Wednesday, February 12, 2020

In the News: mental health care reform introduced; Cannabis Control Commission releases tracker

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Each making a deeply personal case for improving access to mental health care, Senate President Karen Spilka and Sen. Julian Cyr helped roll out a significant reform bill Thursday, Feb. 6, that seeks to improve access to care by identifying gaps in the mental health system, enforcing equity laws and requiring insurance coverage for many emergency services.

Spilka, who called the proposal “decades in the making,” shared how her own family struggled with her father’s mental health decline following his service in World War II, and Cyr described the obstacles he has had to overcome as a gay man to get treatment for depression and anxiety.

The state codified “mental health parity” into the law 20 years ago, and yet for close to two decades advocates and legislators have been frustrated by stories of people struggling to gain the same access to mental health care as they can for their physical health. Many patients can’t find providers and don’t know where to look, Cyr said, and if they do find a provider must wait for an appointment and often struggle to afford the care.

“We have laws and we have values that say mental health must be treated the same way physical health is, and yet we don’t do it,” said state Sen. Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, one of the bill’s authors."

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"Curious about which towns and cities have banned adult-use marijuana, or where cannabis delivery is allowed?

The Cannabis Control Commission, a five-member board tasked with nearly everything marijuana in Massachusetts, has created a new tracker on its website, in a bid for more transparency.

“By compiling the status of adult-use cannabis across Massachusetts in one central location, the Commission has furthered its commitment to implementing a regulated industry that is transparent and accessible to a wide range of stakeholders,” Commissioner Kay Doyle said, in a press release. “This resource will provide local leaders with a basis to share information around planning and zoning best practices, simplify license applicants’ search for a host municipality, and keep the public up-to-date about the progress of legalization in our state.”

The new tracker is focused on how the state’s 351 cities and towns have zoned marijuana. Visitors to the tracker can see if a community has banned the adult-use sale of the drug, put a cap on the number of licenses allowed in town, whether delivery is allowed, and if the town is one of the state’s pilots for social consumption."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Go directly to the Cannabis Commission page

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