Rerolled: September 6, 2019 | #STDW
A broad coalition of civil rights and other groups are calling for marijuana legalization and more, Mississippi activists hand in signatures for a medical marijuana initiative, a possible culprit for that spate of pulmonary illnesses linking to marijuana vaping has been found, and more.
Civil Rights Groups Call for Marijuana Legalization, "Dismantling" of Drug Criminalization. More than a hundred civil rights and other groups, including the ACLU, NAACP, National Education Association, and National Organization for Women called Thursday for marijuana legalization and the "dismantling" of drug criminalization. The groups said states should “legalize marijuana through a racial justice framework that focuses on access, equity, and repairing the damage of prohibition” and the federal government should end cannabis prohibition and “implement marijuana reform through a racial justice lens.”
Vitamin E Suspected in Serious Lung Problems Among People Who Vaped Marijuana. As the number of people falling ill continues to rise, New York state health officials said Thursday they are zeroing in on an additive—Vitamin E acetate—they believe may be behind the outbreak of severe pulmonary illness that has left at least three dead so far, one each in Indiana, Illinois, and Oregon. The officials said high levels of Vitamin E acetate were found in the cartridges of marijuana vaping products used by people who suffered serious lung damage. The officials said the products appeared to be black market products.
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Turns in Lots of Signatures. Mississippians for Compassionate Care delivered more than 105,000 raw voter signatures to state officials Wednesday. Another 105,000 voter signatures have already been certified by local clerks. The group only needs 86,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.
Heroin and Prescription Opioids
New York Prisoners Sue State Over Crackdown on Pain Pills. A group of state inmates is suing the prison system, saying they are being forced to live with chronic pain because some medications have become too difficult to get behind bars after the prison system tried to crack down on prescription opioid abuse. The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court. They are taking aim at 2017 policy that requires an extra layer of approval be senior prison medical staff before inmates can get prescriptions filled for commonly abused drugs. The lawsuit says that, in reality, that approval is rarely given and that hundreds of prisoners are being cut off from drugs needed for legitimate medical reasons.
Federal Drug Asset Seizures Slashed by Half Since 2009. Drug-related federal asset forfeitures have declined by 34% since 2014 and by more than half since 2009, according to a new report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. In 2009, there were some 1,426 federal drug-related asset seizures, but so far this year there have only been 513. "Under the current administration, the numbers have risen modestly, but are still far below earlier levels," TRAC reported.