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It's Official: Germany Has Legalized Marijuana as of April 1, and More... (3/27/24)

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A Kansas bill to reform civil asset forfeiture goes to the governor, a Maine bill to create a commission to study regulated access to psychedelics advances, and more. 

Psilocybin mushrooms. A Maine bill would create a commission to study how to regulate them and other psychedelics. (Pixabay)

Maine Bill to Create Psychedelics Commission to Study Regulated Access Advances. A bill that originally would have legalized psilocybin has advanced in the legislature, but only after it was substantially watered down and turned into a bill that would create a commission to study "pathways for creating a psilocybin services program in Maine." 

That amended measure, Legislative Document 1914, passed the joint Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on a 9-2 vote last week. It would create a 13-member panel of legislative appointees, health experts, a military veteran, academics and people with experience in psychedelics policy to review "medical, psychological and scientific studies, research and other information on the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating behavioral health conditions," as well as how other states have approached regulating psychedelics access.

The commission would also be charged with laying out the steps the state would need to take to create its own regulatory framework for psychedelics, "including but not limited to psilocybin" and "advise and make recommendations to the legislature regarding a legal framework for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs."

The bill now awaits floor votes in the Senate and the House. 

Asset Forfeiture

Kansas Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Advances. A bill that would block civil asset forfeiture for the crime of drug possession, Senate Bill 458, has passed the House. It passed the Senate in February and will go to the desk of Gov. Laura Kelly (D) to be signed into law. 

The bill would also shorten the window of time for property to be returned to the owner, require a judge to approve a probable cause affidavit before a forfeiture case could proceed, and allow defendants who recovered more than half of their property to recoup attorney fees and litigation costs.

The state's civil asset forfeiture status quo has earned it a D- grade from the Institute of Justice. 


The European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction Gets a New Name and New Mandate. The European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) will become the European Union Drugs Agency (EUDA) as of July 2 and it will have a new mandate. Here is what the information page on the EMCDDA's new mandate says:

On 2 July 2024, the EMCDDA will become the EUDA

The EMCDDA will become the European Union Drugs Agency (EUDA) on 2 July 2024. On this page, you can learn more about what this change means for the agency and its work as well as practical information to ensure a smooth transition. We are updating this page regularly, but if you have a question that isn’t answered here, feel free to get in touch!

General questions about the change

Why is the agency changing its name from EMCDDA to EUDA?

On 30 June 2023, the European Parliament and Council of the EU published a regulation which revises the existing mandate of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA),in order to keep pace with an ever more complex and rapidly changing drug phenomenon. This regulation entered into force on 1 July 2023. The agency is currently in a transition period to prepare to implement the new mandate in 2024 (see news release). 

When will this change take place?

The EMCDDA will become the European Union Drugs Agency (EUDA) on 2 July 2024, the day on which the regulation enters into application.

What will the agency be called in my language? 

The name of the agency is translated into the EU official languages. You can find these in the translations of the regulation. The acronym 'EUDA' will remain the same in all languages. 

Is it just the name that is changing?

No. The new mandate grants the agency considerably more power to perform the tasks needed to address current and future challenges related to illicit drugs. With this more proactive remit, adapted to the current reality, the new EUDA will be better equipped to support the EU and its Member States in addressing emerging issues in this field. This will take place in three key areas: monitoring, preparedness and competence development for better interventions.

What are the new tasks the agency will be able to carry out under its new mandate?

The collection, analysis and dissemination of data will continue to be a key task of the EUDA. The new agency will also:

  • develop threat assessment capabilities in the areas of health and security, thereby increasing EU preparedness to identify and react to these new threats;
  • issue alerts, via a new European drug alert system, when high-risk substances appear on the market (complementing national alert systems and the EU Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances);
  • monitor and address poly-substance use, which is becoming increasingly common and may have detrimental health effects;
  • set up a network of forensic and toxicological laboratories to foster information exchange on new trends and developments and train national forensic drug experts;
  • develop and promote evidence-based interventions and best practices;
  • provide research and support, both on health-related issues and on drug markets and drug supply;
  • support the independent evaluation and development of evidence-based policies;
  • play a stronger international role and support the EU in drug policy at a multilateral level;
  • reinforce the role of the national focal points to ensure that Member States are able to provide relevant drug-related data to the agency.

How should I pronounce ‘EUDA’?

As EUDA is an acronym, when saying the name you can spell it out letter-by-letter with 'the' before it: the E-U-D-A. Alternatively, you can simply say the ‘EU Drugs Agency’, if not using the full name the ‘European Union Drugs Agency’.

Where did the idea for a new EMCDDA mandate originate?

  • The proposal for a new EMCDDA mandate stems from the fourth external evaluation of the agency, carried out by the European Commission in 2018/19 (covering the period 2013 to mid-2018 and including an open public consultation). The final report was presented by the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the EMCDDA Management Board early in 2019. The results were published in May 2019.
  • The positive evaluation concluded that the agency works well overall but further improvements are possible, particularly in view of developments in the drug phenomenon.
    • the agency is widely recognized as a hub of scientific excellence in Europe and internationally, providing factual, objective, reliable and comparable data at European level on drugs, drug addiction and their consequences, and successfully monitoring emerging threats and trends.
    • areas identified for improvement, based on evolutions in the drug phenomenon include: further developing work on monitoring supply-side and polydrug issues, increasing the agency's visibility with practitioners and the general public and enhancing its cooperation with international organizations.
  • One intention of the evaluation was to ‘provide solid grounds for any possible decision concerning the agency’s future mandate’.

Does the EU Drugs Strategy refer to the mandate?

  • Yes. On the basis of the evaluation, the EU Drugs Strategy 2021-2025 (approved by the Council on 18 December 2020), invited the Commission to propose revising the agency's mandate. The new proposal delivers on this commitment.
  • The Strategy states: (5) ‘Following the evaluation of the EMCDDA, the Commission is invited to present a proposal to revise the mandate of the EMCDDA as soon as possible, to ensure that the agency plays a stronger part in addressing the current and future challenges of the drug phenomenon. Furthermore, the EMCDDA and Europol will need to be provided with the relevant resources to enable them to fulfil their roles in line with their respective mandates and the Strategy, including to support Member States’ drug-related actions’.

Will the agency remain in its current location of Lisbon, Portugal?

Yes, the agency will remain at its current location.

Communicating and staying in touch with the agency

Will the agency’s website address change?

Yes. The agency’s domain name will change from 2 July 2024 and become

Yes, we will ensure that links using the old address format will still function and be redirected to the new page. However, after 2 July, we will ask people where possible to update any links on web pages which may be pointing to the older domain.

Will staff emails change?

Yes, all staff emails will change and follow the format [email protected]

Will your social media channel accounts change and will I need to follow you again?

We will post on each social media channel where we are present details of any updates or steps to be taken by our followers. 

Will the postal address of the agency change?

The agency’s location is not changing but from 2 July 2024, postal correspondence should use the agency’s new name and be addressed to:

European Union Drugs Agency (EUDA)
Praça Europa 1, Cais do Sodré
1249-289 Lisbon, Portugal

Will telephone numbers change?

Telephone numbers will not change.

It's Official: Marijuana Is Legal in Germany Beginning on Monday. Marijuana possession and home cultivation will be legal in Germany as of Monday after Bundesrat President Manuela Schwesig signed the legalization bill into law on Wednesday. (German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier would normally sign such legislation, but he is away on vacation.)

Legalization comes after the Bundesrat reached an agreement with Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to not refer the matter to a mediation committee, which could have delayed legalization by up to six months. The Bundesrat had tried in September to block the legislation but failed. 

Under the new law, people 18 and over can possess up to 25 grams of weed and grow up to three plants for their own use. Two months from now, on July 1, people will be able to join "social clubs" where they can buy up to 25 grams, but no more than 50 grams per month. 

German federal officials plan to introduce legislation for pilot programs for commercial sales in cities throughout the country in the coming months. 

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.

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