Cities, counties and states are suing under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. If the plaintiffs win on this charge, the companies would have to pay for the damage caused. The plaintiffs were also allowed to proceed on a “public nuisance” claim.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed marijuana legalization with caveats, such as no smoking marijuana in public, an age limit of 21, and option for home delivery. Earlier convictions for marijuana-related offenses would be automatically expunged.
Distributors of powerful prescription opioids and the Drug Enforcement Administration failed to stop the flow of millions of pills into rural West Virginia despite rampant signs that the pills were being diverted for abuse, which contributed to the opioid epidemic, a congressional report found.
Washington, D.C., has the highest increase in overdose deaths among urban areas. The city has fallen short in its response to mounting opioid casualties, misspending millions of federal grant dollars and ignoring lifesaving strategies widely adopted elsewhere, finds the Washington Post.
An Arizona doctor argues that the government should have learned from previous federal anti-drug strategies that blanket prohibition doesn’t work. He calls for scrapping attempts to curtail opioids and replacing it with “harm reduction” policies.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will push to legalize recreational marijuana next year, a move that could generate more than $1.7 billion in sales annually and put New York in line with several neighboring states. Cuomo had long opposed legalization.
At least than one in three high school seniors and nearly one in three sophomores say they vaped at least once in the past year, reported a study conducted as part of an annual survey on drug use among adolescents by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Medical professionals say the risks from accidental exposure to opioids are very low. They say a wave of prosecutions has been driven by fear, not science. No incidents of fentanyl exposure have caused a death, or even symptoms of opioid overdose.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will be a top Democratic target in 2020 when he runs for reelection, won a big legislative victory when he succeeded in passing a bill that makes hemp a legal agricultural commodity, removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. He says hemp is distinct from marijuana, hemp’s “illicit cousin.”