FIGHTING DRUG ABUSE
On Thursday October 13th, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller kicked off the 7th annual prescription drug abuse task force symposium. Attorney General Zoeller is the founder of the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, which focuses on addressing new challenges in the fight against prescription drug abuse, and this year, the fight against heroin abuse and reducing its supply. Congresswoman Susan Brooks and Puebla, Mexico Attorney General Victor Carrancá Bourget addressed local and international effects of the prescription drug and heroin epidemic. This year's theme was "Rebuilding the Hoosier Heartland." Under that umbrella the symposium's focus was be to arm communities with how to curtail abuse and get people the help they need.
FIGHTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico
announced that the Office of the Attorney General Human Trafficking Task Force recently conducted an undercover sting operation resulting in the arrest of Tyrone Davis. "Human trafficking is nothing short of modern-day slavery and it remains a top priority of this administration to continue to protect New Mexico's most vulnerable populations from this abhorrent depravity," said Attorney General Balderas. On October 12th, 2016, Office of the Attorney General special agents conducted an operation in which they were contacting females advertising in the escort section of Backpage.com. One female was contacted via text and agreed to meet at an undisclosed location.
CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California
announced the release of an online form to help consumers report websites, mobile applications, and other online services that are in violation of the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA). A website or app operator may violate CalOPPA by failing to post privacy policies or posting incomplete or inadequate policies. This new form is one of several initiatives Attorney General Harris is undertaking to protect Californians' privacy, especially in light of technological advances and the growth of the "internet of things." The form is available at
. "In the information age, companies doing business in California must take every step possible to be transparent with consumers and protect their privacy," said Attorney General Harris. "As the devices we use each day become increasingly connected and more Americans live their lives online, it's critical that we implement robust safeguards on what information is shared online and how. By harnessing the power of technology and public-private partnerships, California can continue to lead the nation on privacy protections and adapt as innovations emerge."
To reduce the devastation to grasslands and to cut down on storage costs, the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board voted to euthanize some of the 77,000 wild horses in 10 Western states. The vote inspired outrage from animal rights activists. The head of the Bureau of Land Management's wild horse program, Dean Bolstad, tipped up his cowboy hat and looked out at the animals from a hilltop. "I love seeing this," he said, "but it's also an absolute anchor around our neck." The horses were grazing on a ranch the agency rents, one of 60 private ranches, corrals and feedlots where it stores the 46,000 wild horses it has removed from the West's public lands. The cost: $49 million a year. Trying to make that rent has pushed the wild horse program into crisis. The expense eats up 66 percent of the federal budget for managing wild horses, and it is expected to total more than $1 billion over the life of the herds. The program cannot afford to continue old management practices that created the problem in the first place, or afford to come up with solutions that might fix it.
CWAG Attorney General Jahna Lundemuth of Alaska
announced that the State of Alaska received its first notice from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of an application to take certain tribal lands into trust in Alaska. The State has 30 days to comment on the application. The application filed by the Craig Tribal Association requests that a one acre lot within the City of Craig be placed into trust by BIA. According to the notice received by the State, the lot contains the tribe's administration building, which includes tribal offices, a tribal hall, a local head start program, and commercial space, and a parking area for employees and guests. There are no plans to change the current uses of the property. Over the next two weeks, the State will be gathering information regarding the application in order to analyze the impact of the property being put into trust status.
CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota
announced that the State of South Dakota has entered into a settlement agreement with the State of Nebraska and federal authorities to resolve a lengthy dispute over Goat Island, a 500-acre strip of land in the Missouri River. The ownership of Goat Island, located on the South Dakota-Nebraska border adjacent to Clay County, South Dakota, has been in dispute since 1999. Imprecise mapping and the Missouri River's changing boundaries have previously made its ownership unclear. Under the new agreement, the National Park Service will manage the island as part of the Missouri National Recreation River. "For too many years, the federal government, South Dakota and Nebraska, have been engaged in disagreement on jurisdiction over Goat Island. It is time to set aside these differences in the interests of our citizens, and work together to provide certainty for the future management and enjoyment of this island," added Attorney General Jackley.
FIREARMS SALES IN CALIFORNIA
CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California
announced the unprecedented release of firearms sales data in California on OpenJustice, the first-of-its-kind open data initiative she launched last September. The new firearms data section of OpenJustice shows how firearms sales have changed over the last two decades and includes a county-by-county breakdown. It also sheds light on what types of guns are purchased in California and how guns change hands. The data, along with analysis and charts, is available at
. "The dramatic spike in gun sales over the last ten years reflects the continued need for smart and sensible gun safety laws," said Attorney General Harris. "Today's release is a continuation of my commitment to transparency and the implementation of informed data-driven public policy. This unprecedented release of firearms sales data will allow us to better understand trends and to keep our communities safe."
A study published in a Scandanavian medical journal suggests there could be a link between heavy marijuana usage in teens and lower IQ scores. The researchers called the findings "tentative" because of a small sample size and said they would need to be "verified with a larger study with more participants." The study, published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, was done by a team of researchers in London, Ontario. It comes a month before voters in Nevada and four other states decide whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the Nov. 8 election. Researchers from Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University, both in London, Ontario, examined a group of 74 teenagers younger than 17, aiming to determine whether marijuana use helped with depression symptoms.