Federal prosecutors are diverting resources from drug-smuggling cases in southern California to handle the flood of immigration charges brought on by the Trump administration’s border crackdown. They are sending some of the drug cases to state courts.
Many states have seen a surge in the number of children entering foster care systems, an increase tied to the prevalence of opioids. In the past, states considered substance abuse a form of neglect, requiring removal of children from dangerous homes. Now, some states are creating programs aimed at keeping children with their parents during treatment.
On June 19, marijuana officially became legal in Canada─adding momentum to a pro-pot campaign that now seems assured of success across the US. But last-ditch blocking efforts in states still wrestling with the issue only divert politicians from the need to develop regulations addressing safety and health concerns, writes an addiction expert.
The opioid crisis has very little to do with prescription drugs, says a leading researcher. Patients treated for chronic pain with opioids–many of them elderly—are not dying from overdoses, and they shouldn’t be treated like addicts.
New York City authorities said they would issue summonses rather than conduct arrests of people caught smoking marijuana in public. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says the policy may solidify racial inequities.
“We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when we were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons,” said state health commissioner Howard Zucker, describing a recommendation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Police will continue to arrest anyone caught smoking who has a “recent documented history of violence,” anyone on probation and anyone whose “smoking poses an immediate public safety risk. Everyone else will get a summons carrying a $100 fine.
Robert Patterson, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced he is retiring, saying that running the agency as a temporary fill-in had become “increasingly challenging.” He replaced another acting administrator, Chuck Rosenberg.