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The Top Domestic Drug Policy Stories Of 2018

Posted on December 20, 2018 at 11:50 AM


By Phillip Smith

 This is a year that just about everybody is eager to see come to an end, but when it comes to drug policy, 2018 hasn’t been half-bad.We’ve seen marijuana legalization spread further, we’re on the verge of seeing Congress pass major sentencing reform legislation, and the ban on domestic hemp cultivation is coming to an end, among other things.A lot went on in drug policy in 2018. Here are eight stories that helped define the year:1. Overdose Deaths Remain Unconscionably High But Appear to Have Leveled OffThe nation’s fatal drug overdose crisis is far from over, but it now looks like it at least didn’t get any worse this year. Driven in large part by the rise of fentanyl, overdose deaths reached a stunning 72,000 in 2017, a figure ten times the number in 1980 and double that of only a decade ago.But preliminary reports on the 2018 overdose numbers suggest that this may be the year the crisis began to ease. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released provisional data showing that overdose deaths had declined for six straight months, dropping 2.8 percent from their 2017 peak. That report also found that opioid overdose deaths had declined by 2.3 percent.With both heroin and prescription opioid deaths declining, fentanyl has emerged as the most common drug involved in overdoses, being implicated in about a quarter of all drug overdose deaths. While the apparent decline in opioid overdose deaths this year is good news, the recent increases in cocaine and methamphetamine overdose deaths is not. And while any break in a years-long climb in overdose deaths is certainly welcome, another 70,000 or so Americans will still have died from them this year. We have a long, long way to go.2. Safe Injection Sites Draw Nearer, But Feds Fire Warning ShotsSafe injection sites — also known as supervised consumption sites, among other names — where drug users can consume their doses under medical supervision and with an opportunity to engage with........... https://www.weednews.co/the-top-domestic-drug-policy-stories-of-2018/

 

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