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

Monday, June 23, 2014

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

Monday, May 5, 2014

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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

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.