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N.Y. says cannabis can sub for opioid

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York state is now allowing anyone prescribed an opioid to request medical marijuana instead.

The state's Department of Health announced details of the new policy Thursday. State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective pain treatment that doesn't carry the risk of addiction that comes with opioids. Zucker says that giving people an alternative to opioids is a critical step in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Other conditions that already make a person eligible for medical marijuana in New York include chronic pain, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder.

As of Tuesday, more than 62,000 people had signed up for the state's medical marijuana program.

Also Friday, the state Health Department said in a report that New York should consider legalizing recreational marijuana to temper the harm of opioid addiction, end racial disparity in enforcement and boost tax revenue.

8 gang suspects indicted in Texas

DALLAS -- Authorities announced Friday that eight MS-13 members in the U.S. illegally have been indicted in Texas on charges tied to alleged gang activities including racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder and assault.

U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced the charges at a news conference in Dallas.

In an 18-count indictment, the men are accused of targeting rival gangs as part of initiations into the gang or dues to stay in the gang, she said.

Cox, who described MS-13 as "one of the most violent and ruthless gangs on the streets today," said that seven suspects are in custody. Janet Pearre, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Texas, declined to comment on the status of the eighth.

A Department of Justice statement said some of those indicted have been tied to violent acts, including machete attacks in Texas last year.

Governor clarifies Florida beach law

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed an executive order in response to confusion over a new Florida law, making it clear that the law doesn't make public beaches private.

A law that went into effect July 1 clarifies the process local governments must follow in order to allow public access to otherwise privately owned beaches. It doesn't change beach ownership, though it did void a beach access ordinance passed in Walton County in the western Panhandle.

Scott also directed the state to establish a website where the public can report any problems with gaining access to public beaches.

A Section on 07/14/2018

Print Headline: Marijuana subbed for opioids in N.Y. N.Y. says cannabis can sub for opioid 8 gang suspects indicted in Texas Fla. clarifies new beach access law

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