New York State Decriminalizes Recreational Marijuana Use
New York state this week decriminalized recreational marijuana use, Reuters reports. Possession of small amounts of marijuana will be punished with fines instead of jail time.
Police organizations promoting an approach to opioids that emphasizes treatment over jail are concerned the incoming Trump Administration may focus on prosecution rather than treatment, Scientific American reports.
So-called ANGEL programs, which started in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 2015, have been expanded to hundreds of police departments nationwide. The Obama Administration has supported the programs, the article notes.
Comments from Senator Jeff Sessions, the nominee for Attorney General, indicate the incoming administration may focus first on reducing the supply of illegal drugs coming in from Mexico.
In December, researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that between June 2015 and May 2016, 94.5 percent of the 376 people seeking help through Gloucester’s ANGEL program were offered placement in a detox or treatment program, and 89.7 percent enrolled. Lead researcher Davida Schiff of Boston Medical Center said in order for police-led treatment referral programs to be successful, more treatment facilities are needed.