Friday, December 13, 2019

In the News: new 3-digit number suicide hotline; some marijuana vaping products back on sale

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Federal regulators are setting up a new three-digit number to reach a suicide prevention hotline in order to make it easier to seek help and reduce the stigma associated with mental health. 
Once it’s implemented, people will just need to dial 988 to seek help, similar to calling 911 for emergencies or 311 for city services. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year. 
A law last year required the Federal Communications Commission to study assigning a three-digit number for suicide prevention. The FCC said in a report that there is overwhelming support for a three-digit number because it would be easier for distressed people to get help. 
Thursday’s vote starts the months-long process to make that happen. The next step is a comment period before the FCC moves to an order."

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"State marijuana regulators on Thursday eased their ban on vaping product sales, allowing certain types of products to return to store shelves one day after state public health officials backed off a ban on nicotine vape sales. 
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the Cannabis Control Commission permitted licensed marijuana retailers to sell devices that vaporize marijuana flower for medical marijuana patients and non-medical users, devices that are used to vaporize marijuana concentrate but do not actually contain any marijuana themselves, and vaporizer cartridges that are manufactured beginning Thursday and pass a screening for contaminants like vitamin E acetate. 
Still off-limits are any vaping products manufactured before Thursday that contain marijuana, meaning retailers cannot sell any vape cartridges that they have been holding in quarantine. 
Marijuana vaping products have been unavailable to consumers since September, when Gov. Charlie Baker imposed a temporary ban on the sale of any vaping product amid a national outbreak of vaping-related lung disease, including three deaths in Massachusetts. When a judge ruled the CCC is the only agency that can regulate marijuana vapes, the CCC put in place an indefinite quarantine of all vaping products."
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