Political Notes — Carr joins 40 other A-Gs in probe of opioid manfacturers

[private]Attorney General Chris Carr said Tuesday he will participate with counterparts from 40 other states in an investigation of the companies that manufacture opioid painkillers.

The group of attorneys general has already served subpoenas for documents and information to Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan and related entities, along with a supplemental civil investigative demand to Purdue Pharma.

The legal group is seeking to determine whether manufacturers “engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale and distribution of opioids.”

“Between 1999 and 2015, more than 560,000 people in this country died due to drug overdoses – a death toll larger than the entire population of the city of Atlanta,” Carr said.

“Opioids are the prime contributor to this national emergency, and we are prepared to communicate with all industries to review, investigate and eliminate any practices that may have led to this epidemic,” he said. “We owe it to Georgians to get to the bottom of this crisis, and we look forward to learning more on their behalf.”

Waites quits

State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta), one of four openly LGBT members of the General Assembly, has resigned her seat to run for chair of the Fulton County Commission.

“Serving in the Georgia General Assembly has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Waites said in her resignation letter. “I was given the tremendous opportunity to work closely with over 234 of the best minds in Georgia, and working in tandem taught me invaluable lessons that have both stretched and contributed to my personal and professional growth.”

Her resignation leaves Reps. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) and Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) as the three remaining openly LGBT members of the Legislature.

Personnel notes

Camila Knowles, who is stepping down as commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs, will go to work for Cornerstone Government Affairs as senior vice president and counsel in the company’s Atlanta office.

“Camila joining our Georgia team offers our clients new legal and policy research capabilities unmatched in our market,” Cornerstone Senior Vice President Jerry Usry said. “Her experience in every facet of government expands Cornerstone’s drafting, analysis and strategic advisory services to a new level.”

Rest in peace

James Bell, who worked tirelessly for the full legalization of marijuana in Georgia, died last Friday in Marietta of an apparent heart attack.

Bell, 58, was the head of Georgia CARE (Campaign for Access Reform and Education) and was well known around the capitol for his lobbying work on the marijuana issue, where he saw a partial victory with the legalization of cannabis oil for medical purposes.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Camila Knowles , Chris Carr , James Bell , Keisha Waites , opioids