Secretaries' Innovation Group

Marijuana and Opioids

   
Medical Marijuana - July 2019

  • Medical marijuana has been used as the gateway to state recreational legalization ever since Gorge Soros was reported to have told his employees “start with medical marijuana”. It has been a spectacularly successful strategy. But leaving the strategy aside, is there any basis for the claim that for certain symptoms there are no FDA approved safe and effective alternatives to marijuana?

​         Cannabis/Cannabinoids: What the Science Tells Us
​         Dr. Jack Stein, Chief of Staff, National Institute on Drug Abuse
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Lessons Learned from Medical Marijuana Legalization in Other States
​         Garth Van Meter, Vice President of Government Affairs, Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Update on Marijuana Legalization - November 2018

  • Our human services and workforce departments are overwhelmed by the consequences of drug use, hard, soft and prescription.   As it relates to marijuana, never has a society adopted widespread legal use of a mind altering drug which is known to reduce mental functioning, parental care, and dedication to employment, since the British Empire forced China to permit commercial distribution of opium. 

​         The Current Landscape
​         Garth VanMeter, Vice-President of Federal Affairs, SAM

Trump Drug Policy - December 2017

  • By the time of our meeting, the Trump administration be near publication of its National Drug Control Strategy paper.  The administration is also considering an anti-drug media campaign, and opioid addiction is one of three HHS high priorities.  Separately, the Food and Drug Administration is considering taking on as an issue the alleged “science” behind medical marijuana.  It is essential that our democratic society converge to confront this fatal growing infection.

​         The Opioid Epidemic: HHS Response
​         Chris Jones, Acting Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary (Science and Data Policy), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and ​        ​     

​         Evaluation, HHS
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Marijuana: Impacts on the Opioid Crisis and the Workforce
​         Garth VanMeter, Vice-President of Federal Affairs, SAM

Operating a Recovery House without Subsidies - December 2017

  • With a philosophy periodically touted, rarely tried and almost never achieved, Georgia Works is a drug recovery home that accepts no government funds yet earns an operating profit from fees paid by working residents.  The 130 residents must work 40 hours, pay for living expenses and services (including case management) from their own earnings and move out once they have permanent employment. Before being accepted, residents must be handout free - - e.g. no Food Stamps or disability. About 80% are employed and off drugs at the two-year mark.  

​         Where Work Works
         Bill McGrahan, Founder, Georgia Works!


Marijuana and Employee Productivity - July 2017

  • The two most commonly heard comments in employer focus groups are “I can’t find reliable workers” and “I can’t find applicants who can pass the drug test”.  Marijuana use, legal and illegal, has major negative effects on economic productivity, unemployment, and family functioning. Where recreational use is legal, employers increase testing because they are faced with lower employee dedication to their job, higher illness and injury, and twice the level of absenteeism, voluntary and otherwise.  Our society appears poised to add a third legal mind-altering drug to tobacco and alcohol. Is this a good idea? This session takes a steely-eyed look at the scientific evidence and the predictable consequences of large scale use of the drug in schools and the workplace.  We will discuss what workforce directors can do in their states to mitigate these effects.    

​         Cannabis: What We Know and What Keeps Us Up at Night
​         Dr. Susan Weiss, Director, Division of Extramural Research, Office of Science Policy, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH
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Marijuana and Employee Productivity
​         Jeffrey Zinsmeister, Executive Vice President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana & Senior Fellow, University of Florida Drug Policy Institute


Criminal Justice - Substance Abuse and Work - July 2017

  • Workforce directors interact with the state and local criminal justice systems around probation and parole, which often include requirements to work and stay off drugs.  This session will describe the randomized controlled trial of Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program which produced big positive impacts on recidivism and is now deployed in many places across the country.  The program was initiated by Judge Steven Alm in 2004 and its distinctive feature is that it seeks to reduce crime and drug use through swift-and-certain-sanctions to manage high-risk probationers. Former US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske identified HOPE as the most promising initiative that "not only prevents recidivism, but also actively assists individuals to transition to productive lives."

​         Overview of Swift Certain Fair—Principles, Practices, and Innovations
​         Sandy F. Mullins, JD, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University
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BetaGov: Innovate with Us
​         Jonathon Stewart, Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management & Chief of Staff, Litmus, New York University


Substance Abuse, mental health and returning offenders - November 2016

  • Moral Reconation Therapy or MRT, is a premiere cognitive-behavioral program for substance abuse treatment, mental health, welfare and offender populations which has been tested for over 30 years.  More than 120 published outcome studies show that, in comparison to appropriate controls, MRT treated offenders have re-arrest and re-incarceration rates between 25% to 75% lower than otherwise expected.   Along with its lower recidivism rates the program, when applied to welfare and mental health, leads to increased participation rates, increased program completion rates, decreased disciplinary infractions, and desirable personality changes. 

​         Moral Reconation Therapy
​         Dr. Kenneth Robinson, President, Correctional Counseling


Marijuana - June 2016​

  • The Drug Enforcement Agency announced April 6th it intends to decide whether to reduce the status of marijuana from a category one substance (highest) to lower.  Meanwhile Colorado’s decision to legalize is wreaking havoc. America could be about to deliver a deadly wound to the next generation.  What we can do about it. 

​         Marijuana and Health
​         Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)
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What Can We Do in Our Own States
​         Sue Rusche, President, National Families in Action
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Lessons from Colorado
​         Statistics from post-legalization in Colorado
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Marijuana Fast Facts  
         Sheet of various facts regarding marijuana 


Marijuana -November 2015

  • Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows regular marijuana use among teens 17 and under retards the development of the hippocampus (the brain switchyard); reduces IQ as much as 8 points; and sets back development of the frontal cortex. In addition to these physiological changes, use while in school reduces concentration and motivation  Reports from high school teachers in Colorado post-legalization are not promising.  Why is the legalization movement sweeping the country and what can we do about it?

​         Marijuana: What Does Science Tell Us?         
​         Dr. Jack Stein, Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, National Institute on Drug Abuse 
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The Coalition Approach to Reducing Marijuana’s Impact
​         Sue Thau, Public Policy Director, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
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State-Level Marijuana Legalization: Myths and Facts
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Why We Believe Marijuana is Dangerous
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Want to Legalize Marijuana? Colorado School Counselor Would Like to Have a Word with You
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Year One of Colorado's Marijuana Law
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Colorado's Marijuana Industry Violates Federal Law and Even Obama Guidelines
​         John Walters, Chief Operating Officer, Hudson Institute; & former cabinet member and director of White House Office of National Drug Control

​         Policy (ONDCP) second Bush Administration

​Substance Abuse - November 2015

  • Secretary Wernert chairs a governor’s task force for a comprehensive attack on the State’s recent heroin epidemic and its causes.  He leads a panel which includes the sheriff; court director, and treatment expert. 

​         Opioid Medication Assisted Treatment
​         John Wernert, Secretary, Indiana Family and Social Services Agency    
​         Indiana Initiatives Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction
​         Chris Johnson, Chief of Staff, Indiana Family and Social Services Agency
​         Executive Order 15-09: Addressing Indiana's Drug Abuse Crisis
​         Indiana Pain Management Prescribing Final Rule


Marijuana - June 2015

  • Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows regular marijuana use among teens 17 and under retards the development of the hippocampus (the brain switchyard); reduces IQ as much as 8 points; and sets back development of the frontal cortex. In addition to these physiological changes, use while in school reduces concentration and motivation  Reports from high school teachers in Colorado post-legalization are not promising.  Why is the legalization movement sweeping the country and what can we do about it?

​         Marijuana Health Effects on the Brain and Body
​         Dr. Nora Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse
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Marijuana Issues​         
​         Kevin Sabet, Director, Drug Policy Institute and former Senior Advisor, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
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The Coalition Approach to Reducing Marijuana's Impact
​         General Arthur Dean, Chairman and CEO, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, U.S. Army, Retired
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Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use
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NIDA Review Summarizes Research on Marijuana's Negative Health Effects
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Conflict Between State and Federal Laws Testimony
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What Will Legal Marijuana Cost Employers?   
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Marijuana Legalization Issues     

​         Marijuana and School Failure

Conference Materials by Subject Matter

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