It has not made it through the Senate, but pray that it does! This Bill will ease many problems in the marijuana industry, which now is an all cash business … with the problems that naturally flow from that. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR IDIOT LEGISLATORS TO DO WHAT IS INEVITABLE? LEGALIZE AND REGULATE POT!
Excerpts from the Article:
The House of Representatives passed a standalone marijuana reform bill for the first time in history on Wednesday. The chamber advanced the legislation—which would protect banks that service the cannabis industry from being penalized by federal regulators—in a vote of 321-103.
All but one Democrat voted in favor of the bill. Republicans were virtually split, with 91 voting for the legislation and 102 opposing it.
For six years, lawmakers have been pushing for the modest reform, which is seen as necessary to increase financial transparency and mitigate risks associated with operating on a largely cash-only basis—something many marijuana businesses must do because banks currently fear federal reprisal for taking them on as clients.
While the House has approved historic cannabis amendments in the past, including one this summer that would protect all state marijuana programs from federal intervention, those have had to be renewed annually. This is the first time a standalone reform bill was approved in the chamber, and the policy will be permanently codified into law if the Senate follows suit and the president signs it.
“If someone wants to oppose the legalization of marijuana, that’s their prerogative, but American voters have spoken and continue to speak and the fact is you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Prohibition is over,” Perlmutter said on the floor. “Our bill is focused solely on taking cash off the streets and making our communities safe and only congress can take these steps to provide this certainty for businesses, employees and financial institutions across the country.”
Americans across the country are voting to approve some level of marijuana use & we need these marijuana businesses & employees to have access to checking accounts, lines of credit & more. #SAFEBanking will improve transparency & reduce the public safety risk in our communities.
Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) made an impassioned case for the bill, sharing an anecdote about a security guard who worked for a cannabis shop who was killed on the job and emphasizing that the legislation would mitigate the risks of violent crime at these businesses. “You can be agnostic on the underlying policy of whether or not cannabis should be legal for either adult recreational use or to treat seizures, but you cannot be agnostic on the need to improve safety in this area,” he said.
“I have long fought for criminal justice reform and deeply understand the need to fully address the historical racial and social inequities related to the criminalization of marijuana,” Waters said in a press release on Tuesday. “I support legislation that deschedules marijuana federally, requires courts to expunge convictions for marijuana-related offenses, and provides assistance such as job training and reentry services for those who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.”
“I am proud to bring this legislation to the Floor, but I believe it does not go far enough,” he said. “This must be a first step toward the decriminalization and de-scheduling of marijuana, which has led to the prosecution and incarceration of far too many of our fellow Americans for possession.”
“Today’s vote is a significant first step, but it must not be the last. Much more action will still need to be taken by lawmakers,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal told Marijuana Moment. “In the Senate, we demand that lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee hold true to their commitment to move expeditiously in support of similar federal reforms. And in the House, we anticipate additional efforts to move forward and pass comprehensive reform legislation like The MORE Act—which is sponsored by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—in order to ultimately comport federal law with the new political and cultural realities surrounding marijuana.”
“This bipartisan legislation is vital to protecting public safety, fostering transparency, and leveling the playing field for small businesses in the growing number of states with successful cannabis programs,” he said.
The Whole Story:
Study on solitary confinement makes a tragic case for restricting it in the U.S. People held in solitary confinement were 127 percent more likely to die from opioid overdose.
I was placed in isolation cells for 1,510 days. I saw many men go mad. “Thank you,God, for my strong spirit”! YOU should read: It’s not about What They Did to Me – Prison Abuse
What these studies don’t tell you is that the isolation cells are used improperly and illegally very often by mean-spirited guards to shut up or punish inmates who try to complain about prison abuse or medical neglect, or try to contact the outside world about the same.
Excerpts from the Article:
In the United States, thousands of prisoners are put in “the hole” for years, and while it’s established the practice of isolating people results in trauma while they are in prison, new research shows solitary confinement is linked with massive costs once prisoners are released.
Scientists reported Friday that people who spent any time in what’s officially known as “restrictive housing” during their incarceration at a North Carolina state prison were “significantly more likely to die of all causes in the first year after release than those who did not.” Furthermore, spending more than 14 days in solitary confinement was linked with a higher risk of death and reincarceration after release from prison.
Their work was published the journal JAMA Open Network, and it examined those prisoners between 2000 to 2015. The data was provided to the team by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, which has expressed interest in reforming how the state approaches solitary confinement.
First author Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, tells Inverse that previous research has shown that solitary confinement can be detrimental to health, but “traditionally it has been very hard to obtain administrative data on time in solitary confinement during incarceration.”
Similarly, it’s been difficult for researchers to establish how many Americans have been placed in solitary confinement. A 2016 study by Yale Law School found that about 66,000 prisoners were in solitary confinement, based on data from 73 percent of the country’s prison population. The study also estimates that if all data was available, that number would rise to 80,000 people.
In the case of this new study, Brinkley-Rubinstein and colleagues were able to use data provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, then matched that data to mortality records. The cohort study included 229,297 people, some who had been placed in restrictive housing and others who had not.
Certain patterns emerged: People who spent any time in restrictive housing were 24 percent more likely to die in the first year of their release. Within this group, 78 percent died from suicide while roughly 54 percent from homicide. These individuals were also 127 percent more likely to die from an opioid overdose in the first two weeks after their release. This was especially true for white individuals.
These individuals were also 127 percent more likely to die from an opioid overdose in the first two weeks after their release.”
While this study shows that exposure to restrictive housing “may be a contributing factor” to risk of death during community reentry, it can’t establish exactly why.
“We know that being incarcerated increases the risk of adverse health outcomes post-release but, what is understudied, is what are the ‘mechanisms of incarceration’ that heighten this risk above and beyond what we already know,” Brinkley-Rubinstein explains.
But testaments of prisoners and psychiatrists point to the mechanisms that are likely at play. To be in restrictive housing means to be within a cell about the size of a king-sized bed for 22 to 24-hours a day. These settings mean social isolation, sensory deprivation, and intense physical idleness. Interviews with prisoners in solitary show indicate that time spent there can induce paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks, and suicidal intentions among other repercussions. They can lose their ability to interact with other people and to know who they are.
Currently, there is a lawsuit filed against the Virginia Department of Corrections for holding a man named Tyquine Lee in solitary confinement at Red Onion State Prison for more than 600 days. Lee has lost over 30 pounds, as well as his ability to speak and remember his name.
There are movements to reform restrictive housing rules in the United States, but various agencies and advocacy groups differ on when it should be applied. Some consider it torture and advocate for its complete restriction, while others argue for more gradual efforts or alternatives.
In 2016, the Department of Justice argued that in certain occasions “correctional officials have no choice but to segregate inmates from the general population” but “we believe strongly this practice should be used rarely, applied fairly, and subjected to reasonable constraints.” Meanwhile, the nonprofit the Vera Institutes argues it should only be used as a “last resort” and “for the shortest time possible.” While federally there are no restrictions on solitary confinement, as of July 2019 there are eight states that have legislation that limits the use of restrictive housing.
In turn, the authors of this new study argue that their results can be used to “identify people for linkage to trauma-nformed, community-based substance use and mental health treatment, overdose prevention and harm reduction, and wraparound care and services. To Brinkley-Rubinstein, the goal is that the data can ignite change: “I hope that jails and prisons reconsider the use of solitary confinement and restrict its use.”
In 2015, the United Nations instituted the “Mandela Rules,” which state that no one should be put in solitary confinement for more than 15 days. However, the US doesn’t follow those rules.
Conclusions and relevance: This study suggests that exposure to restrictive housing is associated with an increased risk of death during community reentry. These findings are important in the context of ongoing debates about the harms of restrictive housing, indicating a need to find alternatives to its use and flagging restrictive housing as an important risk factor during community reentry.
Rough day already! Carpe Diem! 10/2/19 … I did not sleep well when my friend, X, told me what happened in court yesterday.
A guy I was helping by phone and email got screwed yesterday. Long story short: He was on trial in MO for the past two days and he had a PD who did NOTHING. He is, in fact innocent, yet was convicted of all 3 charges. He clutched on the stand and did not say what I had advised him to say, and his PD was useless. He was convicted of 1. possession of meth with intent to deliver, 2. poss of pot, 3. poss of paraphernalia – rolling papers.
He was sentenced to 10 years!! TEN YEARS! 🙁
NICE GUY, AGE 32, NO PRIOR RECORD (a couple of pot charges from 4 and 9 years ago, respectively).
I spent at least 10 hours talking with him on the phone and he IS innocent. He was stopped for a traffic charge, the cop saw a joint in the ashtray, and searched the car. He found a scale with meth residue.
Now, X had the scale because he needs it to weigh ingredients for a medicine which he takes. He has never used meth, much less sold it. He had the instructions for the medicine, showing the need for the scale, and he did get that into evidence… over the objection of his idiot PD!
He had lent the scale to a friend the day b4 the stop, and, obviously, that guy used it for meth and did not clean it b4 returning it.
1. What the fuck does it achieve by locking him up for TEN YEARS!?
2. I am going to email the prosecutor this weekend to tell him he’s and asshole. Oh, yes I am! X called me several times yesterday during breaks in the trial, telling me his PD did not believe him, was doing nothing, and the jackass prosecutor objected to nearly every word X said as he tried to tell the truth to the jury. Clearly one of those asshole, idiot, dangerous prosecutors who thinks it’s a numbers game …. how many people can I lock up?!
HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?
- The PD waltzed in on the morning of trial, had never met X nor talked with him b4, and, when X told him why the scale had meth on it, the PD said “Well, I don’t believe that story”! Shoot that asshole! I have interviewed thousands of people charged with crimes, and I can tell when they are lying. THAT’S MY JOB! I spent many, many hours talking with X over the past several months, because he has been so worried about these charges, and, I “cross-examined” him early on… there is no doubt about the real reason he had the scale.
- The arresting officer takes the stand, bedecked in his uniform, and says something like: “I am Sgt. Bozo, with the MO State Police, and I am assigned to the drug unit. I have been there for 15 years, made x thousand drug arrests for all kinds of drugs, … blah blah blah. In my extensive experience (“when I could have been doing some good solving our backlog of unsolved rapes and murders, but, oh shit, that takes real wok!”) if someone has a scale with a drug residue on it they are selling that drug. Never mind that he never saw anyone sell anything, and neither did anyone else. Never mind that X had offered to take a polygraph exam about why he had the scale (they did not give him one and he could not afford a private one … they cost about $600.00). You see, the cop is an “expert” so he can say what he said, and voila!, X, an innocent man, is convicted. This happens EVERY DAY IN OUR FUCKED UP CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM!
Governor Wolf in PA is calling for legalization of Pot. There are scores of articles on my website as to why this is better than current policies. Let us pray that the idiot legislators do it … it is inevitable, yet some of them – Republicans – are still saying stupid shit like “we are disappointed because it is still a Schedule 1 narcotic according to the federal government”! Full legalization is inevitable, and NOW is the time for PA to join the sensible states.
Excerpts from the Article:
Gov. Tom Wolf wants to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in Pennsylvania. In a news conference Wednesday, Wolf called for legislation to eliminate criminal charges for nonviolent acts involving small amounts of cannabis and expunge the records of those previously convicted.
Wolf also wants the General Assembly to begin serious debate on legalizing regulated recreational marijuana for adults. “I said in the past that I didn’t know if Pennsylvania was ready for this,” Wolf said. “I believe Pennsylvania is ready for this.”
The governor points to a 93-day tour that took Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to all 67 counties in the state to discuss recreational marijuana. Based on a report from the tour, Wolf said 68% of the attendees were in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.
“If you oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana, you are in the minority in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Eugene DePasquale applauded Wolf for calling for reform to the state’s marijuana laws as part of criminal justice reform.
“It’s time for public policy to catch up with public opinion,” DePasquale said in a statement. “My research shows that regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use could generate up to $581 million in new revenue annually, money that Pennsylvania could use to strengthen support for education, fight opioid addiction and expand access to health care.”
Wolf and Fetterman were quick to point out that, like alcohol, this would only be legal for adults.
“We now know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me,” Wolf said. “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together, especially the criminal justice reforms I am proposing today, which will have an immediately positive influence on thousands of families across Pennsylvania.”
Recreational marijuana is fully legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania is one of 22 states where medicinal marijuana is legal, but pot remains illegal for recreational use. CBD oil is legal in six more states.
It’s High Time Someone Studied Marijuana Taxes—So We Did Our study also suggests that health officials need to work around medical marijuana users who circumvent taxes faced by recreational users.
These guys identify an interesting problem and offer solutions:
“So what can public officials do? One solution is to coordinate tax rates across states to avoid cross-border purchasing.
Our study also suggests that health officials need to work around medical marijuana users who circumvent taxes faced by recreational users. Connecting dispensaries electronically and making the purchasing cards computer-readable to keep track of marijuana sales could help cut down on this practice.”
Excerpts from the Article:
Consumers don’t seem to mind paying sales taxes on things like food and clothing. Marijuana may be a different story.
As marijuana taxes are imposed in more states, many recreational marijuana users might cross interstate borders to avoid them or even hoard stocks of weed in anticipation of them. If state governments don’t adjust to such behavior, it will reduce revenue and most likely increase overall marijuana consumption.
Not many states have studied the implications of pot taxes on consumer behavior. So we did. I’m a Ph.D. student of public policy, and my colleagues and I studied data from marijuana users in Oregon.
We wanted to see what the economic consequences of marijuana taxes are on this billion-dollar industry. Also, we wanted to help local governments to understand them – at a time when states are increasingly relying on these new sources of revenue to pay for education, health and law enforcement.
Although marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. government, meaning the drug has a high potential for abuse and is illegal to possess, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the possession or sale of recreational marijuana.
As of 2019, 33 states have permitted medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession, and most Americans support legalization.
Each state with a legalized market has imposed a tax on marijuana transactions. Starting on Jan. 4, 2016, Oregon officials levied a 25% tax on recreational marijuana, which generated US$60.2 million in tax revenue that year alone.
Research suggests that taxes – particularly taxes on substances or activities considered harmful, such as gambling, alcoholic beverages or sugary soft drinks – alter consumer behavior. If consumers foresee tax changes, they may purchase and store large quantities before implementation of a tax. This may lower overall revenue raised by the product temporarily until consumers use their stores.
Cross-border purchasing is likely to be a more permanent issue regarding marijuana taxation, especially in states like Oregon, where large population centers are located near borders of other states that have also legalized marijuana sales – making it easy to avoid taxes with a quick road trip.
Many people shifted to untaxed medical marijuana immediately after marijuana legalization passed in Oregon as you can see by the rise of medical marijuana applications post-taxation. Medical marijuana patients may also buy untaxed marijuana for friends and family, further cutting into the revenue raised.
So what can public officials do? One solution is to coordinate tax rates across states to avoid cross-border purchasing.
Our study also suggests that health officials need to work around medical marijuana users who circumvent taxes faced by recreational users. Connecting dispensaries electronically and making the purchasing cards computer-readable to keep track of marijuana sales could help cut down on this practice.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Yes, California was one of the first states on the “tough on crime” bandwagon, with awful results. They now are starting to “get it”: enhanced sentences do not reduce crime nor keep us safer.
This is telling: “Law enforcement fought us tooth and nail” … as I have warned for years, for every 1 person arrested, 29 benefit financially, so they lobby mightily and donate to lawmakers’ campaigns to save their useless jobs, trying to prevent needed changes. cops, prison guard unions, all the companies contracting with prisons, etc.!
“The California District Attorneys Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, and the California State Sheriffs’ Association all fought the bill.” … sure they did … job preservation! These moves by D As’ Associations really piss me off as a former prosecutor. The prosecutor’s job is to be FAIR, not just to lock up people.
Excerpts from the Article:
Asia was only 3-years-old when her parents went to prison, convicted on first-time drug charges. She would spend the next four years waiting for her mother, Ashleigh Carter, to be released, allowed only short visits every few months. Meanwhile, Asia and her disabled grandmother — both of whom had been in Carter’s care — struggled in her absence. They lived in a shelter after surviving a violent break-in. Asia struggled with self-esteem, was bullied by other kids, and grappled with the fear and trauma that comes with family separations.
Asia and her mother shared their stories with California lawmakers this year, in support of a Senate Bill 394, which enables parents and primary caregivers for a child under the age of 18 who are charged with nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors to opt into programs instead of imprisonment.
It is one of several newly passed criminal justice reform bills now awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.
Senate Bill 136, which puts an end to sentence enhancements that automatically add an extra year for anyone convicted of recommitting a felony for which they had already served time
AB 1331, which will increase research and improve record-keeping in the criminal justice system
AB 32, which effectively ends the era of California’s reliance on private, for-profit prisons, including ICE detention centers.
Building on a series of reforms enacted in recent years that aim to reduce numbers in the state’s overcrowded and overwhelmed prison system, the changes mark a shift away from the tough-on-crime punitive policies of the past.
Roughly 80% of prisoners have had their sentences enhanced, and for more than a quarter of those, it has happened multiple times. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, more than 11,000 people currently behind bars have had an arbitrary year added to their sentences because of the enhancement laws.
The practice comes at a high cost — the state spends roughly $80,000 a year to lock up a prisoner, a figure that multiplies as enhancements are added. Senate Bill 136 ends the practice, and according to an analysis by the Department of Finance, California will save $20.5 million in the first year of implementation. The savings are projected to increase each budget year to $43 million in 2021-22 and $68.5 million in 2023-24.
Passage was hard-won. SB 136 achieved a narrow victory, passing 41-37 in the Assembly, and 22-16 in the Senate.
“Law enforcement fought us tooth and nail,” Wiener said, adding this was only the second time sentence enhancements have been repealed in the state. A similar bill, introduced last session, didn’t pass.
“I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like it,” said Assemblymember Jim Cooper, a Democrat representing the Sacramento area, who did not vote for the bill. A former captain for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Cooper scored an 85% rating from the National Association of Police Organizations for pushing back against several reforms that would get people out of prisons.
“If this bill is signed by the governor, it will potentially give those repeat offenders a pass on that one-year enhancement,” he said. “Judges are in a much better position to make a decision on that than the legislature.”
Movement away from ‘three strikes’
California voters overwhelmingly approved one of the nation’s first “Three Strikes and You’re Out” laws in the mid-’90s, which landed some in prison for life if they were charged after having two previous conviction. By 2007, the state counted more than 173,000 prisoners, a 740% jump in just three decades.
After a series of lawsuits, in 2009 federal judges ruled that the state’s system was so overcrowded it was unable to provide constitutionally required care for prisoners. By 2011, when the Supreme Court stepped in and ordered the state to bring its numbers down, the prison population was at 162,000, close to 180% of what the system was designed to hold.
Now, prisons are holding at roughly 135% of capacity. Officials credit policy changes with the drop. The state successfully enacted several reforms, through both the legislature and the ballot box. Proposition 57, which provided incentives for rehabilitation program participation inside prisons, alone resulted in a reduction of 10,600 in the average daily prison population over the next three years, due to good time, early-release credits.
Advocates emphasize that there’s also been changes in the way criminal justice is discussed — and that’s largely what is driving the shifts in policy.
“A lot of the prior law and order and criminal justice policy comes from faulty storytelling,” said Erin Haney, Senior counsel at #cut50, explaining that now they are working to change the narrative. “We are now starting to look at what justice means, and that is very different than solely relying on our long history of thinking of justice as exclusively punishment.”
Carter, a partner with the group’s Empathy Network, an initiative that gives a platform to those impacted by the incarceration system, used her story to advocate for Senate Bill 394.
“When my daughter Asia was born I held her in my arms, looked her in the eyes, and swore to her that I would protect her with every fiber of my being,” Carter said through tears during her testimony during a California Senate Public Safety Committee hearing. “I promised her that she had nothing to be afraid of because Mama would take care of her and never leave her side — and I lied.” It’s been 10 years since, but they say their family still hasn’t recovered. That’s why Carter said she decided to share her story, in an effort to convince lawmakers to give parents — and their kids — a chance at a better life.
Senate Bill 394, The Primary Caregiver Pretrial Diversion Act, enables parents and primary caregivers for a child under the age of 18 who are charged with nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors to opt into programs instead of imprisonment.
Authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat who represents the East Bay, the bill is intended to help the millions of children negatively impacted when a parent goes to prison, and ensure families aren’t separated by the system. It would create a pretrial diversion court that redirects parents or caregivers with dependent children into programs, including counseling, drug, and alcohol treatment, and career, parenting and financial classes to help them get back on track.
The California District Attorneys Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, and the California State Sheriffs’ Association all fought the bill.
“I think we are moving in a positive direction,” Wiener says, adding that, over the past few years the legislature has achieved important reforms. “We have made a lot of changes — but we have a lot more work to do.”
My good friend, Jim Martin, knows what he’s talking about. He has been helping the homeless for many, many years!
Excerpts from the Article:
Please help me spread the word about the current housing crisis and the lack of fair housing opportunities for the working poor in Sussex County! I am seeing how those who are earning less than $21 an hour are being pushed out of Sussex County because of steadily increasing housing costs month after month as their transportation costs also increase.
Extremely high housing prices now could mean that low density, Single Family Home type zoning is a clearer and clearer form of housing discrimination. Let’s be real and now say that “Fair Housing” no longer even exists in many areas of Sussex County. I predict the roofless and homeless situation will continue to escalate year after year and will soon become a terrible chaos unless “higher density” changes are made in both building codes and zoning ordinances in Sussex County.
We all know that affordable housing is no longer affordable anymore. The wait-listed and the unbanked or under-banked are being left behind with no hope for housing on their own. The push-out of the working poor is underway and has been for a while.
Clinicians and health professionals and community planners also need to understand how terrible the housing/homelessness crisis is getting right now as winter approaches and thousands in the county have nowhere to sleep.
For 11 years straight now I have been helping the homeless face to face in Delaware. The suffering I am seeing is more disturbing than ever. There are thousands in Sussex County who are living in their cars because the working poor can’t buy both a house and a car, so they buy a car so they can get to work. I think we have over 10,000 who are homeless in Sussex County.
If you make $21 an hour or less, you basically get to live in your car. If you make less than 12 an hour, you can’t afford a car or a home, so you sleep wherever you can find a spot. I am seeing what sleep deprivation looks like day after day. We are in a full-blown housing and homelessness crisis!!
I unveiled a my new Housing Crisis Chart a few months ago at a Sussex County Council meeting that explains the Sussex County Housing Crisis in bright colors, detailed explanations and current data. I also spoke for 3 minutes under Public Comments. If you want a copy, please send me your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org
It becomes clear from this Chart that 45,856 Sussex Countians are feeling the Sussex County housing crisis right now.
Here are the numbers backed up by sourced data, as well as, calculated data:
•1,146 are The Chronic Homeless
• 3,439 are the Job Seeking Homeless
•11,464 are the Wait-listed Homeless and
•29,807 are precariously housed being “one-bad argument away” from being homeless.
These are important questions for discussion about fair housing and affordable housing in Sussex County.
What percentage of each Zone is severely burdened? What is the lowest standard of living associated with each Zone?
Which Zones contain families that are experiencing a crisis? How should limited funds and resources be allocated accordingly?
Wellness begins with WE.
Jim Martin is director of the Shepherd’s Office at 408 N. Bedford St. Georgetown. Find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/helpinghomeless.
It’s called cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the 8th Amendment. It is also “deliberate indifference to a serious medical need”, and inmates can sue. AND IT IS COMMON.
When I was in, a nurse who had gotten to know me, and who knew I would be writing my book, told me that she got orders from her boss (the “health care” provider at the time, since replaced twice) to arbitrarily terminate any two medications for any inmate receiving 4 or more meds per month … just pick two and stop providing them, to save money.
Excerpts from the Article:
A group of inmates is suing the New York state prison system over its efforts to crack down on prescription drug abuse, saying they are being forced to live with chronic pain because some medications have become too difficult to get behind bars.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court Monday, takes aim at a policy launched in 2017 that requires an extra layer of approval by senior prison system medical staff before inmates can get prescriptions filled for commonly abused and overused drugs.
In reality, those approvals are rarely given, the lawsuit said, leading to hundreds of prisoners being cut off from drugs used for legitimate medical reasons.
“The wholesale denial of these medications especially effects an already vulnerable population: one that includes patients with severe spinal and neurological issues, phantom pain from amputations, multiple sclerosis and serious, chronic pain,” the lawsuit said.
Eighteen prisoners are listed as plaintiffs in the suit. Many complained about restricted access to two drugs, the opioid painkiller tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram, and the nerve pain and anti-convulsant medication gabapentin, sold under the brand name Neurontin.
Gabapentin isn’t a controlled substance on the federal level, but a growing number of states have taken steps to more closely monitor its use because of evidence it is being used by huge numbers of opioid addicts to make their high more potent. It is increasingly being discovered in the blood of people who have fatally overdosed on opioids. Simultaneously, it has become one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S.
Health officials in several countries have also documented widespread abuse of gabapentin in jails. The New York lawsuit includes several prisoners who say they need the drug and other painkillers for legitimate reasons
The suit said one of them, Angel Hernandez, 57, had been taking Ultram and Neurontin for years to control pain, numbness and a burning sensation from a degenerative spine problem and other ailments but was cut off from both drugs in 2017. His “medical records are full of his complaints of severe and unmitigated pain and suffering. Nothing was done,” the lawsuit said.
Another plaintiff in the suit, Wayne Stewart, 40, said he had chronic pain after injuries from a shooting in 2003 that left five bullets lodged in his body, including his head and the base of his spine. The gunshot wounds left him paralyzed from the waist down. He has also suffered from a pelvic bone infection. The suit said Stewart’s prescription for extended-release morphine was discontinued in favor of a far less potent dose of Percocet, which contains the opioid oxycodone. Then the Percocet prescription was also discontinued without cause. “To this day, Mr. Stewart continues to live with chronic, untreated pain,” the lawsuit said.
Pain management in prisons and jails is complicated due to concerns of prescription diversion and misuse, said Lipi Roy, a clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone.
My friend, and now A G, Kathy Jennings, is on the right path here. The motives are twofold: 1. Delaware brings in oodles of money from companies incorporated here, and with other states starting to compere in that area, they want to “clean up their act”. 2. This will reduce crime. All manner of shady characters have long used dummy corporations for all kinds of crimes, probably most widely money laundering, for off shore banking and other scams.
Her office should open up a new tactict to police all such suspicious businesses, but she does not possibly have the manpower to do it. The FEDS need to do more investigations, then we can terminate them as companies.
Excerpts from the Article:
Delaware’s top law enforcement official is asking a court to dissolve a list of local “shell” companies tied to acts like funneling hush money to President Donald Trump’s porn star mistress to propping up the late Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.
Attorney General Kathy Jennings on Thursday petitioned Delaware’s Chancery Court to dissolve 15 Delaware business entities that have been involved in federal indictments, international sanctions and political controversies that have reached the highest levels of American power.
“Delaware is a global business destination we are very proud of in Delaware, but today, we are helping uphold that brand by shielding it from abuse,” Jennings said Thursday.
Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty in federal court earlier this year to campaign and tax law violations tied to the use of Delaware entity Essential Consultants LLC to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000. He has said the payment was meant to conceal the president’s adulterous relationship with the woman during his election campaign.
Cohen also told federal authorities he used Delaware entity Resolution Consultants LLC to arrange a payment of $125,000 to a second woman claiming relations with Trump, but did not consummate that payout.
Manafort, the notorious lobbyist, conservative figure and Trump’s former campaign chair, is in federal prison after pleading guilty to various money laundering and fraud charges for concealing millions in personal income received from the Ukrainian government. The crimes involved a scheme he and associate Richard Gates conducted using five businesses formed in Delaware.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Jennings is moving to dissolve two LLCs that federal authorities in Florida accused of laundering money on behalf of a group known as the “Cartel of the Suns,” which included members of the Venezuelan armed forces smuggling cocaine into Mexico and the United States on behalf of the guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC.
Two targeted entities are tied to individuals under federal indictment for their involvement in a website known as Goldpharma, which is accused by federal authorities of illegally importing pharmaceuticals into the United States and laundering the money to Argentina.
Masters Internationals Inc. was placed on a federal sanctions list in 2008 for its role in helping the former Zimbabwean prime minister undermine electoral processes.
The entity was controlled by John Bredenkamp, which federal authorities describe as a well-known Mugabe insider that “propped up” the late dictator’s regime using a web of companies. This is the second time the Delaware attorney general has moved to dissolve a limited liability company formed in the state. Earlier this year, four entities tied to Backpage.com were dissolved at the request of state officials.
BACKGROUND: Four companies linked to Backpage.com no longer Delaware LLCs
The website involved in nearly three-quarters of the 10,000 child-trafficking reports received annually by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was seized by federal law enforcement in April 2018.
The men responsible for creating and operating the site are under federal indictment.
But before state officials moved to dissolve the entities and through reports of trafficking on the site, Delaware entities behind the website remained listed in “good standing” with the Delaware Department of State – a term that indicates the company had paid its $300 annual franchise tax.
Jennings request to dissolve more bad-acting entities doesn’t mean that state authorities are opening up a new tactic of policing such businesses. Delaware has a reputation as an incorporation center, but it also has a reputation as a haven for shell entities used for embezzlement and other nefarious deeds — a reputation local politicians dispute.
Each of the entities named in Thursday’s court complaints, or the people behind them, have been previously targeted by federal indictments or sanctions before — actions that would have likely stopped whatever nefarious acts the companies were involved in.
When asked whether the dissolution of the companies was mostly symbolic, Jennings would not discuss whether her office believes any of the entities are still active. She emphasized that dissolving the companies “forecloses” any opportunity for them to continue to function.
She added that her office is being “conservative” in going after the companies that have already been flagged by other authorities as having a “criminal purpose.”
“We are convinced the 15 we are going after have at their core nefarious criminal intent,’ she said.
And the filing should be examined closely for fraudulent transfers of money out of the company. The greedy ratbastard Sackler may have drained billions of $$$$ from the company b4 the filing.
SOME COMPANY EXECUTIVES SHOULD BE IMPRISONED!
Excerpts from the Article:
The company’s board approved the Chapter 11 filing on Sunday. The move is designed in part to resolve more than 2,000 lawsuits filed against Purdue over its alleged role in the opioid epidemic.
Last week, the firm reached a tentative deal to settle most of those lawsuits. But some states remain opposed to the proposed settlement.
The company, owned by the billionaire Sackler family, is accused of playing a damaging role in spurring the opioid crisis through the sale of drugs like painkiller OxyContin.
In a statement reported by Reuters, members of the Sackler family said: “It is our hope the bankruptcy reorganisation process that is now under way will end our ownership of Purdue and ensure its assets are dedicated for the public benefit.”
Opioids are a group of drugs that range from codeine to illegal drugs like heroin. Prescription opioids are primarily used for pain relief but can be highly addictive. On average, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says more than 200,000 Americans have died from opioid-related overdoses in the last two decades.
Firms including Purdue are accused of using deceptive practices to sell opioids including downplaying their addictive quality.
Purdue argued the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, had approved labels for OxyContin that had warnings about the risks.