Oregon must develop a drug abuse recovery system; Detroit approves the sale of recreational marijuana.
The Wall Street Journal: Oregon Decriminalized Drug Possession. Now It Has To Offer Treatment.
Now that Oregon voters have agreed to end nearly all criminal penalties for drug possession, state officials have just over two months to set up a new recovery-focused system, a task that is particularly complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Measure 110, which goes into effect Feb. 1, allows a maximum fine of $100 for possession of drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines along with a mandatory health assessment. The first statewide law of its kind in the nation passed with support of 58% of voters this month. It also mandates new recovery centers, paid for by marijuana taxes and savings from less incarceration. (Morrison, 11/24)
Detroit Free Press: Detroit City Council OKs Sales Recreational Marijuana
Come 2021, recreational marijuana shops are on the table in Detroit. Detroit City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed an amended ordinance to allow adult-use recreational sales in the city, which has previously only allowed medical marijuana businesses within city limits. The ordinance gives licensing preferences to longstanding city residents and was championed by Councilman James Tate, who announced it with Mayor Mike Duggan last month. (Witsil and Moran, 11/25)
In news from Oregon, California and the Navajo Nation —
Modern Healthcare: Ohio Medicaid Launches Program To Curb Long-Term Care Loneliness
The Ohio Department of Medicaid is introducing a «friendly caller» program to reduce loneliness among residents in long-term care facilities. Through the holidays, Ohio Medicaid, Ohio’s five Medicaid managed care organizations and the state’s Area Agencies on Aging will work together to pair residents with volunteers for 30-minute informal calls twice a week. (Christ, 11/24)
KHN: California Businesses Go From Simmer To Boil Over Newsom’s Fine Dining
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s maskless dinner with medical industry lobbyists and others at a Napa County restaurant where meals cost a minimum of $350 per head was just about the last straw for some beleaguered California small-business owners. With their livelihoods on the line, a growing number of them are openly defying the latest orders to shut down as COVID cases skyrocket in California — and pointing to Newsom’s bad behavior. (Wolfson and Almendrala, 11/25)
CNN: The Navajo Nation Is Struggling To Survive The Coronavirus
A thick cloud of dust kicks up behind cars as they meander down a rugged dirt road into town. The bone-shaking journey to Pinon, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation is a long one filled with sharp bumps and deep potholes. Much like the drive into Pinon, the Navajo Nation’s struggles with the coronavirus have been far from easy. The community surpassed New York state for the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the United States in May. (Marples, 11/24)
The Baltimore Sun: ‘We Started Weeping In April, And We Haven’t Stopped’: Baltimore’s Latino Community Racked By Coronavirus
They wanted to hold the ceremony outside that November night, but it was too cold and windy. So the parishioners gathered in their beloved Highlandtown church, where red candles with the names of loved ones were lit along the altar. They watched as their pastor walked solemnly up the aisle, stepping over the tape marked for social distancing. Then he turned to face the congregation and began to call out, one by one, the names of the parish’s dead. (Garcia, 11/24)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.