Laslo Boyd: Don’t expect presidential leadership on guns

Given Donald Trump’s track record as president, no one should hope or think that he will play a meaningful role in getting new gun regulations enacted. Even though his office has signaled that he may be open to supporting a very limited bill on background checks that has been introduced in Congress, we should know by now that such a signal means nothing. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Tobacco at 21

Over the last two decades, Maryland has raised the tax on tobacco three times, including a hefty $1 per cigarette pack boost in 2007. Each time, the argument has been the same: Raising the cost of tobacco discourages people, especially the young, from using it. Studies have repeatedly validated that approach. The percentage of high school age Marylanders who smoke has fallen from 12.5 percent in 2011 to 8.7 percent in 2015 while the number who use smokeless tobacco dropped from 7.2 percent to 5.8 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Balt. Sun)

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Trump's latest effort to undermine the ACA makes Maryland action all the more crucial

If the Trump administration’s goal was to increase the ranks of the uninsured, it could scarcely have thought of a better policy than the one it announced Tuesday, in which it expands the short-term insurance plans that are exempt from Affordable Care Act standards. In one stroke, it found a way to make virtually useless plans more available for healthy people while making insurance that actually covers the treatments and services needed by people who are or could become sick more expensive. (Balt. Sun)

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Steuart Pittman: County needs improved planning

When voters elect our next county executive, we have a choice between the pro-growth establishment and our neighborhoods. As the candidate for that office who emerged from a career in nonprofit management, farming and community advocacy, you can guess which side I’m on. I have read in this paper no less than six recent news or opinion pieces on the question of whether, as one writer so eloquently asked, “The tiger can change his stripes.” The tiger is Steve Schuh, and the stripes are his legacy of hard work to reduce fees and obstacles for the developers whose campaign dollars are funding his re-election effort. (Capital)

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Rodricks: Baltimore should call off the war on drugs

Would Baltimore be better off if we called off the war on drugs? Yes. There would almost certainly be less violence here. The downside: Barring a sudden and significant change in the city’s economic base that could lead to more jobs for men who have been involved in the illegal narcotics trade, we would still have too many neighborhoods with open-air drug markets. But first things first. Let’s deal with the violence. (Balt. Sun)

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February 20 // Daniel Cotzin Burg - Faith leaders: ban crude oil terminals

This Wednesday, I’ll be delivering a message from more than 50 of my fellow Baltimore faith leaders to the City Council: We support a zoning ordinance that will limit crude oil train traffic within our city. I plan to speak first as a rabbi, because the crude oil trains that have been documented traveling through Baltimore are dangerous. I take seriously the teaching from my own Jewish tradition’s great medieval scholar Maimonides that if there is any object that could cause mortal danger, one is required to remove it. (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll should sue opioid manufacturers

Carroll County commissioners last week asked its legal staff to look into whether it would be wise for the county to join many others in Central Maryland and file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and marketed prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin that many believe are at the root of the resurgence of heroin and subsequent addiction epidemic. Our only question is what took so long? (Carr. Co. Times)

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Delegate Dan Morhaim: The real story about Supervised Consumption Facilities for drugs

The article by Brian Griffths of Red Maryland linked to in Monday’s State Roundup about SB288/HB326 has numerous flaws and inaccurate statements. First, I hope we can agree that the opioid crisis is real, that we are opposed to substance abuse, and that these problems needs to be addressed in every way possible, especially by those that are evidence-based. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each substance abuser has unique circumstances, and that’s why I support every proven method including long-term treatment, faith-based treatment, medication-assisted treatment, support groups like Narcotics or Alcoholic Anonymous, Crisis Stabilization Centers, and others. (Md. Reporter)

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