Monday, January 18, 2016

What's HOT in the MD Legislature This Week!

HB6: Improper Prescription of Controlled Dangerous Substance Resulting in Death --in Judiciary Committee on 1/19 at 1:00 --House Office Building, Annapolis. 
Sponsor:  Delegate Karen Young
Summary:  Docs found guilty of "prescribing for profit" in cases where the prescription drug was "a contributing cause of the death of the person" will be subject to a felony conviction and subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or a fine exceeding $100,000 or both.
Analysis:  Bill is overly broad.  For instance, a prescriber could potentially be held liable if a person committed suicide with opiates.  Delegate Young is working on an amendment to state that a "pattern" of over-prescribing would need to be established.  
Seeking Support:  HAC is seeking people to testify in favor of this bill --particularly anyone having personal experience with over-prescribing docs or docs "prescribing for profits". This bill will get opposition --we need people to support this bill for it to pass.


HB 34: Illegal Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substance Near Methadone Clinic – Penalties. --in Judiciary Committee on 1/19 at 1:00 --House Office Building, Annapolis.  
Sponsors:  Delegates Andrews and Cassilly 
Summary:  
Prohibits a person from distributing or possessing with intent to distribute CDS (drugs) within 1,000 feet of a methadone clinic --adds penalties for a violation of the Act.
Analysis:  While intended to protect methadone client's from being targeted by drug dealers, the bill further criminalizes substance use disorder.  This is contrary to Justice Reinvestment Reforms which seek to: a) treat drug dependence as a behavioral health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue; and b) redefine those who are substance dependent as needing treatment, rather than needing jail.  


Subtitle 10.63: Community-Based Behavioral Health Programs And Services 
Summary:  These are NEW regulations proposed by Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH), which were intended to go into effect in December.  Our elected representatives in the Maryland General Assembly --specifically, members of the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR), have put these regulations on hold while the Committee conducts further review in the public interest.  
Seeking Support: Many advocates across Maryland, including HAC, are calling for a public hearing on these regulations, as they feel that the regulations will decrease SUD services, quality, and accountability at a time when we should be increasing them.  Advocates ask that you call and/or email Senator Manno and Delegate Rosenburg, AELR Committee Chairs, and simply ask that they schedule a public hearing on Subtitle 10.63.

Call & Email: Senate Chair Roger Manno:  (410) 841-3151 
roger.manno@senate.state.md.us
AND House Chair Samuel Rosenburg:  (410) 841-3297 
samuel.rosenberg@house.state.md.us


Family Advocates Coalition to End Addiction in Maryland Conference  
Saturday, January 23rd from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
at Armadillo's Restaurant --top floor, 132 Dock Street, Annapolis

Ø Join a network of community-based organizations that work collaboratively across Maryland to end addiction;
Ø Discuss initiatives and plan strategies for making effective policy changes that impact our lives;
Ø Raise our collective voice on proposed legislation that impacts us –support initiatives that help our families, and challenge policies and practices that don’t;
Ø Support grassroots efforts to save lives in communities throughout the state.


For more information, or to find out how you can weigh in on important legislative issues that impact you and your family, feel free to contact Lisa Lowe at Heroin Action Coalition: 301-525-6183 or heroinactioncoalition@gmail.com.


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