Pharmacy Drug Take Back


small pill pic

Legislation is now pending in the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate that would require pharmacies to take back unused medications. Since we know that over 1/2 of the highly addictive opioid pills on the streets come from our medicine cabinets, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and the Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health is urging everyone to consider writing their representatives to support this important public health measure. For details and a list of NYS representatives, visit

Heroin dealers in NY may face homicide charges if user dies

From the Poughkeepsie Journal, Joseph Spector 9:30 p.m. EDT June 11, 2015

ALBANY – A heroin dealer could face homicide charges in New York if a person dies from the drugs sold by the dealer, according to legislation passed by the state Senate this week.

The measure was among 13 bills adopted by the Republican-led Senate to combat a surge in heroin use across the country and in New York.

“It’s hitting everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your economic status is. It’s everywhere,” said Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, Dutchess County.

heroin-overdoseLawmakers have pressed for new laws to address the increase in heroin use, while state leaders have added more law enforcement officials to crack down on abuse and expanded access to naloxone, which can counter the effects of a heroin overdose. Continue reading

Social Host Law

When it comes to driving, teenagers are already four times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident, prone to distractions and poor judgment at a greater level than more experienced drivers. Prom nights and graduation celebrations during the month of  June only adds to this mix, increasing the risks of something tragic happening.

host jpegAlthough it is justifiably a time for celebration, it is also crucial that caution and restraint be exercised by not only those attending proms and graduation parties, but for businesses and adults hosting such celebrations to do so responsibly.  While all parents want their teens to enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime events, it’s important to take preventive measures to ensure their safety during these high-risk times.

Continue reading

Discovery opens door for homemade morphine, painkillers

AP graphic


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists have figured out all the steps to make morphine and similar painkillers without using opium poppies, opening the door for home-brewed drugs and even wider abuse.

While no one has yet reported making morphine in the laboratory from scratch, some experts are calling for regulations to prevent garage tinkerers from making do-it-yourself morphine, which can be converted into heroin.

Society needs to “think this through now before it becomes a reality,” said bioengineer John Dueber of the University of California, Berkeley, who led a team that discovered the final missing link of the process.

Poppy plants have been farmed for centuries for opium, from which morphine is derived. The controlled substance is often used before and after surgeries to relieve severe pain. Continue reading

President Obama Discusses Marijuana Policy

obamaYesterday, in an interview with Vice News, President Obama made some of his most lengthy comments to date about substance abuse, particularly legalization. Below are some marijuana policy statements, as released by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), with the caveat that these are lifted from the interview as a whole. The entire interview, addressing many issues, can be found here,

Some Quotes from President Obama:

“First of all,” the issue of marijuana “shouldn’t be young people’s biggest priority….but you should be thinking about climate change, jobs, war and peace…”

“I’d separate out the issue of the criminalization of marijuana from encouraging its use…I think there is a legitimate concern about the overall effects this has on society, particularly vulnerable parts of our society. Substance abuse generally, legal and illegal substances, is a problem.”

“We may be able to make progress on the decriminalization side…But I always say to folks, legalization…is not a panacea. Do we feel the same way about meth? Do we feel the same way about coke? How about crack? How about heroin? There is a legitimate concern about the overall effects this has on society, particularly vulnerable parts of society. Substance abuse generally, legal and illegal substances, is a problem.”


FDA Warns Marijuana Companies About Interstate Commerce


According to Kevin Sabet at SAM, the FDA has sent warning letters to CBD companies about marketing an unapproved drug. This is the first time FDA has intervened to our knowledge in this way.

Your products are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced uses and, therefore, these products are ‘new drugs,’” the FDA wrote to CBD Life Holdings in Arizona. “New drugs may not be legally introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce without prior approval from the FDA…You should take prompt action to correct the violations cited in this letter.”

Similar letters were sent to Hemp Oil Care in California, Twin Falls Bio Tech in South Carolina, and three Washington State companies:, Canna Pet, and Canna Companion.


Medical Marijuana Updates

The NYS Dept. of Health (DOH) received many more comments than expected and many detailed responses to their draft regulations for marijuana as medicine. As a result it is expected that there will be a second version issued by the end of the month with a very short comment period. There is also a new NY Medical Cannabis Industry Association as reported online on March 5th. The group is spearheaded by the head of the Nevada Association.

marijuana laws by state

At the federal level, Senators Kristen Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Rand Paul announced that they plan to unveil legislation that would lift the federal ban on medical marijuana on Tuesday. The bill is called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, and would “allow patients, doctors and businesses in states that have already passed medical marijuana laws to participate in those programs without fear of federal prosecution,” according to a statement released by the co-sponsors.

Olive Police Dept. installs MedReturn box

olive box


Olive Police Officer Jason Young and the new MedReturn permanent medication disposal drop box in the station at 50 Bostock Road in Shokan

Drop boxes provide residents with a convenient method of getting rid of unused and expired medications, including over the counter and pet medications. Discarding medication can save lives by preventing both intentional drug abuse and accidental ingestion and overdose.