Network Report

10/1/15

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Smoke & Dope: Lessons from Tobacco Control for Marijuana Regulation

Policymakers and public health professionals are facing a host of administrative and regulatory challenges as a growing number of states are legalizing (or considering legalizing) marijuana for recreational or medical use. Regulating marijuana can be complex, given the drug’s different treatment under state and federal laws, and the industry’s rapid growth. Nevertheless, many of the obstacles that policymakers wrestle with in regulating the use marijuana are familiar to those who have worked for decades to protect the public from tobacco.  

Public Health Legal Resources

South Carolina Overdose Prevention Legislation

Drug overdose is a nationwide epidemic, and the problem is particularly severe in South Carolina. Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, 354 people died in the state due to prescription drug overdose. South Carolina has taken initial steps to increase access to emergency care for opioid overdoses with the signing of the South Carolina Overdose Prevention Act on June 3, 2014. This fact sheet explains the provisions of the law.

Webinars

Tribal Tobacco Control and the Law

Tribes have the inherent authority to undertake measures to promote public health in the manner most appropriate for their communities, which can include both program and policy interventions. This webinar highlights the difference between traditional and commercial tobacco use, outlines the public health impact of commercial tobacco use on American Indian and Alaska Native populations, and offers a framework for drafting effective commercial tobacco control laws. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, October 7 from 2:00 -3:30 p.m. (ET).

SNAP: Leveraging the Nation’s Largest Nutrition Assistance Program for the Public’s Health

In the United States, diet-related illness and food insecurity are serious public health challenges. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program for low-income Americans. This webinar will examine a few of the ways the SNAP program can be leveraged to improve the public’s health. The webinar will take place on Friday, October 16 from 12:00 -1:30 p.m. (ET).Ask the Experts

Dental Hygienist Scope of Practice and Access to Dental Care

Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases, and educate patients on oral health, among other tasks. Allowing dental hygienists to perform additional services without the direct supervision of a dentist could improve access to dental care. The capacity of dental hygienists to work independently of dentists is an interesting question in public health law. A requestor recently asked a number of questions regarding dental hygienists scope of practice.

Special Report

EMS and Medical Surge: Essential Legal Issues

Attorneys in the Network’s Western Region Office at Arizona State University recently developed a report, "EMS and Medical Surge: Essential Legal Issues," which outlines and explains key legal issues for emergency medical services providers and others to consider during times of medical surge through a comprehensive review of select state and local laws and policies. Also included are multiple legal solutions to help limit or derail potential barriers to greater EMS participation during public health emergencies. View the playback of a webinar about the report.

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