How does your state measure up when it comes to establishing policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition?
Does the state permit access to clean syringes for people who inject drugs?
Does the state have naloxone training & distribution programs available to the public at syringe exchange programs or other facilities?
Does the state have a 911 Good Samaritan law?
Does the state have legal methadone access?
Are marijuana possession and use legal for medical purposes?
Is there a government-regulated distribution system for medical marijuana?
More information on medical marijuana:
What are the criminal penalties for marijuana possession?
How many people are arrested for a drug offense each year?
What are the racial disparities in arrest rates?
Total population (2011): 84.1% white, 8.6% black.
Drug arrests (2011): 74.5% white, 24.4% black.
What happens to people’s voting rights when they become part of the criminal justice system?
Vote restored after term of incarceration.
This information sheet from the Massachusetts Dept. of Health describes the need for and benefit of a Good Samaritan law in the state.
This study published in BMJ looks at the impact of state-supported overdose education and nasal naloxone distribution (OEND) programs on rates of opioid-related death from overdose and acute care utilization in Massachusetts. It finds that opioid overdose death rates were reduced in communities where OEND was implemented.
This is the text of Massachusetts' Good Samaritan law.
This in an online interactive resource for visualizing the states with Good Samaritan laws.
One of the most egregious outcomes of marijuana prohibition is that many seriously ill people cannot legally access the medicine that works best for them. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana for qualifying patients under state law. While state medical marijuana programs differ from one another in significant ways, most are tightly controlled programs regulated by the state departments of public health.
The Official Website of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), Massachusetts
Over the past ten years opioid overdoses have increased significantly in Massachusetts. Opioids include heroin and prescription drugs such as oxycodone (oxycontin), fentanyl, hydrocodone, codeine, and methadone. In response to this growing problem, the Department of Public Health has implemented a number of projects to reduce the number of overdoses.