“Bathroom bill” Would Be Bad For Texas’ Economy

“Bathroom bill” would be bad for Texas’ economy

After months of lawmakers repeatedly trying to pass a “bathroom bill” which can be used by public restrooms transgender Texans, many Texas business tycoons told a House committee that such a law would be a setback for Texas’ economy in the future.

The House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness, which was established by House Speaker Joe Straus as a result of the special session this summer, is tasked with doing individual businesses in the start-up stage continues to come to Texas. The members heard positive feedback from business leaders like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim, real estate developer Ross Perot Jr. and others on ways different policies would have an impact on their businesses and the future of the state.

“The objective is to make sure that we have a competition going forward,” committee chairman Rep. Byron Cook, was quoted. R-Corsina. “If you believe we have everything in place and it’s perfect, then let us know, but if not, let us know what the challenges are.”

Cuban summed up the testimony from many business leaders at the hearing succinctly: “I may not care where you pee.”

He stated that when states take divisive stances on issues that are politically related such as LGBT rights, it might likely discourage bigger companies from relocating.

“When you get to companies that are large enough, you’ll surely find somebody who is transgender, as an example, who’s very good. How will they, in normal conscience, go to places that person would be in a risky situation? He said.

Also, the panel analyzed how to attract business to the state, with the North Texas’ as an example. The recent Amazon’s new headquarters bid. Mayor Jeff Cheney was quoted during the bid process he learned how crucial local control is to cities.

“I got to understand about every city in our region and exactly how different and real they are,” Cheney said. “So one-size-fits-all approaches to legislation do not work in cases of cities because we are not the same, we all have our separate goals.”

Another topic that was discussed was Texas’ stance on illegal immigration. Perot challenged Texas’ delegation in Congress to approve legislation to help fix the state’s immigration issues and labor shortages.

“It is important we have more guest workers to come in, and we need enough legal labor to join us, to help feed the economy,” Perot said. “The delegation from Texas should lead that effort in Congress in the quest to bring an immigration bill that can help in fixing the high end, the low end of the immigration issues.”

Another recurring theme that was brought up before the panel was promoting infrastructure and education growth, a more traditional way to be friendly in business.

Cuban said that in a future that holds robots and autonomous cars, adjusting to a brand new technology will be vital.

“One of the sayings I love is, ‘We don’t live in a world we were born into,” he said. “If you think about the way the world was when you came to this world, everything has changed. To believe that we’re not going to see enough change going forward is shortsighted.”

The panel will hold a second hearing on Dec. 5, and present its findings back to Straus by Dec 12.

Overdose Arrests? Are They Ethical?

Overdose Arrests? Are They Ethical?

The Centers for Disease Control indicate that death rates associated with drug overdose have been steadily rising over the last five years. In the year 2015, over 52,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdose. 30 states have seen a steady increase in opioid deaths from the year 2010 to date with most of these being attributed to illicit fentanyl and heroin.

Other than ensuring that there are many recovery and treatment centers, the government is also involving policymakers in trying to find the solutions that will inhibit drug use. These policies include funding and diversion opportunities, the good Samaritan immunity law, modification of penalties and increasing access to the drug naloxone.

So what happens when an individual overdoses in the company of others. Ideally, the friends or those around the individual should call 911. In overdose cases, the first respondents are usually the police. When an overdose occurs, those who call for help are often users themselves and in many cases in possession of the drugs. When police get to the scene, probability of arresting the 911 callers is high and so many individuals used to shy away from calling for help when an overdose occurs. That is why the Samaritan immunity law was put in place to protect those that call for help irrespective of whether they are using or in possession of the drug.

Some law enforcers feel that this law serves to counteract their efforts of cleaning the streets from the drug. Once allowed to continue using and in some cases dealing as well, they only expose more people to the risk of an overdose. But then there are individuals who feel that the sanctity of life is more important and if these perpetrators can in some way help save a life whether they are under the influence of the drugs or not, then that is more important.

There has also been reported cases of individuals who get arrested after an overdose from other charges such as possession and intent to distribute only to die while in custody from withdrawal and other drug related complications. This begs the question, ‘Is removing the drug users and peddlers from the streets more important than saving their lives?’

In a study conducted in Illinois, police expressed their frustration in that they would arrest drug users and survivors of overdose multiple times and yet these individuals would continue using irrespective of how many times they got arrested.

Legally enforced or mandatory rehabilitation of those arrested can in some way serve a greater purpose because it not only deals with the problem but helps change and restore lives. The sad thing about drug abusers is that more often than not, they go through a relapse because the drugs are so readily available especially in some particular demographics.

It will require the collective effort of citizens who can help save lives by having Naloxone on them and calling 911 immediately an overdose occurs. The authorities by ensuring that overdose victims and other drug users are not just arrested but given the medical help they need to fight the addiction, and policymakers who put in place policies that will not only keep drugs off the streets, but help those already affected.

 

Colorado Marijuana Statistics Since Legalization

Colorado Marijuana Statistics Since Legalization

Even as a federally prohibited and a Schedule I substance since the 70’s, a call for the repeal of marijuana prohibition has fallen on deaf ears because so far various states such as California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada have legalized the use of recreational marijuana while Arkansas, North Dakota, Florida, and Montana states have approved medical cannabis measures.

Being one of the most liberal states in the U.S., not only has Colorado legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adult (as long as they don’t do it in public), but it has gone a step further and legalized the sale, cultivation, transportation, and possession of up to an ounce of recreational marijuana since 2012 – a legislation that has seen the legal marijuana market in Colorado reach over $1 billion dollars in 2017.

Despite costing the government over $51 billion annually on drug wars, not much impact can be felt in terms of reducing drug use. In fact, a little over 30 million Americans use marijuana every year, even after decades of its criminalization. There is no negating the effective medicinal benefits of doctor approved use of marijuana, especially in alleviating epilepsy, glaucoma, pain from AIDS, nausea from chemotherapy, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms.

However, there is very little evidence to support the idea that legalizing marijuana won’t lead to increased use and in fact, it has had little to no impact on Colorado teens’ attitudes toward the damaging effects of marijuana use. We can argue until the sun comes up that marijuana is less addictive than tobacco and alcohol, but the fact remains that it is a habit forming drug that boosts dopamine levels and could possibly give way to harder, more dangerous drugs that lead to addiction. In fact, those who use marijuana at a young age are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than non-marijuana users in the future.

While marijuana has been financially beneficial for Colorado, created jobs and boosted tourism, one of the biggest nuances that residents of Colorado have to deal with since the legalization of marijuana is that it has attracted a vast number drifters and squatters from other states that are wreaking havoc.

In addition to that, not only has the presence of marijuana in fatal car crashes across the state risen to 145% since 2013 but according to the Denver post, in 2016 alone, 63% of drivers that tested positive for marijuana were 5ng per milliliter over the state legal limit for driving.

There is no change in the number of marijuana users in Colorado but here are the pros of its legalization thus far:

  • It has made its dependency socially visible for non-users to want to steer clear of it and those addicted to seek help
  • It failed to produce the predicted increase in crime
  • It has created new job opportunities

The con: There has been an increased number of children admitted to the emergency room after taking Marijuana-laced candy and other treats.

Drug Treatment Instead Of Incarceration Act

Drug Treatment Instead Of Incarceration Act

Imagine the words “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics” appearing on your son or daughters’ untainted rap sheet? America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, but is it because Americans aren’t addicted to crime or are the politicians overly enthusiastic to criminalizing everything? The federal government’s unsuccessful war on drugs has led to unfair punishments for nonviolent drug offenders who have made youthful mistakes. Can reducing nonviolent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, and ending mandatory sentencing for nonviolent crimes help?

Incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders has been an ongoing nationwide debate, especially after a new national study of prison stated that 39% of inmates are either all non-violent or low-level offenders who would be better served by treatment, probation, or community service – alternative sentencing recommendations that would save American taxpayers a tune of 20 billion years.

Community-based treatment instead of incarceration for people indicted for drug possession offenses or drug-related probation or parole violations has been found to be an effective way to help drug-involved offenders to stay off drugs and out of trouble. The Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration Act is a form of an alternative sentencing program that acknowledges the fact that drugs can turn anyone into a criminal and attempts to lighten the burden on the US court system by providing a different recovery route instead of incarceration for drug-related crimes.

Research shows that only 10% of repeat drug offenders struggling with substance abuse or dependency received medically based drug treatment while they are incarcerated. Nonviolent drug offenders need help, not incarceration and instead of sending someone to jail where they are bound to pick-up other more serious criminal behaviors, the Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration Act addresses the root of the problem, which is their substance abuse that leads to the criminal activities.

Anyone that has been caught and charged with the possession or sale of a controlled substance offense is not necessarily a criminal unless they used physical force against another person to obtain the drugs or while on drugs. Sending such a person to jail beats the purpose. Rehabilitation instead of incarceration not only makes the community a safer place to be for the rest of us, but also, the cost of probation and treatment is much less than the cost of incarceration, and we can rest assured that we will be preserving jail and the much needed prison space for violent offenders.

Embracing a public health approach to substance abuse instead of relying on the criminal justice system under the Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration Act legislation will ensure that those charged with non-violent drug offenses will receive adequate supervision and appropriate community-based treatment services that get to the root of their substance abuse problems.

Eligible offenders in this program must not have a criminal record; they must complete an evaluation with a mental health professional and must demonstrate that they are willing to get clean and live a drug-free and a crime-free life.

What The State of Pennsylvania Is Doing To Combat Drug Addiction

September marks the Pennsylvania national recovery month held by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to support those struggling or in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. We live in a society where millions of people are dependent on drugs and because of the negative perceptions and stigmatization from the general public commonly associated with substance abuse (which is a major cause of discrimination and exclusion) has caused only a very small percentage of addicts to seek and receive the specialized treatment they need.

According to a published study of Pennsylvania Medicaid records, 60 percent of patients who overdose on prescription opioids do not get the relevant opioid addiction medication and treatment they need, instead what they get is more prescriptions for opiates. Substance abuse is widespread, and you might think that perhaps most addicts who are delivered to death’s door due to a drug overdose may scare them into giving up drugs all together, but this is not the case owing to the fact that opioids are dispensed to up to 91% of patients who have a 3-times higher risk of opioid overdose.

Generally, people who have Medicaid in Pennsylvania have access to immediate help, and are now eligible for treatment services, including psychotherapy, counseling, and a drug abuse treatment programs that provide valuable help and extends into the criminal justice system, particularly the millions who are struggling with substance abuse of any kind, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The main aim of The Pennsylvania National Recovery Month is to see individuals’ successfully complete treatment and live in recovery. This year’s theme is ‘Join the Voices for Recovery,’ which in essence recognizes the active role that family members and the community play in an addicts recovery journey. There will be various recovery events and programs that will be held throughout the month of September with the sole purpose of:

  • To speak out against the devastating impact of substance use disorder
  • Raising awareness of substance abuse, prevention, treatment, and recovery support services
  • To educate and advocate against stigmatization and discrimination against those struggling with drug addiction
  • And to celebrate thousands of those in long-term sobriety

Without the proper support, recovery can often seem impossible. The state of Pennsylvania is determined to prove that recovery from substance abuse is not only possible with a continuum of care and in the right kind of setting, but it is expected. PA also hopes to address the surrounding stigma and the lack of training by various providers despite the prevalence of substance use disorders – both aspects that make it challenging for addicts to seek help for their related addictions.

There are also numerous grief support groups in Pennsylvania for families who have experienced the devastating effect of drug dependency first hand and have lost a loved one through various substance use and overdoses. Hopefully, this can dramatically decrease the number of drug users in PA.

New Proposed Drug Laws in Palm Beach to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

While Palm Beach County is known as a sanctuary for recovering addicts, paramedics do not get a wink of sleep, and they can race to over 20 overdose calls in a day or rescue several people in a single residence who have shared a bad batch. Last year alone, they responded to thousands of overdose calls, many of which ended in fatalities. It has been reported that there are numerous facilities that are in the guise of sober homes or treatment centers for young adults suffering from substance abuse but in reality, they are flop houses for drug users sprawled everywhere Palm Beach.

Relapses and overdoses have skyrocketed, particularly after potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl, Carfentanil and the ultra-potent heroin laced with synthetics hit the street causing 592 overdoses in 2016. With such carnage on the rise, it has forced state officials to hold their very first opioid workshop in Palm Beach where families and friends who were either drug users themselves in the past or have lost loved ones to the ravages of drug addiction and overdoses were able to share their stories.

Public health officials are now urging the president to declare the nation’s opioid crisis a national health emergency in order to appeal to the administration to take immediate action as well as encourage funding for the obliteration of illicit drugs. This has seen six governors from the states of Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts declare emergencies to not only deal with the opioids epidemic but to also crack down on over-prescription of painkillers as well as threaten doctors with imprisonment and the loss of their medical licenses if they prescribed the drugs corruptly.

There was also a call to evaluate a patients’ history of drug use or addiction before doctors can recommend any types of opioid because 40 – 75% of heroin users in treatment started with prescription medication as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and JAMA Psychiatry found. Doctors, physician assistants, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and advanced practice nurses are authorized to prescribe pain medication to patients with acute and chronic pain, but not all users will take them as prescribed.

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that he would not only fight unlicensed pain management clinics, but he will also propose a regulation of placing a three-day limit on prescribed opioids unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply. In addition to that, all healthcare professionals who dispense medication will be required to take part in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that monitors controlled substance prescriptions and in the education on responsible opioids prescription.

The governor also made a commitment to propose an investment of more than $50 million that will go toward funding The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council for the treatment of substance abuse as well as counseling and recovery services in the hopes of reducing the spread of dangerous drugs and eradicating the national opioid epidemic.

Trumps New Bill on Healthcare

Trumps New Bill on Healthcare

 

Opioid overdoses killed 91 Americans a day in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The issue has become one of the sticking points in senators’ efforts to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act, as their Obamacare standby bill is called in operation.

After weeks of secret negotiations and meetings, the US Senate has released its draft of a bill that could upset the healthcare arrangement for millions of citizens.

The Senate’s 142-page tender, revealed on Thursday, would eradicate or reduce key aids delivered by Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act; lower tariffs for the rich; strip money from the women’s reproductive health provider Planned Parenthood; and dramatically cut and reorganize Medicaid, America’s public health cover program for low-income and disabled Americans.

The regulation mirrors the bill that the House of Representatives passed narrowly last month, with modest changes planned to win funding from moderate senators. In the meantime, Republican Senate leaders highlighted that the legislation is subject to change as they discuss details in a struggle to win 50 votes, the least required for the bill to pass.

Donald Trump said he thought the ending legislation would be “very good” after “a little talk”. He stated that, Obamacare is now no longer in action, and we are coming up with a plan out today that is going to be discussed. We’d love to get some Democrats’ support in this regard, but unfortunately they’re the delayers.”

America is in the mid of its nastiest drug crisis ever. It’s a subject that has brought together both the left and right, with figures from Barack Obama to Donald Trump calling for more to be done to battle the opioid epidemic in the country.

Yet House Republicans just permitted a health care bill that would, conferring to experts, make the epidemic even bad by repealing Obamacare defenses for access to drug addiction treatment. The bill now needs the Senate’s support and Trump’s signature to become regulation.

The Affordable Care Act (also called as Obamacare) involved 10 essential health benefits that insurers in the single marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, and some other health plans were required to cover. Among those 10 vital health benefits were psychological health services and habit treatment.

The American Health Care Act, the Republican health care bill, would permit states to get waivers to this obligation — letting insurers limit the choice of what they cover, perhaps to not take in mental health facilities and addiction treatment. This portion of the bill was added after AHCA failed to meet enough funding for a vote earlier this year, and it’s one of the causes enough conservative Republicans got on board for the bill this time around for it to pass the House on Thursday.

Essential health benefits are enormous for people with drug use disorders. Before, it was fairly common for insurers to leave out addiction treatment in their plans. If somebody with a drug misuse disorder wanted to get handling, she would naturally need to find a more costly plan that did take in addiction treatment and perhaps she wouldn’t be able to discover a plan, particularly an inexpensive one, at all.

 

 

Rising Drug Rates in the U.S.

RISING DRUG RATE IN THE U.S

Drug abuse is affecting U.S population on huge scale and it is increasing with every passing day. Approximately 21 million Americans aged 12 and elder had a substance misuse issue in 2015, according to a new federal estimation. From 2015 it has been rising immensely, the drug addict rate. Women of age 30 and plus are more into the marijuana. According to the reports, women who are divorced immediately get into drugs.

Among those with a substance misuse illness, three out of four persons (or about 15.7 million) had a substance use disorder connected to liquor, Kana Enomoto, the principal deputy manager of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Management, alleged at a news discussion.

In addition, 1 in 3 people with a drug use disorder had a disorder related to drug use, and 1 in 8 people had an illness concerning both drugs and liquor, Enomoto stated.

For the report, the central government used the meanings of substance use disorders as they are simplified in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic. People are meant to have a substance use complaint if, for example, they have sturdy urges to consume any substance or loses control on their use of it, or if their practice damages them in social circumstances or leads to hazardous actions.

The report similarly stated that an assessed 27.1 million people in the U.S. used a prohibited drug in the earlier month. The national approximations are grounded on the discoveries of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a yearly investigation on drug use. The 2015 study involved interviews with about 67,500 people nationwide.

The survey also exposed that, in 2015, about 1 in 12 Americans desired some form of substance use handling, Enomoto said. But only about 11 percent of these people truly got the treatment, she stated in an interview.

Drug use in the U.S.

Drug Use in the U.S. is a major problem. Marijuana remains the most frequently used drug, Enomoto said. Among people who reported consuming used any drugs in the preceding month, 87 percent stated that they had consumed marijuana, she said. Marijuana has been most used drug in jails also since 2007. Prisoners have been smuggling it inside and outside the jail premises.

And many people are reported using marijuana through the year 2015 than during any lone year among 2002 and 2013, conferring to SAMHSA. But particularly, marijuana use didn’t up surge between teenagers, Enomoto said. Rather, the complete surge was driven mainly by more use of the drug among adults ages 26 and older, according to the report. In 2002, 4 percent of grown-ups ages 26 and older who were measured reported consuming marijuana, but in 2015, that number was 6.5 percent.

Among those who informed using opioids in the past year, prescription substances were the most mutual type used, Enomoto said. An assessed 3.8 million people in the U.S. presently exploit prescription pain relievers, based to the report.

A projected 830,000 people in the U.S. consumed heroin in 2015. More than dual the number from 2002. This rate is devastating. Enomoto distinguished that there was a minor reduction, however, in heroin use from 2014 to 2015, but it was not statistically significant.

It is no lie, Drug use in the U.S. is getting out of control. Furthermore, approximately 300,000 people expressively used the drug fentanyl in the previous year, Enomoto stated. Fentanyl is a remedy painkiller that is up to 100 times more forceful than morphine and is often connected to deadly overdoses. In many situations, people who practice heroin may innocently use fentanyl, because heroin may be laced with fentanyl.

OPIOID CRISIS HITTING USA HARD

OPIOID CRISIS HITTING USA HARD

Recently, an opioid crisis has hit the USA, which have resulted in a state of emergency. “The opioid catastrophe is an emergency, and I’m saying publicly right now it is an emergency. It’s a nationwide emergency. We’re going to devote a lot of period, a lot of determination and a lot of money on the opioid catastrophe,” President Donald Trump stated.

It’s expected that President Trump was prejudiced by a temporary report that was offered to him by the Commission on Combating Drug Addition and the Opioid Crisis, which related the nation’s overdose death count to the count that caused from the extremist attacks on 9-11: “With roughly 142 Americans dying every single passing day, America is enduring a death toll equivalent to September 11th each three weeks,” the commission’s interim report stated. And the commission advised the president to announce a nationwide emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act.

The news arrives just days next Trump management officials, with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, recommended that Trump should not announce a national emergency. “We trust at this point that the funds we want or the attention that we need to bring to bear to the opioid disaster, at this point, can be talked without the announcement of an emergency,” Price said, although he made clear that the choice remains “on the table.”

“With roughly 142 people dying every day, America is moving to a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks,” the commission’s report claims. “Afterward September 11th, our President and our nation banded collectively to practice every tool at our disposal to avoid any more American deaths. Your announcement would authorize your cabinet to take courageous steps and would force Congress to put effort on backing and permitting the Executive Branch even further to deal with this cost of life.”

The instant influence of such a declaration, some experts said, is it would send a message.

“When an emergency is stated in any country of the world, whether it’s by the president or by a national governor, the primary thing that it does is give the public announcement,” Rutkow said. “In many ways, it’s a communication tool to show that how severe a specific danger is. It takes public support in every way. It gives awareness to people and so we can prevent further losses of precious lives.

Medical Marijuana

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

The word medical marijuana refers to consuming the whole, unrefined marijuana plant or its simple extracts to cure signs of disorder and other conditions. The U.S. Food and Medication Administration (FDA) has not acknowledged the marijuana plant as medication. Often, people become mixed up among the terms cannabis and marijuana. Cannabis is a type for a plant species that contains both hemp and marijuana. For a number of people, the finest way to think about cannabis is with a similarity: hemp and marijuana are to cannabis as lemons and oranges are to citrus. Two connected but dissimilar plants, from the identical family.

How long it has been used?

Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes since at least the time of early China. With regards to the United States’ pharmacological system, medical cannabis was long incorporated as a feasible cure option. It wasn’t until 1937 when, in defiance of the American Medical Association, the U.S. approved a federal law prohibiting cannabis. According to the Americans for Safe Access, from that point on cannabis was only lawfully accessible to a small number of patients through a federally controlled program called the Investigational New Drug (IND) empathetic access investigation program. In effect, the IND program permitted patients to take up to nine pounds of cannabis from the government each year, in 1976.

Where it is legal?

Medical marijuana regulations are normally created in one of two ways: either by a voter backed advantage like in California or through a state’s judicial body as in the situation of Pennsylvania. While voter initiatives must be permitted to be included to ballots only on voting years, state lawmakers can announce a medical marijuana bill whenever the state administrations are in assembly.

So far, 29 states have recognized medical marijuana programs. These states contain: AlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareHawaiiIllinoisMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMontanaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth DakotaOhioOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandVermontWashington and West Virginia.

 

Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana in America

 

While the benefits of medical marijuana have been calculated since the 1940s, the most revolutionary findings about cannabis and its healing effects have only appeared in the last decade or so as awareness in the supportive properties of medical cannabis has developed.

Modern studies propose that cannabis, or certain mixtures within it, have the potential to: