Skip to main content

Germany Legalizes Marijuana, CDC Releases Drug Overdose Report, More... (3/22/24)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on
Consequences of Prohibition

An initiative campaign to legalize weed in Arkansas takes its first steps, the Idaho Senate kills a bill that would have criminalized marijuana advertising, and more.

A marijuana advertising billboard. An effort to ban them in Idaho has failed. (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Arkansas Marijuana Legalization Constitutional Amendment Initiative Campaign Looming. A White County man has filed paperwork to put a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana on the November ballot. Cedric King submitted ballot language to the state Attorney General's Office Wednesday, the first step in the initiative campaign. 

The amendment would legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and over and require the state to issue licenses for marijuana businesses to grow and sell the product. The amendment would allow for the purchase of up to four ounces of marijuana per day and let residents grow up to 12 plants. 

The amendment specifies two classes of business licenses. A Class A license "would permit the possession, cultivation, transport, and sale of recreational marijuana plants and seeds" and a Class B license "would permit the possession, cultivation, production, transport and sale of recreational marijuana plants, seeds, and permits the production and sale of produced from the plant."

To qualify for the ballot, the campaign will need to come up with 90,704 valid voter signatures by July 5. 

Idaho Bill to Criminalize Marijuana Advertising Dies. Surrounded by legal marijuana states and with advertising for out-of-state marijuana appearing sporadically in the state, some legislators sought to ban such ads via House Bill 613. The bill would create a misdemeanor offense for "any person who willfully publishes any notice or advertisement, in any medium, within the state of Idaho for a product or service that is illegal under the laws of the jurisdiction where the product or service is offered, including federal, state, or local laws."

Now, that effort is dead, having failed to win a Senate floor vote. What killed it was not pro-marijuana sentiment but concern that it was written so broadly it could endanger gun rights. 

The bill "could have unintended consequences" and should be "narrowed down in scope," said Sen. Brian Lenney (R-Nampa). "I’m thinking about things like pistol braces or bump stocks or suppressors. … Because we know there’s always arguments around these things," said Lenney, who voted against the bill.

Drug Policy

CDC Reports on Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2002–2022. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has released a data brief on drug overdose deaths in the country between 2020 and 2020 and found that the overall rate of overdose deaths "remained stable" between 2021 and 2022. 


"In 2022, 107,941 drug overdose deaths occurred, resulting in an age-adjusted rate of 32.6 deaths per 100,000 standard population. Overall, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 8.2 in 2002 to 32.6 in 2022; however, the rate did not significantly change between 2021 (32.4) and 2022 (32.6). Between 2021 and 2022, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths for males increased 1.1 percent from 45.1 to 45.6, while the rate for females decreased 1.0 percent from 19.6 to 19.4, although this decrease was not significant," the CDC reported. 

CDC also found that age-adjusted overdose death rates for middle-aged and older Americans increased during that period, as did rates for American Indians and Alaska Natives, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians 

It also found that the rate of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone [read: fentanyl and its derivatives] has increased over the past decade. 

And it found that overdose deaths for cocaine and methamphetamine that began to increase around 2011 have continued to increase. 

Click the title link to see the full report.


Germany Legalizes Marijuana. Germany has legalized marijuana. After wending a torturous path to approval through Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, a marijuana bill passed its final hurdle Friday when the federal council of states, the Bundesrat, gave its okay.

"The federal council approved the Cannabis Act at its meeting," the Bundesrat announced. The law will go into effect in April.

Under the law, people can carry up to 25 grams of marijuana and store up to 50 grams at home. They will also be able to grow up to three plants at home. 

Under pressure from national conservatives and the European Union, Germany's legalization does not include legal marijuana commerce, but people who cannot grow their own can join cultivation co-ops that share harvests among members. 

"The purchase and sale of cannabis also remains prohibited. However, if you don't want to grow plants yourself, you can do so in growers' associations," the release said. The Bundesrat also noted further restrictions on marijuana use, especially around children and schools: "In their presence, adults are also not allowed to consume cannabis. There is also a ban on computation within sight of schools and daycare centers as well as in pedestrian zones before 8 p.m.," the Bundesrat said. 

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.