Missouri and Montana are the only states without distracted driving laws for all drivers. With traffic fatalities rising significantly nationwide, some Missouri lawmakers and advocates for roadway safety are eyeing bills in the new legislative session that would crack down on texting while driving in the Show Me State.
The 2018 farm bill that legalized hemp created a loophole for an unregulated copycat of marijuana. A form of delta-9 THC — the psychoactive substance in pot — doesn’t face the same laws and regulations as marijuana because it comes from hemp. The drug is poised to upend the cannabis industry.
A cannabis product called delta-8 was made legal when the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp. But unlike its cousin CBD, delta-8 has psychoactive properties. And the FDA warns it has “serious health risks.” The agency has received more than 100 reports of bad reactions among people who consumed it.
The FDA has approved a cannabis-derived drug, Epidiolex, to treat some forms of epilepsy. Now people who have other forms of the condition are using over-the-counter CBD products in hopes of taming their seizures. But doctors and patients worry about the unregulated world of CBD, in which product ingredients can be a mystery.
Missouri has the worst covid-19 vaccination rate for nursing home health care workers in the nation. There, the federal mandate for workers to get vaccinated — upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — reveals the problems that operators have hiring staff, keeping them, and providing decent care.
Two days before hosting an outdoor Wilco concert, the St. Louis Music Park announced it would require proof of vaccination or a negative covid test for all ticket holders, sending some attendees scrambling and upending plans. Concertgoers, promoters and venues nationwide are all having to pivot quickly to find safer ways of enjoying live music amid the pandemic’s delta surge.
Missouri is the last state to create a monitoring program to help spot the misuse of prescription drugs. But some public health experts warn that the nation’s programs are forcing people addicted to opioids to seek deadlier street options.
St. Louis Blues leading scorer David Perron took 10 days to explain he had indeed been vaccinated before he caught covid-19, which knocked him from playing in the NHL playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche. His case and those of other public figures raise questions about the role of celebrity in enticing people to get covid vaccinations.
No-shows for behavioral health appointments have been a long-standing problem, with up to 60% skipped. Now telehealth, fueled by the pandemic, makes it easier for people dealing with depression and other mental health issues to make it to their appointments at a time when such care is in high demand. But teletherapy creates other challenges.
In 2015, St. Louis-based Mercy health system opened what officials called the world’s first “hospital without beds.” Since the pandemic, Mercy has incorporated telehealth throughout its system, part of a national acceleration in virtual care that proponents laud but critics say is happening too fast.