Eviction Expungement: A Civil Legal Tool to Improve Housing Stability and Health

Law & Policy InsightsHealthy and Affordable Housing

February 27, 2020

Eviction can trap families and individuals in cycles of poverty by limiting their housing options and pushing them into substandard housing or homelessness, leading to a multitude of poor physical and mental health outcomes. Eviction also disproportionally impacts people of color and poor people. Laws providing for the expungement of eviction records may help to mitigate the harmful consequences of eviction and improve access to housing.

Read more

Food Allergies: A Call for Greater Precaution in the Food Service Industry

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and SafetyFood Safety and Security

February 12, 2020

As food allergies become more prevalent, there is increased risk of harm from serious and life-threatening reactions. However, this risk is frequently overlooked or disregarded by the food service industry. While federal law requires the packaged food industry to label any major allergens in their products, there is no mandate that restaurants do so. In response, several states have enacted legislation requiring food-service establishments to take additional food allergen precautions.

Read more

Marijuana Delivery: California’s Looming Legal Battle

Law & Policy InsightsMarijuana Legalization

February 12, 2020
by Mathew R. Swinburne

As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana use, they are being confronted with a broad spectrum of policy issues. One of the emerging issues is whether to allow the legal cannabis industry to deliver marijuana directly to customers. Advocates see it as an issue of access, especially for medical marijuana patients. Opponents argue that delivery will make it easier for kids to get marijuana and that the delivery vehicles will be targeted by criminals.

Read more

As Temperatures Rise, Equitable Tree Cover can Help Mitigate the Health Risks from Urban Heat Islands and Address Health Inequities within Communities

Law & Policy InsightsEnvironment, Climate and Health

January 30, 2020
by Betsy Lawton

Trees are beautiful, but are they also a cure for climate change related health hazards? We know that trees beautify urban spaces, increase property values, reduce stress, improve mental health, and benefit communities by reducing crime rates and increasing social cohesion. But tree cover can also provide significant cooling benefits to offset dangerous temperatures during extreme heat events, which are on the rise in urban areas as a result of climate change.

Read more

Overdose “Good Samaritan” Laws Should Protect, Not Punish

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm ReductionOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project Resources

January 26, 2020
by Corey Davis

Overdose “Good Samaritan” laws are theoretically designed to encourage people to call for help in an overdose emergency by providing limited legal immunity to overdose victims and those who seek help for them, but many of these laws currently have limitations that discourage people from seeking help.

Read more

Supporting Public Health Decision-Making in Times of Emergency

Impact StoriesEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseMaternal and Child Health

January 1, 2020

In the midst of New York City’s largest measles outbreak in three decades, health officials from the city reached out to the Network for its expertise in utilizing vaccination laws and mandates to protect the public’s health. Network attorneys provided the agency with the research and information it needed to make the best evidence-based decisions for its communities—decisions that would prevent or survive legal challenge.

Read more

Promoting Equitable Access to Oral Health Care

Impact StoriesOral HealthOral Health Project

January 1, 2020

Due to a shortage of dental care providers, an inequitable burden of preventable oral health disease persists for many Americans. Public health officials in Minnesota sought legal and policy pathways to expand access to care in their state. Research and analysis by the Network outlined collaborative practice strategies dental professionals can utilize to expand access to oral health care in Minnesota and nationwide.

Read more