Mass. Lawmakers OK Police-Licensing Bill
The Massachusetts Legislature passed a sweeping police accountability bill Dec. 1 that will require thousands of officers to meet licensing standards, The Boston Globe reports. The legislation, which passed without a veto-proof majority, headed to Gov. Charlie Baker, who had 10 days to act on it. The state’s largest police union opposes the bill. Officials with the Massachusetts Coalition of Police told their members Dec. 1 that the legislation “goes too far in micromanaging police operations.”
Ore. Suspends Docs for Anti-Vaccine, Anti-Mask Practices
On Dec. 3, the Oregon Medical Board suspended the license of a family practice physician for violating standard medical practices related to vaccines, Willamette Week reports. The board acted after discovering that Paul Thomas had dissuaded patients from obtaining standard childhood vaccinations, resulting in preventable diseases. Separately, The Washington Post reports, the medical board in December suspended the license of physician Steven LaTulippe for urging patients not to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID.
N.J. Lawmakers Reach Deal on Weed Regulation
New Jersey’s governor and key lawmakers have reached a deal on a regulatory framework for a legal marijuana industry in the state, the Asbury Park Press reports. The agreement, announced Dec. 4, follows a November statewide vote in favor of recreational weed sales.
Mass. Bill Would Waive Fingerprinting for Gun Licenses
A Massachusetts state representative has introduced a bill that would allow residents to apply for gun licenses during the COVID pandemic without being fingerprinted by local police. Republican Rep. Joseph McKenna believes the bill is a necessary response to towns that might “be using COVID as a reason to say to an applicant, we’re not comfortable with you coming into the police station,” the Telegram & Gazette reported Dec. 2. McKenna doesn’t expect the bill to advance during the current legislative session and intends to refile early next year.
Ky. Doctor Loses Prescribing Privileges after Patient Deaths
The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure on has revoked the prescribing privileges of a doctor for “risky prescribing patters,” according to the Lexington Herald Leader. In its Dec. 2 order, the board cited problems with drug combinations Madhan Mohan prescribed as well as his failure to use the state’s drug-monitoring system for an extended period. The system prevents people from obtaining multiple prescriptions from different doctors. Two of Mohan’s patients died of drug overdoses in 2018 shortly after receiving prescriptions for opioids. Police and fellow physicians expressed concern to the board about his prescribing practices.