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New Washington Law Empower Tribes to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted April 22, 2015 by Galanda Broadman, PLLC

Today, Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill giving tribal law enforcement and prosecutors access to an important tool to fight prescription drug abuse.  The Muckleshoot Tribe spearheaded the bill’s passage.

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House Bill 1637 will provide tribal authorities access to Washington’s Prescription Monitoring Program—or “PMP”—which tracks sales of prescription opiates and other drugs so officials can better investigate and prosecute abuse.

Previously, the Washington Department of Health denied tribal access to the PMP, insisting that state law barred tribal police and prosecutors from participating in the program.

“This law will empower tribal authorities to fight illegal prescription drug use on reservations in Washington State, where drug-induced deaths are highest among Native Americans and Alaska Natives,” said Galanda Broadman associate Jared Miller, who wrote an article about the issue last year and testified in support of the bill in the Senate Health Care Committee this session.

Jared Miller’s practice focuses on tribal court litigation and representing businesses and tribal governments in public affairs. Jared is licensed in more than a dozen tribal jurisdictions, where he litigates civil matters. He can be reached at (206) 919-5044 and jared@galandabroadman.com

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