Recreational sales of marijuana products in Colorado’s state-licensed shops have broken sales records two months in a row. Analysts say the state’s industry, legalized in 2014, is showing signs of business maturity – and no lack of demand for the product, particularly during the pandemic.
After a rash of overdoses in the 1990s prompted a federal ban, emergency rooms that had seen thousands of cases involving the popular nightclub drug GHB suddenly saw the problem disappear. But now it’s back in multiple chemical forms, with sales powered by the internet.
While giant drug firms like Purdue Pharma position themselves as “key players” in the fight against COVID-19, they’re quietly fighting a “renewed wave” of opioid lawsuits. Meanwhile, opioid deaths have skyrocketed during the pandemic.
The Justice Department demand from bankrupt opioid maker Purdue Pharma LP could disrupt the company’s effort to reach a settlement with states and localities that accuse it of helping fuel the opioid crisis.
A recent JAMA study found that if every state were to legalize recreational marijuana use, there would be 6,800 more traffic fatalities each year. The authors, who acknowledge that there may be other factors involved, join others in demonstrating that marijuana legalization may decrease road safety.
When the U.S. Sentencing Commission advised federal judges that they could release drug offenders early back in 2015, those who got out didn’t commit more crimes than those who stayed in prison longer, a commission study found.
The First Step Act, passed in 2018, was intended to remedy the disproportional racial impact of America’s drug laws with sentencing reductions for nonviolent crack offenses. But many circuit judges have ignored Congress’ intent, making them “complicit in a decades-old mass incarceration scheme,” writes a legal scholar from Wesleyan University.