Providing Policy Expertise as Maryland Explores the Challenges of Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Law & Policy InsightsMarijuana LegalizationSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

August 28, 2019
by Mathew R. Swinburne

Many states allow for license suspension for non-payment of fees and fines for traffic offenses. These suspensions often have significant health impacts, some of which seem obvious—people need transportation to access medical care. But a closer look reveals a plethora of other negative consequences that impact public health.

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Cannabis and the 2020 Election: Americans’ Changing Views on Legalization

Law & Policy InsightsCivic Engagement and VotingMarijuana Legalization

December 3, 2020
by Mathew R. Swinburne

Even though cannabis is still illegal under federal law; most Americans (91 percent) favor the legalization of cannabis either for medical or recreational use. This is a serious change in public opinion. In 2010, 52 percent of Americans opposed the legalization of cannabis. This more accepting view of cannabis appeared in the 2020 election, with five states legalizing cannabis through ballot measures. With the legalization trend, it is important to understand the legal process behind the ballot measures that have been central to changing state cannabis laws.

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National Minority Health Month: Raising Awareness and Encouraging Action to Address Health Disparities

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19 and Health EquityMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

April 21, 2021
by April Shaw, Carrie McLachlan, Dawn Hunter and Mathew R. Swinburne

Several universities across the U.S. have announced plans to require students to receive a COVID-19 vaccination before heading back to campus for the fall semester. Brown, Cornell, Duke, Northeastern, and Rutgers are among them. Some institutions of higher learning, like Virginia Tech, have determined that they cannot require vaccinations because of the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status, but this stance rests on shaky legal grounds.

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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.

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Public Health and the Courts: Is there a fundamental right to a stable climate system?

Law & Policy InsightsEnvironment, Climate and HealthClimate and Health

February 15, 2017
by Colleen Healy Boufides

Frustrated by what they perceive as insufficient federal legislative and executive efforts to address climate change, a group of young plaintiffs and other activists have filed suit against the federal government, citing a wide variety of health-related harms they have suffered because of the government’s inability to reduce carbon emissions.

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Tax Incentives and Public Health: Injury Prevention on the Road, on the Water, and at Home

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and SafetyMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

May 23, 2018
by Kathleen Hoke and Kerri McGowan Lowrey

Tax exemptions can be used effectively to encourage the purchase of consumer goods that support public health and safety by reducing the rate of injury or death. A few states have passed sales tax exemptions that fit the bill for public health, including exemptions for child car seats, bicycle helmets, and fire-safety equipment for homes. But these types of tax exemptions are often underutilized.

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