• A Scan of CDC-Authored Articles on Legal Epidemiology, 2011-2015

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2016-11-01)
      Objective: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts research on legal epidemiology, the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and prevention of disease. This study describes a scan of articles written by CDC staff members to characterize the frequency and key features of legal epidemiology articles and their distribution across CDC departments and divisions. Methods: CDC librarians searched an internal repository for journal articles by CDC staff published from January 1, 2011, to May 31, 2015. Researchers reviewed and coded the abstracts to produce data on key features of the articles. Results: Researchers identified 158 CDC-authored legal epidemiology articles published in 83 journals, most frequently in Preventing Chronic Disease (14 publications), Journal of Public Health Management Practice (10 publications), and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (9 publications). Most articles concerned the use and impact of law as a deliberate tool of intervention. Thirteen articles addressed the legal infrastructure of public health, and 3 assessed the incidental or unintended effects of nonhealth laws. CDC-authored articles encompassed policy making, implementation, and impact. Literature reviews and studies mapping laws across multiple jurisdictions constituted one-quarter of all publications. Studies addressed laws at the international, national, state, local, and organizational levels. Conclusion: Results of the scan can be used to identify opportunities for the agency to better support research, professional development, networking, publication, and tracking of publication in this emerging field.
    • Mapping medical marijuana: state laws regulating patients, product safety, supply chains and dispensaries, 2017

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2017-07-11)
      Aims: (1) To describe open source legal data sets, created for research use, that capture the key provisions of US state medical marijuana laws. The data document how state lawmakers have regulated a medicine that remains, under federal law, a Schedule I illegal drug with no legitimate medical use. (2) To demonstrate the variability that exists across states in rules governing patient access, product safety and dispensary practice. Methods: Two legal researchers collected and coded state laws governing marijuana patients, product safety and dispensaries in effect on 1 February 2017, creating three empirical legal data sets. We used summary tables to identify the variation in specific statutory provisions specified in each state's medical marijuana law as it existed on 1 February 2017. We compared aspects of these laws to the traditional Federal approach to regulating medicine. Full data sets, codebooks and protocols are available through the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System (http://www.pdaps.org/; Archived at http://www.webcitation.org/6qv5CZNaZ on 2 June 2017). Results: Twenty-eight states (including the District of Columbia) have authorized medical marijuana. Twenty-seven specify qualifying diseases, which differ across states. All states protect patient privacy; only 14 protect patients against discrimination. Eighteen states have mandatory product safety testing before any sale. While the majority have package/label regulations, states have a wide range of specific requirements. Most regulate dispensaries (25 states), with considerable variation in specific provisions such as permitted product supply sources number of dispensaries per state and restricting proximity to various types of location. Conclusions: The federal ban in the United States on marijuana has resulted in a patchwork of regulatory strategies that are not uniformly consistent with the approach usually taken by the Federal government and whose effectiveness remains unknown.