Drug Addiction

Lawmakers reach pot compromise

Lawmakers reach pot compromise

Bill boosts tax up to 20 percent, creates unique mechanism for local control

FIRE UP THE SMOKING lamp. House and Senate negotiators finally reached a compromise on amending the voter-approved law legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts, agreeing to levy a tax of up to 20 percent and approving a different process to implement bans or restrictions based on election results from last November. “Compromise means you get some of what(...)

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Clark takes on Purdue’s opioid marketing 

Clark takes on Purdue’s opioid marketing 

Says pharmaceutical company’s ‘greed and recklessness’ spawned crisis

LATE LAST YEAR, an article in the Los Angeles Times caught the eye of US Rep. Katherine Clark of Melrose. The article alleged that Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, was moving aggressively to sell its signature drug abroad now that sales in the United States are on the decline. The Times article said(...)

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Many newborns facing opioid withdrawal

Many newborns facing opioid withdrawal

Nurse: ‘They constantly cry. It’s heart-wrenching’

ON THE SECOND FLOOR of the Tufts New England Medical Center is a room with no light and no sound but for the high-pitched screams of babies. Nurse Christine Lavoie tends here to the tiny patients, who are sweating, easily startled, breathing frantically, and difficult to feed. Their muscles are extremely tense. “You feel like(...)

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Dempsey pitches higher pot tax

Dempsey pitches higher pot tax

Says lower rate means less money for treatment, beds

THE HOUSE’S TOP BUDGET OFFICIAL on Friday made a pitch for a higher tax rate on recreational marijuana during a press conference unveiling the Legislature’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal. Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the 28 percent tax rate proposed in the House pot bill(...)

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Top House leader unaware of budget, pot links

Top House leader unaware of budget, pot links

Mariano says no senator has suggested tradeoffs in negotiations despite DeLeo statement

THE HOUSE’S TOP POT negotiator said on Thursday he’s not aware of anyone from either the Senate or House who has tried to link the negotiations over the budget and marijuana bills. “We’re the last people that would want to tie this together,” said Rep. Ronald Mariano of Quincy, the House majority leader. “We have(...)

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DeLeo puts pot talks on hold until budget done

DeLeo puts pot talks on hold until budget done

Rosenberg refutes hint that Senate is linking budget, marijuana bills

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO said Wednesday evening that he asked House members of the committee negotiating marijuana legislation to pull out of talks with the Senate until an agreement is reached on the fiscal 2018 budget. DeLeo released a statement at 6:16 p.m., shortly after the State House News Service reported that the pot and(...)

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House revamps voter-approved pot law

House revamps voter-approved pot law

Ups tax rate, addiction funding and steers jobs to minority community

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE AFTER SEVERAL YEARS of ceding marijuana policy-making to a voting public eager to adopt a more permissive approach to the once completely illegal drug, House lawmakers on Wednesday took the reins of the sticky issue, passing a bill to overhaul how the state will regulate the retail market of the intoxicant.(...)

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Cusack denies retaliation over Lottery move

Cusack denies retaliation over Lottery move

House to vote on pot bill that sets tax rate to 28%

THE HOUSE CHAIR of the Legislature’s marijuana committee denied that his ire at State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg over a potential Lottery headquarters move out of his hometown was connected to his push to remove control of the impending marijuana industry from her office. “It’s not about any one person, but it’s the simple premise that(...)

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House reneged on pot agreement, say sources

House reneged on pot agreement, say sources

Officials say chair irked over Lottery move

HOUSE LEADERS ABRUPTLY walked away from an agreement between Gov. Charlie Baker, Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Stan Rosenberg that would have kept oversight of the emerging legal pot industry with the state treasurer and sources indicated it may be connected to anger from the House chair of the marijuana committee over a potential(...)

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House has to backtrack on pot bill

House has to backtrack on pot bill

Legislation raising marijuana tax to astronomical levels raises concerns

HOUSE LEADERS DECIDED to pull back and revamp their rewrite of a voter-approved ballot question legalizing marijuana after concerns were raised that their bill would give Massachusetts the highest tax rate on recreational pot in the country – as much as 55 percent or more by some calculations. The bill approved on Wednesday by the Joint(...)

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