Issue Brief

State Laws Addressing Discrimination against Medical Cannabis Patients

50-state surveyIssue BriefMarijuana LegalizationMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

April 7, 2021

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. recognize medical cannabis as a lawful medication. However, the law in many of these states fails to adequately protect patients in their efforts to secure employment, enroll in school, rent a home, or even secure child custody or visitation rights. Treating medical cannabis patients differently from other patients is inherently discriminatory and produces harmful stigma, which creates negative short- and long-term health effects.

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Renewable Energy Standards: A Strategy to Transition Rapidly Away From the Use of Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas to Clean, Safe, and Affordable Renewable Energy

Issue BriefEnvironment, Climate and HealthMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

December 16, 2020
by Betsy Lawton and Jill Krueger

Renewable energy standards—often called Renewable Portfolio Standards—are important in hastening the transition from fossil fuels to renewable and low-carbon energy sources, slowing climate change and bringing immediate health benefits to communities. This issue brief, produced collaboratively by the Network and the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, outlines how renewable energy standards work and the important role they play in advancing health and health equity.

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Systemic Racism and Policing: How Can Public Health Advocates Grapple with the Dual Challenges of Systemic Racism and Discriminatory Policing?

Issue BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthRacism as a Public Health Crisis

July 30, 2020
by April Shaw

Following the killing of George Floyd, localities have increasingly declared racism to be a public health emergency or crisis. Despite growing recognition of the fact that racism is a key contributor to poor health in communities of color, there is still insufficient attention to the role of policing and systemic racism as institutions that have powerful impacts on the health and well-being of people of color. This issue brief provides an assessment of how structural racism and policing function as critical social determinants of health for Black people and people of color generally.

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Michigan Laws Related to Right of a Minor to Obtain Health Care without Consent or Knowledge of Parents

Issue BriefHealth Information and Data SharingMichigan

May 29, 2020
by Denise Chrysler

This document summarizes the rights of minors to consent to various types of health care without the consent or knowledge of their parents. It also covers whether the law permits information concerning the minor’s health care to be shared with the parent. Though the details of this document apply only in Michigan, the legal provisions likely have counterparts in other states. Lawyers in other states may have developed, or could develop, comparable summaries for their states. You may wish to talk with your attorney, or visit the Public Health Lawyer Directory to find a public health attorney in your state.

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Summary of Authority and Actions Regarding Public Health Emergencies: Indiana Public Health Code

Issue BriefEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseEmergency ResponseIndiana

May 1, 2020

Indiana’s Public Health Code and Communicable Disease Rules provide an array of actions that state and local health officers can use to respond to a public health emergency. This document is intended to assist health officers and their attorneys by identifying potential actions and linking to the applicable law. Though the details of this document apply only in Indiana, the legal provisions likely have similar counterparts in all other states. Lawyers in other states may have developed, or could develop, comparable summaries for their states.

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