Posts Tagged ‘illegal drugs’

Banking and finance roundup

Opioids roundup

  • Prisoners die of drug overdoses at a high rate in their first week after release. That’s in part a prohibition-related problem [Jeffrey Miron, Cato]
  • “Drug testing kits can detect the presence of fentanyl and other contaminants — but in many places, including Illinois, they are classified as illegal drug paraphernalia.” [Steve Chapman]
  • “Hospitalized Patients Are Civilian Casualties in the Government’s War on Opioids” [Jeffrey A. Singer, Cato, more]
  • Texas: “Opioid lawyers pumped $110K into LaHood’s campaign after Bexar County DA hired them” [David Yates, Southeast Texas Record] “State senator working with Watts on home turf opioid lawsuit, lawyers billing Hidalgo County $3,800 an hour” [SE Texas Record]
  • “Cities Vs. States: A Looming Battle For Control Of High-Stakes Opioid Litigation” [Daniel Fisher on Tennessee AG’s intervention]
  • All 50 states have now adopted prescription drug monitoring programs, but do they work as intended? [Jeffrey Singer, Jacob Sullum]

May 9 roundup

  • Since political belief has not been made a protected class under New York public accommodations law, it’s no surprise — various memes notwithstanding — that a judge would find taverns entitled by law to deny service to a candidate’s supporters [Julia Marsh, New York Post]
  • Florida: “Attorney faces federal prison after admitting role in $23M auto insurance fraud” [Paula McMahon/Sun-Sentinel, more]
  • Pardons, double jeopardy, and now-departed Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: “Historically, New York was proud of providing greater constitutional protections than the feds offered, but that was before Trump.” [Scott Greenfield]
  • Megan McArdle follows up on her Alfie Evans column (and thanks for mention) [Washington Post, earlier]
  • Not your conventional presidential lawyer: two reports look at the legal practice of attorney Michael Cohen [Ilya Marritz and Andrea Bernstein/WNYC, Seth Hettena/Rolling Stone]
  • Harshing the mellow: Regulation, taxes driving some cannabis culture back underground in California [David Boaz, Cato]

Medical roundup

  • Outcry among British doctors after trainee pediatrician convicted of negligent homicide in death of patient following systemic errors at understaffed hospital [Telegraph, Saurabh Jha, Medscape, General Medical Council]
  • “There’s no particular reason to think that smokers will be happier with denatured tobacco than drinkers have been with weak beer.” [J.D. Tuccille on FDA plans to reduce nicotine level in cigarettes]
  • “Why Doesn’t the Surgeon General Seek FDA Reclassification of Naloxone to OTC?” [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
  • “1 in 3 physicians has been sued; by age 55, 1 in 2 hit with suit” [Kevin B. O’Reilly, AMA Wire] “Best and worst states for doctors” [John S Kiernan, WalletHub]
  • “Soon came a ‘routine’ urine drug test, ostensibly to ensure she didn’t abuse the powerful drug. A year later, she got the bill for that test. It was $17,850.” [Beth Mole, ArsTechnica]
  • Milkshakes could be next as sugar-tax Tories in Britain pursue the logic of joylessness [Andrew Stuttaford, National Review]

Alabama law enables sheriff to eat well

Under an Alabama law passed before World War II, many county sheriffs can keep what are deemed extra sums allocated for inmate meals but not used for that purpose. Some large counties require the surplus to be turned over to general county funds. Can sheriffs of other counties convert the funds to personal use? In Etowah County (Gadsden), a local resident says he was paid to mow the sheriff’s lawn with checks from from the sheriff’s “Food Provision Account.” [Connor Sheets, Al.com] And in a followup, four days later local police arrested the resident who had told the reporter about being paid for lawn-mowing. The raid, said to have been based on an anonymous call reporting the odor of marijuana issuing from within an apartment, resulted in charges against him later bumped up to felony drug trafficking based on weight: “Once that marijuana was mixed with the butter then the whole butter becomes marijuana, and that’s what we weighed.” [Sheets, Al.com]

Medical roundup

  • “The dominant narrative about pain treatment being a major pathway to addiction is wrong, [and] an agenda heavily weighted toward pill control is not enough.” [Sally Satel on origins of opioid crisis]
  • The press gets it wrong: “A Young Mother Died Because Her Flu Meds Were Too Expensive – Or Did She?” [Josh Bloom, ACSH]
  • New research brief: tort reform could have effects in both directions on innovation [Alberto Galasso and Hong Luo, Cato]
  • Appalling: editor of The Lancet extols Marx as a guide to understanding medical science [Theodore Dalrymple, Law and Liberty]
  • “We harbor a suspicion that half the drug/device tort cases we encounter are really medical malpractice cases in search of a deeper pocket” [Stephen McConnell, Drug & Device Law Blog]
  • Should the Food and Drug Administration concern itself with the effect of its decisions on drug prices? [David Hyman and William Kovacic, Regulation mag]

Pharmaceutical roundup

Marijuana, federalism, and law enforcement

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded an earlier Justice Department memo which had prescribed a hands-off approach to enforcing some aspects of the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use. A needless step backward for federalism and state autonomy, or a necessary implication of the rule of law and the associated geographical uniformity of federal law? Some commentaries: Ken White/Popehat; Jacob Sullum (“Although [the] move reflects Sessions’ well-known opposition to marijuana legalization, it is not clear how big an impact it will have on the cannabis industry, because federal prosecutors have always had broad discretion but limited resources in this area”); Jonathan Blanks (“This move endangers state-legal businesses and violates the principle of federalism that has been central to the Republican Party for decades”); Jonathan Adler; Ilya Somin; Jeffrey Miron (“Marijuana liberalizations (decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization) have generated none of the negatives asserted by Sessions [who compares the drug to opiates and links it to violence]; in fact, the evidence shows minimal impact on use, health, traffic safety, education, or crime”).

Crime and punishment roundup

  • Drivers’ license should signify ability to drive motor vehicle safely. Denial for miscellaneous arm-twisting reasons – e.g. child support – is bad policy. [Beth Schwartzapfel, Marshall Project (“43 states suspend driver’s licenses for unpaid court debts, but only four require a hearing beforehand to determine whether the failure to pay is willful or simply a reflection of poverty.”); Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stacy Cowley and Natalie Kitroeff, NYT (“Twenty states suspend people’s professional or driver’s licenses if they fall behind on [student] loan payments, according to records obtained by The New York Times.”)] Earlier here (tax delinquents in New York), here, here, here, etc.;
  • Under centuries of precedent, bail must be individualized as well as not excessive [Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus in Walker v. City of Calhoun, Eleventh Circuit] And my piece on Maryland’s botched bail reform is now available ungated at Cato;
  • Harvey Silverglate recounts an old tale of prosecutorial entrapment — starring Robert Mueller, then acting U.S. Attorney in Boston [WGBH]
  • Criminal justice, mass incarceration, and the libertarian cause: Radley Balko’s speech on winning Bastiat Award [Reason]
  • “The Troubling Expansion Of The Criminal Offense Of Obstructing The IRS” [Kathryn Ward Booth, Vanderbilt Law]
  • Murder rap for drug supplier after overdose distorts both criminal law principle and incentives [Scott Greenfield, earlier here and here, see also here and here (prescribing doctors)]

Medical roundup

  • “Oral Contraceptives Should be Free (From the Third-Party Trap)” [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
  • Arbitrator awards $17.5 million after hospital fires neurosurgeon: in retaliation, or because he didn’t disclose problems with the law unrelated to practice? [Mike Baker, Seattle Times]
  • Idea of empowering government to rewrite recipes for packaged food has gotten more traction in British public health sector than here [Sean Poulter, Daily Mail]
  • Encyclopedia time: you can look up a variety of health topics in the now-online Encyclopedia of Libertarianism including Michael Cannon on health care generally, Gene Healy and Bruce Benson on illegal drugs, Jeffrey Schaler on psychiatry. And the Routledge Encyclopedia of Libertarianism includes Jessica Flanigan on libertarianism and medicine;
  • If treatment deviating from the standard of care is the standard for malpractice, then some patients in pursuit of unconventional therapy choose it, and the law of waivers and of assumption of risk should respect their autonomy [Nadia Sawicki via TortsProf]
  • About the Washington Post’s big opioid-legislation exposé, a few questions [Robert VerBruggen]