:64 Added:03/19/2016

Letter designations have now been assigned to the three measures on the June 7 ballot in Yuba County.

The initiative that would replace the county's ordinance on medical marijuana cultivation with less restrictive rules is Measure A.

Titled The Yuba County Medical Marijuana Cultivation Act of 2015, it asks, "Shall the ordinance that would increase the number of medical marijuana plants that may be cultivated on parcels of land greater than one acre and allow for cultivation of medical marijuana outdoors and within residences be adopted?

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18 US OR: Column: Pot Laws That Should Have PassedThu, 17 Mar 2016
Source:Portland Mercury (OR) Author:Jardine, Josh Area:Oregon Lines:88 Added:03/17/2016

The Oregon Legislature Failed to Pass These Very Important Pot Laws

THE SPECIAL SESSION of the Oregon Legislature has ended-all 35 days of it-and they won't be meeting again until next year. Some bills about cannabis moved through the legislative process, made none the easier by Republicans being childish dicks and slowing down things by forcing Democrats to read aloud every bill. (Guess which party drinks, and which one smokes weed.)

What passed? I was prepared to write an entire column answering that question, but it turns out my cannabis columnist colleague Vince Sliwoski has already written a fine rundown, because great pot minds think alike. Check out his write-up in last week's Mercury ["Ask a Pot Lawyer," March 9].

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19 US MA: House Bill Would Require Schools to Screen for Drug UseThu, 10 Mar 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Scharfenberg, David Area:Massachusetts Lines:36 Added:03/10/2016

The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation Wednesday that would require schools to screen students for drug abuse and work to curb opioid use by limiting doctors' initial prescriptions to seven days.

The Senate is expected to approve the bill Thursday, and Governor Charlie Baker is expected to sign it.

The measure is the Legislature's latest response to an opioid crisis that claims about 100 Massachusetts lives per month.

It is not as far-reaching as a proposal Baker made last fall, which called for a three-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions. But the governor has praised the bill nonetheless.

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20 US WA: Penny Legate On Daughter's Heroin DeathTue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Brodeur, Nicole Area:Washington Lines:70 Added:03/09/2016

There was a time when Penny LeGate couldn't bear to hear her own daughter's name.

And yet, there she was last week, glued to her computer screen, watching as Sen. Patty Murray stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and cited LeGate's girl, Marah Williams - and her death at 19 from a heroin overdose in 2012 - in urging the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

The legislation, if passed, would tackle prescription-drug abuse and heroin addiction by cutting down the "inappropriate" use of pain medication that leads to addiction. It also would make it easier for people to safely dispose of medication and would give police access to naloxone, which can counteract the effects of an overdose.

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