An anti-drug law sponsored by former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was signed into law Friday by President Obama. The law allows for long jail sentences and stiff fines for using ultralight aircraft to help with drug smuggling.
The pipeline of prescription painkillers from Florida to Kentucky has started to close off, the attorneys general of both states announced this week. They attributed the slowdown in illegal pill trafficking to new rules and programs in Florida, coupled with increased enforcement in both states.
The Supreme Court will hear two cases involving people who committed cocaine-related crimes before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 took effect, but who were not sentenced until afterwards. The Fair Sentencing Act reduced the disparity of sentences between people who sell crack cocaine and those who sell the powder form of the drug.
More than 1,800 prisoners are eligible for immediate release under new sentencing rules for drug crimes. The rules aim to reduce the disparity between sentences for crimes involving crack cocaine and those involving the drug in powdered form.
Florida’s prescription drug trafficking law requires mandatory minimum sentences to be based on the total weight of the drugs found in someone’s possession, not the amount of controlled substance in the pills.
One out of 10 Florida inmates is incarcerated for using drugs, and only a small percentage of these prisoners are receiving help for their addiction, advocates for increased treatment told members of the state’s Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
Massachusetts legislators are considering abolishing mandatory minimum sentences for some non-violent drug offenders, the Associated Press reports. The move would be part of a plan to reduce overcrowding in prisons and relieve budget pressures.
Researchers are studying whether the opioid antagonist naltrexone can help parolees recently released from prison who have a history of opiate addiction and relapse. Initial data indicates these parolees are less likely to be reincarcerated and to relapse.
As a new Florida law banning “pill mills” takes effect, the number of applications filed with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for new pharmacies in the state has jumped, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Prescription drug overdoses claimed the lives of 16,650 Floridians from 2003 to 2009 — an average of eight deaths a day. It’s been a devastating problem, spread by the silence and misunderstanding over addiction and by the underworld “pill mill” economy, explains Karen H. Perry, Executive Director of NOPE Task Force.