MCSAAC
"Prevention First"
Newsletter
February  2017
Marijuana Legalization 2017

There are three legislative bills presently under consideration by CT legislators in the 2017 session. Not all of them will make it out of committee. Considering how badly our state needs the tax revenue promised by these bills, however, it is likely that one will come before the House.

Rep. Candelaria (New Haven) remarked that Massachusetts’ ballot decision to approve the sale of marijuana “means it’s time for Connecticut to get moving on the same initiative.” However, according to the CT Office of Fiscal Analysis, marijuana taxes will raise only 2/10ths of one percent of what the state needs for its annual operating budget. Is that really worth risking our children’s future?

According to the CDC, kids who abuse or are dependent on marijuana are 3 times more likely to become addicted to heroin. Also, studies from Colorado show that traffic related deaths increased 48% since legalization. And it's worth remembering that the costs associated with alcohol are more than 12 times the tax revenues collected. It is likely that our experience with marijuana will be similar. On balance, marijuana is probably not the “revenue windfall” that many legislators are hoping for.

Proposed H.B. No. 5539
Title: AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGALIZATION, TAXATION AND REGULATION OF THE RETAIL SALE AND USE OF MARIJUANA.
Statement of Purpose: To legalize and regulate the retail sale, personal growth and recreational use of marijuana in order to raise revenue for the General Fund and for substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness.
Judiciary Committee

Proposed H.B. No. 5314
Introducer: REP. MELISSA H. ZIOBRON, 34th DIST.
Title: AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGULATION AND TAXATION OF THE RETAIL SALE AND CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA FOR USE BY PERSONS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.
Statement of Purpose: To require the Department of Consumer Protection to establish and administer a program by which persons twenty-one years of age or older may legally purchase and cultivate marijuana and to require the Department of Revenue Services to establish and administer a tax structure that will provide revenue to the General Fund, Budget Reserve Fund and certain municipalities.

Proposed S.B. No. 11
Introducer: SEN. MARTIN M. LOONEY, 11th DIST.
Title: AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGALIZATION AND TAXATION OF THE RETAIL SALE OF MARIJUANA.
Statement of Purpose: To legalize and tax the sale of marijuana.





“Connecticut is flooded”

In a January 3rd communication, Robert F. Lawlor, Jr. (Drug Intelligence Officer for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program) warned us that Connecticut is “currently flooded with counterfeit oxycodone 30mg Roxicodone.” The blue pills have been positively identified as fentanyl-based counterfeit prescription pills. Taken in excess they are deadly. Officer Lawlor contends that “this will be a major issue for us in 2017.”



Laughter: Strong medicine for mind and body

Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
 
  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Read the whole article at http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

Thank you Tri-Town YFSB for providing this link!

Opioids and Amnesia

In late January, Massachusetts public health officials reported an unusual and disturbing “cluster of cases” involving opioid abusers suffering from amnesia. Fourteen people ages 19 to 52, all from eastern Massachusetts, were exper-iencing cognitive failure, disorientation, inability to recognize friends and relatives, and other “clinical symptoms of amnesia.” Additionally, brain imaging showed a significant reduction on blood flow to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotion.”

A Massachusetts state epidemiologist remarked, “What we’re concerned about is a contaminant or something else added to the drug that might be triggering the amnesia.” Prior to this cluster of cases, there was only one example the in medical literature of blood being cut off to the hippocampus as a result of heroin use. That was in France in 2013.

  Health officials are concerned that increased exposure by opioid abusers to fentanyl and/or synthetic marijuana could be playing a role in the amnesia cases. Considering the proximity of Massachusetts’ drug lines to Connecticut, people in our state should be concerned as well.

  Adapted from an article in STAT by Andrew      Joseph, January 26, 2017
 


The DATA Corner

Number of people with an opioid disorder (addiction) admitted to DMHAS operated or funded treatment centers by fiscal year, during the past five years. (Does not include people admitted to private treatment facilities.)


Town                         2012       2013       2014       2015       2016       % Change

Chester                       6              7              4              3              6             0%

Clinton                         26           37           39           38           28           8%

Cromwell                    20           23           31           31           31           55%

Deep River                 8              11           15           15           11           38%

Durham                       9              11           7              4              8            -11%

East Haddam            15           15           16           18           23             53%

East Hampton           34           29           31           28           34             0%

Essex                           8              11           11           8              8              0%

Haddam                       9              8              13           12           14           56%

Killingworth                5              9              11           3              8              60%

Middlefield                  5              10           10           8              11           120%

Middletown                 180         187         199         197         216         20%

Old Saybrook             12           17           16           13           17            42%

Portland                       20           12           22           26           20           0%

Westbrook                  22           23           23           15           3              86%