Regulating Non-Medical Marijuana: Lessons Learned and Paths Forward

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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

Tuesday, April 1, 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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

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.

New studies indicate concussion education for high school coaches is not making student athletes safer

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Washington State’s Zackery Lystedt law is helping to educate high school athletics coaches about concussions, but new research finds that 69 percent of student athletes that were surveyed still played with concussion symptoms. High school athletics coaches in Washington State are now receiving substantial concussion education and are demonstrating good knowledge about concussions, but little impact is being felt on the proportion of athletes playing with concussive symptoms, according to two studies published this month in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Blocked Shots: Webinar Examining the Basis, Nature and Public Health Impact of Vaccine Exemption Laws

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Most states in the U.S. currently permit non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations based on philosophical, personal and religious beliefs. Proponents of non-medical exemptions maintain that disease prevention is an individual responsibility, and that vaccinations are not completely safe or effective. Exemption opponents counter that mandating vaccinations protects the public’s health by decreasing the incidence of preventable disease, hospitalizations and deaths. This webinar will examine the legal and ethical basis for vaccination requirements, review a recent assessment of how non-medical vaccination exemption laws impact the annual incidence rates of vaccine-targeted diseases, and explore how states are changing their vaccine exemption laws. The webinar will be held Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Public Health Law Research Opens 6th Funding Round

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Public Health Law Research (PHLR) has released its sixth call for proposals on studies that focus on the effects of laws and policies on public health.

The new call for proposals is available online:

The deadline for submitting proposals is April 15, 2014 at 3 p.m. ET.

As much as $1.25 million is available in this round of funding for short-term studies. Studies up to 18 months long will be funded at up to $150,000 each.

Webinar: Exploring and Understanding the Role of Public Health Law Research

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Join PHLR Associate Director Jennifer Ibrahim, PhD, MPH as she hosts a webinar on January 31 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Dr. Ibrahim will discuss how public health law research fits in with other areas of public health research, public health law research methods and theory, and resources available to address challenges in the field.

PHLR Funds Nine New Studies

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The public health effects of laws on issues such as prescription drug abuse, occupational health and safety, and distracted driving will be investigated through nine new research projects. The grants announced today total nearly $1.1 million and will support short-term and time-sensitive studies on specific laws or regulations and the development of legal datasets.

Exposure to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water Associated with Reduced Birth Rates and Increased Fetal Death, New Study Finds

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Increased exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water in Washington, DC, is a possible cause for a sharp increase in fetal deaths and somewhat lower birth rates in the region in 2000 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2009, according to a new study published online by the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

The study attributes the spike in fetal deaths from 2001-2003 to a switch in drinking water disinfectant from chlorine to chloramine, which caused an unintended release of lead from plumbing material into drinking water.  

Strengthening the Criteria for Non-Medical Exemptions for Vaccines Could Decrease Cases of Whooping Cough, New Study Finds

Thursday, December 12, 2013

State laws that set strict standards for children to be exempted from vaccines on religious or philosophical grounds could reduce the number of whooping cough cases, but not measles, mumps, haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) or Hepatitis B, according to a new study published today in the American Journal of Public Health.