4. CHRONICLE AM: TRUCKERS OPPOSE HAIR DRUG TESTS, TX DRUG FELON FOOD
STAMP BAN ENDING, MORE (8/20/2015)
Asset forfeiture reform is moving in Michigan, Texas is about to end its
ban on food stamps for drug felons, Brazil's high court takes up a case
that could lead to drug decriminalization, the Teamsters and other labor
groups pan hair drug testing, and more. http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/aug/20/chronicle_am_truckers_oppose_hai
5. CHRONICLE AM: FIRST LAS VEGAS MEDMJ SHOP, PERU RESTARTING DRUG PLANE SHOOTDOWNS, MORE (8/21/2015)
A Wisconsin tribe moves toward legal marijuana, Oakland's effort to back
the Harborside dispensary gets shot down in federal court, Peru wants to
shoot down drug planes, both major Kentucky governor candidates want to
drug test welfare recipients, and more. http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/aug/21/chronicle_am_first_las_vegas_med
6. CHRONICLE AM: CHRISTIE BLAMES OBAMA FOR "HEROIN EPIDEMIC," CO
PATIENTS SUE OVER PTSD, MORE (8/24/2015)
Pot isn't stinky enough for its odor to automatically qualify as
disorderly conduct in Oregon, Colorado patients sue over the state's
decision not to include PTSD in the medical marijuana program,
Oklahomans will try again to get a medical marijuana initiative on the
ballot, and more. http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/aug/24/chronicle_am_christie_blames_oba
7. CHRONICLE AM: DC AG TALKS DECRIM, IL GOV VETOES MEDICARE HEROIN
TREATMENT FUNDING, MORE (8/25/2015)
Another South Florida community moves toward marijuana decrimin, GOP
primary state voters want the feds to stay out of state marijuana
policies, DC's top prosecutor hints at drug decriminalization,
Illinois's governor vetoes Medicaid heroin treatment funding, and more. http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/aug/25/chronicle_am_dc_ag_talks_decrim
The bill passed the House and Senate in May, and was sent to Gov. Bruce
Rauner (R) in June, where it sat on his desk until this week. On Monday,
Rauner finally acted -- not by signing the bill, but by vetoing critical sections of it that he says the state cannot afford. He has now sent the
bill back to the legislature and asked it to remove the offending sections.
But saying, "People are dying," the measure's House sponsor, Rep. Lou
Lang (D-Skokie), has vowed an effort to override the veto (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150824/news/150829386/). An
override could be within reach -- the bill passed by veto-proof
majorities in both houses -- but for members of a governor's own party,
a veto override is a hard vote to take.
Here's what the bill does:
* It increases the availability of opiate overdose reversal drugs and
requires private insurance to cover at least one of them, as well as
acute treatment and stabilization services. It allows licensed
pharmacists to dispense overdose reversal drugs, allows school nurses to administer them to students suffering from overdoses, and provides
protection from civil liability for people who administer them in good
* It requires the Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education to develop a three-year pilot heroin prevention program for
all schools in the state, requires the Department of Human Services to
develop materials to educate prescription opiate users on the dangers of
those drugs, and it requires the Department of Insurance to convene
working groups on drug treatment and mental illness and on parity
between state and federal mental health laws.
* It intensifies the state's prescription monitoring program by
tightening reporting requirements and it requires doctors to now
document the medical necessity of any three sequential 30-day
prescriptions for Schedule II opioids.
* On the criminal justice front, it permits multiple chances at drug
court and prevents prosecutors from unilaterally blocking entry to drug
court, and it requires prosecutors and public defenders to undergo
mandatory education on addiction and addiction treatment. It also
increases criminal penalties for "doctor shopping" if fraud is involved.
* It requires Medicaid coverage of all heroin treatment, including
methadone and other opiate maintenance treatment, as well as all
It's the latter provision to which Rauner objects.
"I support all of the above measures and applaud the multifaceted
approach to combating this epidemic in Illinois. Unfortunately, the bill
also includes provisions that will impose a very costly mandate on the
State's Medicaid providers. I am returning the bill with a
recommendation to address that concern," he said in a veto statement (http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=3&RecNum=13300).
"House Bill 1 mandates that fee-for-service and medical assistance
Medicaid programs cover all forms of medication assisted treatment of
alcohol or opioid dependence, and it removes utilization controls and
prior authorization requirements," Rauner continued. "These changes
would limit our ability to contain rising costs at a time when the State
is facing unprecedented fiscal difficulties. Importantly, the State's
Medicaid programs already cover multiple forms of medication necessary
to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. But without adequate funding to
support mandated coverage for all forms of treatment, regardless of
cost, this change would add to the State's deficit."
His recommendation is simply to delete the language requiring Medicare coverage.
Rep. Lang and other bill supporters aren't going for that.
"There's a human cost to not doing it," Lang said. "People are addicted,
people are sick, people are dying. You want to talk about the costs of providing methadone and Narcan to addicts, but you forget totally that
if you cure them or they get off the stuff, there's a savings to the
Medicaid system on a different line item, because they're no longer in emergency rooms, they're no longer a burden to law enforcement."
At the same time as the problem with heroin and prescription opioids has
been deepening, the state's ability to provide treatment has been
decreasing. According to a report (http://www.roosevelt.edu/CAS/CentersAndInstitutes/IMA/ICDP#publications) this month from the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, the state's ranking
for drug treatment capacity has fallen from 28th in the nation in 2009
to 47th this year. This as demand for heroin and opiate treatment
statewide is increasing dramatically. In Chicago and the surrounding
suburbs, 35% of drug treatment admissions are for heroin, more than
twice the national average.
The consortium's director and the study's lead author, Kathleen
Kane-Willis, noted that Illinois is one of only a few states nationwide
that doesn't allow Medicaid coverage of opiate maintenance treatment.
"We're going to pay for not paying," she said.
But bill supporters could also find the votes to override the veto. Rep.
Lang says that is what's he going to try to do, and with a 114-0 vote in
the House and a 46-6 vote in the Senate the first time around, he has
plenty of supporters to ask. If that happens, Illinois will get the drug treatment it needs, and Rauner will still be able to maintain his
fiscally conservative credentials.
bliss -- Cacao Powered... (-SF4ever at DSLExtreme dot com)
bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco
"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cacao that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
--from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.