It was a day of drug policy discussion in Albany, as lawmakers held a forum on legalizing marijuana, proposed bills to combat heroin addiction and overdoses, and made progress towards a medical marijuana program.
Sponsors of a bill to legalize marijuana held a forum that in part focused on the nuts and bolts of how to implement a system that would permits sales and impose taxes on the drug.
Drug overdoses are a significant problem across New York State with data from New York City showing more than 900 fatalities caused by accidental overdoses in 2003, nearly 70 percent of which involved the use of opioids like heroin.
In 2006, state law went into effect to allow non-medical personnel to administer Naloxone (na-LOX-own), also known as “Narcan,” a nasal spray which can reverse the symptoms of opioid overdose. While the state has made progress by training lay-people, many areas of the states still do not have trained overdose responders.