News

Study shows New York City stop and frisk experiences associated with symptoms of trauma and stress among young men

A new study released on October 16 in the American Journal of Public Health finds that young men in New York City who report they’ve been stopped and questioned by police are also reporting higher levels of trauma and stress associated with those experiences, particularly when they report that the encounters were intrusive. The study finds that men who experienced the most intrusive encounters — those interactions that were aggressive, deemed unfair, or involved racially-charged language — also experienced the most significant symptoms, but the researchers also report stress, trauma and anxiety in men who had experienced even minimal interactions with the police. The study also finds disparities across race: black respondents experienced trauma symptoms at a higher frequency than other races.

New interactive map charts minimum wage rates from 1980 to present

A new map by the Public Health Law Research Program charts the changes in the federal and state minimum wage laws dating back to 1980.

Since establishing a standard minimum wage rate for qualified employees in 1938, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times – from 25 cents per hour to the current rate of $7.25, which was established in July 2009. The current rate equates to roughly $15,000 per year for a 40-hour work week.

Hot Topics in Public Health Law: Food Marketing, Antibiotic Regulation, and Policy Surveillance

In October, the 2014 Public Health Law Conference will gather experts from across the country to examine and discuss some of today’s most pressing issues. Sessions at the conference will cover a wide range of critical, emerging topics in public health law. Three of those -- food marketing and childhood obesity, regulation of antibiotics, and policy surveillance -- will be examined in this July 15 webinar.

Drugged Drivers Are Now More Likely to Test Positive for Prescription Drugs, Marijuana, and Multiple Drugs

Since 1993, the profile of a drugged driver has changed substantially. A study released today in Public Health Reports shows that more drivers are now testing positive for prescription drugs, cannabis, and multiple drugs.

The study examines trends in the characteristics of U.S. drivers who have been involved in fatal crashes between 1993 and 2010 and test positive for drugs and finds that the percentage of drugged drivers with three or more drugs in their system nearly doubled from 1993 to 2010, increasing from 11.5 percent to 21.5 percent.

Webinar: Expanding Medical Marijuana Laws: Current Policies and Implications for Public Health

Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana and eight other states are considering legislation in 2014. As medical marijuana laws expand, state governments and health departments have the daunting task of developing and implementing rules and regulations. This webinar provides an overview of the current public health and legal landscape of medical marijuana; examines patient registries, product testing, adolescent use, drugged driving and other health and policy concerns; and explores the evaluation of current laws and possible evidence-based strategies to protect public health.

Experts Offer Lessons from Alcohol and Tobacco for Regulating Marijuana

In a policy environment where there are currently no modern examples of marijuana regulation, policy-makers can rely on lessons learned from alcohol and tobacco regulation, according to a paper published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

The authors of the paper, who are noted alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana researchers, recommend that if states decide to experiment with marijuana policy, they should prevent retail price drops, limit marketing, and work hard to measure and prevent impaired driving. They also note the importance of adopting a state monopoly, restricting and monitoring licenses for use and distribution, restricting public consumption, and limiting the types of products sold.

Regulating Non-Medical Marijuana: Lessons Learned and Paths Forward

Colorado and Washington State have legalized the commercial production, distribution and sale of marijuana for non-medical use, and a number of other states are considering similar legislation. Policy-makers, advocates and others are grappling with how to process licenses, develop regulations and manage production in an industry that is still largely illegal in the national and international arenas. This webinar will provide an overview of issues related to non-medical marijuana regulation through lessons learned from decades of alcohol and tobacco regulation, along with insights from Washington State’s recent implementation of a marijuana law. The webinar will also examine implications for drug policy and enforcement, as well as health department structure.

National Public Health Week 2014

Public health laws can work to shape our environments and behaviors from the very beginning and impact where we live, work and play throughout our lives. This year, the theme for National Public Health Week 2014 is "Public Health: Start Here." Throughout the week, we will share evidence and participate in events that correspond to the daily themes.

Follow along via our social media channels — Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — and through exclusive posts to the Harvard Petrie-Flom Center’s Bill of Health blog.

Fracking, Water Quality and Public Health: Examining Current Laws and Regulations

Improved technology developments in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as "fracking," have resulted in an oil and gas production boom nationwide. This webinar will examine the laws and regulations governing water quality issues related to fracking, recent state court decisions affecting regulations, and implications for public health.

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