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North Carolina Republicans want to let police view patients’ medical records with no warrant

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In their efforts to combat the deadly opioid crisis, lawmakers are lurching all over the place: from demanding doctors prescribe fewer opioids to shutting down pill mills to class action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. Others are finding novel ways to funnel more people who suffer from addiction into prison, such as by prosecuting dealers for homicide in death-resulting cases.

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A new North Carolina bill, sponsored by Republicans in the House and Senate, would likely fall in that latter category. The Heroin & Opioid Prevention & Enforcement Act would give police “unprecedented” power to sift through a person’s entire prescription drug history—no warrant required—if they’re being investigated for any drug crime, the ACLU notes.

Patients’ records are stored in a Controlled Substance Reporting System, which tracks prescriptions to help doctors meet their patients’ needs. Current law restricts law enforcements’ access to the database.

The ACLU explains how the law would erode patients’ rights.

“First, it erodes civil liberties by eliminating the requirement for law enforcement to obtain a court order before searching someone’s prescription records in the database, a crucial protection for our constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures,” they write.

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“Second, it opens up a person’s entire history of prescription records at the pharmacy after a single drug charge. Arrested on suspicion of possessing a little marijuana? Under the North Carolina bill, law enforcement could look at your entire pharmaceutical history, without any warrant or court order. Do you use birth control? Take medication to treat depression or anxiety? Ever taken antibiotics to treat a sexually transmitted disease? North Carolina law enforcement would get to know all that and more.”

Meanwhile, much of the state has yet to expand access to evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction.


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Former FBI agent explains why Trump just opened himself to more legal problems

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Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained that the recent revelations that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader that made an intelligence official uncomfortable enough to declare themselves a whistleblower.

Rangapp explained that the President has a fairly wide latitude to conduct foreign affairs as he sees fit. But "when it comes to the 'outside world,' the President represents the sovereign: He is basically the voice of the United States and can negotiate with world leaders on its behalf."

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New York cop who became El Chapo’s security guard arrested for selling cocaine and taking bribes

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A New York cop is being prosecuted after he was outed for selling cocaine and taking bribes after he went to work for drug kingpin El Chapo.

The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Officer Ishmael Bailey had his bail set at $50,000 after he was arrested and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court. He was charged with possession and sale of narcotics, conspiracy, bribe receiving as a public servant and failing to perform duties as a public servant.

Lawyer Jeff Cohen argued that Bailey had two children and had to pay child support. The lawyer explained that Bailey “does understand the severity of his charges.”

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A veteran teacher explains why Trump is incapable of learning

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While dyslexia has been mentioned now and then as one of the reasons Donald Trump is so ignorant of what it takes to govern in a free society, I want to explore it as foundational to his inability to learn and grow while in office—and also as a way to link disparate troubling elements in his makeup.

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