Amazon warns sellers on listings that make false coronavirus claims

Amazon is removing listings from its online marketplace that claim to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The company notified third-party merchants this week that it was taking down listings claiming to be a treatment, cure or remedy for the coronavirus, according to an email obtained by CNBC. It comes as the coronavirus outbreak has continued to worsen. The coronavirus has spread to more than two dozen countries, infecting more than 75,700 people and killing at least 2,130, as of Thursday. Last week, CNBC reported that Amazon was one of several tech giants that met with the World Health Organization at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif. offices to discuss how to stop misinformation about the coronavirus on their platforms. Bad actors have attempted to make money off of fears around the coronavirus. On Amazon, sellers have offered books that stoke fears about the virus, while vitamin C products have increasingly surfaced because of false reports it can cure the coronavirus. Now, Amazon appears to be cracking down on mentions of the coronavirus in products listed on its marketplace. In one case, Amazon told a seller it would remove their listing for a surgical face masks b...

New bill to create safe consumption spaces for heroin users would save lives and money

The heroin crisis in Baltimore has generated political support for safe consumption spaces, facilities where drug users can safely take heroin under the supervision of medical professionals. “What that means is, a facility that is supervised by medically trained personnel would be set up for people that use drugs to come in and use their drugs there, under supervision,” said Harriet Smith of Baltimore Harm Reduction in Annapolis on Feb. 13 in support of a bill in favor of safe consumption sites. The bill (H.B. 519) is proposed by District 11 Delegate Dan Morhaim of Baltimore County and would allow community organizations, hospitals, and health centers to open safe consumption spaces throughout the state. Two other related bills proposed by Morhaim require hospitals to have an addiction counselor on the premises 24-7 and adjustments to drug possession charges that would prevent users with small amounts from going to jail until their third charge. While it’s unclear if Democrats in Annapolis will support it, the opioid crisis continues to claim lives across the country and the idea for safe consumption has growing support among people who understand the roots of the problem. “It’s...