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Vermont Lawmakers File Drug Decriminalization Bill, Here’s What’s in It

Taylor Johnston

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It seems that Vermont is on its way to decriminalizing all drugs, as the state’s Democratic and Progressive lawmakers filed a new bill this week to decriminalize their possession.

Reps. Logan Nicoll (D) and Selene Colburn (P) introduced the legislation, which is seen as a harm reduction tool that can also help address racial disparities in enforcement, Marijuana Moment reported.

What’s In The New Bill?

The measure would make possession and distribution of personal-use amounts of currently illicit drugs punishable by a $50 fine – without a threat of a prison sentence or being subject to a substance use screening and health service.

In addition, if the amount of the drug in question is under a “benchmark personal use” threshold – previously set by a new Drug Use Standards Advisory Board – people would face a civil penalty once the bill amends the state statute on drug possession and distribution.

According to the new policy, the board would include “experts in the fields of general and behavioral health care, substance use disorder treatment, and drug user communities.”

Moreover, criminal penalties for sharing small amounts of currently illicit drugs without compensation would be removed.

So far, nearly one-third of the Vermont House, or 40 initial cosponsors, support the proposal.

Colburn told Marijuana Moment in an interview this week that the goal is to streamline the process of legalization in a way that lawmakers in other states have, citing Maine as an example.

The legislator said that she’s been “talking with a lot of frontline folks, a lot of people with lived experience, and the vast majority of those folks will share that justice system involvement has been a hurdle and a barrier in their recovery, or even just their access to life-saving medication or to harm reduction tools.”

Colburn added that in their discussions, she and her colleagues are trying to be clear that the vast majority of people who are drug users are not struggling with substance use disorder. “So this is definitely a civil liberties issue as well. But for folks who [do have substance misuse disorders], the impacts of criminalization have caused, and continue to cause, so much harm.”

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Photo: Courtesy of Colin Davis on Unsplash

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Source: benzinga.com

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Parsons Joins LAWA in Making LAX Airport More Efficient and Sustainable

Taylor Johnston

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CENTREVILLE, Va., Aug. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Parsons Corporation PSN joined Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to celebrate the unveiling of the 1st of 44 Automated People Mover (APM) vehicles to be delivered to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The APM is a 2.25-mile electric train system that will enhance the traveler experience by making it easier to get into and out of the world’s fifth-busiest airport, reduce traffic congestion, and provide a more predictable and reliable commute to and from the airport. The APM incorporates best practices in vehicle sustainability, manufacturing, design, and construction.

“LAX is a gateway to the world, and the APM is a critical investment that will improve access to its terminals, the recently opened LAX Economy Parking Garage, and the soon to be completed Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility for millions of passengers every year,” said Catherine Cronin, senior vice president, aviation and rail transit for Parsons. “Our team of aviation experts has proudly supported capital projects at LAX for more than two decades, and we are honored to be part of the LAWA team for this true milestone in one of the largest ongoing infrastructure projects in the United States.”

Parsons has served as the Project Management/Construction Management (PM/CM) consultant and client representative for the APM since 2017. The company also developed the structure, budget, and staffing plan for the Landside Access Modernization Program; and currently supports construction management, engineering technical validation, and design document review.

The APM includes an elevated, dual lane grade-separated guideway that will connect the Central Terminal Area to the new off-site LAX Economy Parking Garage, which opened in October 2021, in addition to regional light rail and the Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility, which are both in construction. The APM will operate 24 hours, seven days a week and will be free to the public.

“Innovation, sustainability and state-of-the-art technology are integral to our ongoing modernization,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. “These automated people mover train cars will set a high standard for environmentally sustainable transportation, having shells made of recyclable materials and achieving zero emissions. We look forward to seeing the cars in action when we begin testing them in 2023.”

Parsons is a global leader in critical infrastructure excellence, contributing to the planning, design, sustainability, and management of more than 450 airports around the world. The company is continuously working to enhance the air travel experience through smart infrastructure and advanced technology that helps passengers get to their destinations safer, faster, and more efficiently.

To learn more about Parsons’ aviation expertise, visit www.parsons.com/aviation.

About Parsons:

Parsons PSN is a leading disruptive technology provider in the national security and critical infrastructure markets, with capabilities across cybersecurity, missile defense, space, C5ISR, transportation, environmental remediation, and water/wastewater treatment. Please visit Parsons.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn how we’re making an impact.

Media Contact:
Bernadette Miller
+1 980.253.9781
Bernadette.Miller@Parsons.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Dave Spille
+1 703.775.6191
Dave.Spille@parsons.com

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Article: benzinga.com

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Biden Tests Positive for COVID for the Second Time in 2022

Taylor Johnston

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President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday after several days of testing negative, marking the second time Biden tested positive for the virus this year.

White House physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a memo to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that the president is feeling fine, but given the positive antigen test, he will reinitiate isolation procedures.

“The President has experienced no reemergence of symptoms, and continues to feel quite well,” Dr. O’Connor wrote. “However, given his positive antigen test, he will reinitiate strict isolation procedures.”

Biden, who is fully vaccinated, and has received two booster shots of Pfizer Inc.’s PFE BioNTech vaccine took to Twitter Inc TWTR to alert the American people of his positive test, “I’ve got no symptoms but I am going to isolate for the safety of everyone around me,” the president tweeted. “I’m still at work, and will be back on the road soon.”

The President tested negative for four consecutive days, but according to Dr. O’Connor, Biden is experiencing “rebound COVID positivity in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid,” Pfizer’s antiviral oral pill.

Also Read: Biden’s Sixth-Quarter Approval Rating Lowest On Record: How Did Previous Presidents Fare?

Biden first tested positive for Covid-19 on July 21, Benzinga reported. He returned to the Oval Office five days later, and continued to work during his initial isolation phase.

Photo: Courtesy of National Renewable Energy Lab on flickr

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Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos Unite to ‘Change the Course’ of Neurological Disorder Impacting 6.5 Million Americans

Taylor Johnston

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It’s a well-known fact that Microsoft Corporation MSFT co-founder Bill Gates, through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working toward eliminating infectious diseases and eradicating poverty in developing and under-developed countries.

Gates took to Twitter this week to share details of another disease he is working to address.

“We’re announcing the second phase of @TheADDF’s diagnostics accelerator,” he said.

“I’m hopeful that this new phase will make advances that help change the course of Alzheimer’s.”

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) launched the “Diagnostics Accelerator” in 2018, with inaugural funding from Gates, Est?e Lauder Companies Inc.’s EL Leonard Lauder, Amazon, Inc. AMZN founder Jeff Bezos and the Dolby Family. The project envisage making Alzheimer’s tests affordable, as the existing ones are expensive and invasive.

Related Link: The Alzheimer’s Drug Pipeline: High Failure Rates In Research On An Increasingly Common Disease

“The objective is to develop reliable and affordable biomarker tests just like how cholesterol is considered an early biomarker for heart disease risk,” ADDF said on its website.

All these are critical for developing effective preventative and curative treatments for Alzheimer’s, it added. Diagnostics Accelerator has now received an additional $50 million in financial commitments from new funders, including the NFL Players Association, Eli Lilly & Company LLY, Biogen, Inc. BIIB and the Shanahan Family Foundation. This brings the total funding received since 2018 to $100 million.

Effective treatments for Alzheimer’s, a neurological disorder, have thus far eluded researchers due to the difficulty in diagnosing the condition at an early stage and administering the drug to the brain for testing.

Biogen had a very rough launch of its controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, with the CMS offering very restricted coverage for this expensive treatment.

Photo: Courtesy of National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution and OnInnovation on flickr

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Original Post: benzinga.com

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