Opioid-related deaths in American rural communities have skyrocketed, with many experts and lawmakers blaming a lack of support for the sufferers, a lack of treatment options in non-urban areas, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, sheriffs from around the country are calling for non-punitive approaches.
While the attention of organized crime specialists and the international media has focused on the notorious drug cartels of Mexico and Colombia, Brazil’s little-known Primeiro Comando da Capital is emerging as the Western hemisphere’s most potent crime threat. A new report calls the trafficking group South America’s “most powerful prison gang” ― and warns its operations are quietly expanding.
“The cartels have long demonstrated their resiliency,” said Scott Brown, head of the Homeland Security Investigations office in Arizona. “They are going to continue to find new and innovative ways to try to move their product.”
From May 2019 through May 2020, 80,000 Americans lost their lives to a drug overdose. Officials blame social and economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. “It’s the highest that I can remember since being in this field. So it’s tremendously disturbing,” says Dr. John McIlveen of the Oregon Health Authority.
The organization has attracted money from cannabis companies hoping to release inmates serving time for marijuana crimes. Some social justice activists say the group isn’t helping other reentry efforts.
ByEli Savit, Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.) and Miriam Krinsky |
“Over-policing” of marijuana is not only taking a human toll on communities, but a financial toll at a time of shrinking budgets resulting from the pandemic, argue two former prosecutors and a retired police officer. They urge the Senate to approve the historic legalization bill already passed in the House.
The Trump administration sued Walmart Inc., accusing the retail giant of fueling the opioid crisis by inadequately screening for questionable prescriptions despite warnings from its own pharmacists. Walmart says the lawsuit “invents a legal theory.”