Houston Matters

Report: Expanding Drug Diversion Programs Would Improve Safety and Save Tax Dollars

Posted on · A new report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition suggests there are economic and social benefits to expanding Harris County’s drug diversion programs. To explain, we talk with one of the authors of that report, Jay Jenkins. He’s the coalition’s project attorney for Harris County. The Harris County DA’s office is implementing a “First Chance Intervention Program” […]

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Hou Decide and the HERO Saga: Monday’s Show (October 19, 2015)

Posted on · The final debate before early voting in the Houston mayor’s race was held Saturday night. Houston Public Media, KHOU 11 News and Free Press Houston co-presented the debate called “Hou Decide,” which was geared, in part, towards younger voters, as evidenced by Tweet-like opening statements, and some questions coming from Millennials at a watch party in […]

Houston Matters

Should Texas Initiate a Needle Exchange Program?

Posted on · During the legislative session, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill allowing for the creation of needle exchange pilot programs in the state’s urban areas, including Harris County. However, the bill ultimately died in the Senate. It’s the fourth time in six years backers of the initiative hoped it would pass both houses. One […]

Houston Matters

What Are Synthetic Drugs and What’s Being Done to Prevent Their Use?

Posted on · Tomorrow (6/19/15), a district court hearing will address a temporary restraining order obtained late last week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, to stop four Houston-area stores from distributing products containing synthetic marijuana. The category of “synthetic drugs” can cover a wide range of chemical compounds that have varying […]

Houston Matters

This is Your Brain on Drugs: Research Reveals More About What Substance Abuse Does to Your Brain

Posted on · We’ve come a long way from the “This is your brain on drugs” PSA where a man breaks an egg into a frying pan and uses that to demonstrate what happens to your brain when you take a harmful substance. How harmful drugs are and what they really do to us is becoming more widely […]

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Texas City Explosion & Climate Change: Thursday’s Show (April 2, 2015)

Posted on · March 23 marked the 10-year anniversary of the fatal Texas City explosion. Fifteen workers died and about 180 others were injured amid a series of explosions at the BP oil refinery in Texas City. As described in coverage from the Texas Tribune and Houston Chronicle, warnings from the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board about […]

Houston Matters

Should Terminally Ill Patients Have the Right to Try Unproven Drugs?

Posted on · The FDA currently has an exemption that allows terminally ill patients to have access to drugs that are still in the clinical trial phase but have yet to be approved. However, the process to get what’s called “compassionate use” is lengthy and arduous. But a proposed bill in the Texas Legislature would make it easier […]

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Oil Traffic Deaths, Fire Chief, and Gangs in the Burbs: Houston Matters for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Posted on · The revolution in oil and natural gas production has been a windfall for trucking companies and commercial drivers across the state. But it’s also led to a surge in fatal accidents on Texas highways. All this week, Houston Public Media News 88.7’s Andrew Schneider and the Houston Chronicle’s Lise Olsen have collaborated in a series […]

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Rethinking Marijuana Possession Penalties and Transitional Artifacts: Houston Matters for Friday, August 8, 2014

Posted on · A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union reported Harris County had one of the highest rates of marijuana arrests in 2010. Nearly 12,000 people in Harris County were busted for pot possession. Getting caught with even a little bit of marijuana in Texas is going to cost you. Possessing two ounces or less […]

Houston Matters

What’s Really Going on Inside the Brain of an Addict?

Posted on · The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has once again raised the specter of addiction. It’s a topic often discussed, but not always well understood. More and more, medical professionals are recognizing addiction as a medical condition. They explain how drugs and alcohol can affect the chemistry in our brains, and how some of […]

Houston Matters

Could Texas Ever Legalize Marijuana?

Posted on · With the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado, could it ever happen in Texas? The Lone Star State has been very conservative for a very long time, so at first glance, it seems unlikely that it could happen here anytime soon. But look a little deeper at what Texas stands for: rugged individualism, freedom […]