Morning Roundup: Aug. 30, 2019

By The Fix staff 08/30/19

NY expunges more than 150,000 marijuana convictions. Vaping suspected as the cause of 20-year-old's lung failure. D.C. libraries provide a helping hand for vulnerable people.

lungs xray
Vaping has been tied to nearly 200 lung illnesses in 22 states. ID 34168313 © Kguzel |

'If I Can Do It, So Can You': At D.C. Libraries, Formerly Homeless Help Those Currently Struggling [Washington Post]
In some Washington, D.C. libraries, you'll find a peer outreach specialist waiting for someone to help. They are there to connect people to social services, such as mental health or substance use disorder treatment, or to simply have a conversation.

New York to Expunge More Than 150,000 Marijuana Convictions [CNN]
New York's marijuana decriminalization law took effect on Wednesday, expunging the marijuana convictions of more than 150,000 New Yorkers. Under the new law, possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana is punishable by only a $50 fine regardless of one's criminal history.

This Woman Is Fighting to End Stigma Around Mental Health in Uganda [World Economic Forum]
An Ugandan woman is hoping to change the way mental illness is approached in her country. Even though it took her 15 years to get help, she says she's still more fortunate than most Ugandans.

Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson Opioid Cases Expose Big Pharma's Addiction Lies [NBC News]
Dopesick author Beth Macy analyzes the recent developments in lawsuits against drug companies Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson. "As Big Pharma’s lies are exposed, Americans must replace ignorance and stigma with education and empathy."

Ohio Opioid Technology Challenges Awards $1 Million to Four Projects [WOSU]
The multi-year technology contest has awarded funding to help develop four proposals for the commercial market. They include a recovery-based mobile app and a mattress designed to soothe newborn babies born with NAS.

Drug Policy Alliance Proposes Bold Solutions on International Overdose Awareness Day [Drug Policy Alliance]
August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. This drug policy reform organization has released a statement outlining its Bold Solutions to the Overdose Crisis that involves "innovative harm reduction, drug education, evidence-based treatment" and more.

Mexico's Forgotten Border Town Mixes Sun, Sand, Crime and Drug Trafficking [USA Today]
Visiting Playa Bagdad, or "Bagdad Beach." A look at the small beach town. "This is a beach for drugs and crime, not migrants."

He Went From Hiking Enthusiast to 'On Death's Door' Within Days. Doctors Blamed Vaping. [Washington Post]
The story of Alexander Mitchell, who at the age of 20 suffered acute respiratory distress syndrome. After testing negative for all else, his e-cigarette use was the next suspect. His is one of the nearly 200 'vaping-related lung illnesses' now under state and federal investigation.

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