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Chronicle AM: AK OKs Pot Social Clubs, Vancouver Ponders "Safe Supply" of Hard Drugs, More... (12/21/18)

Vancouver ponders another cutting-edge drug policy move, Alaska okays on-site pot consumption space rules, the president signs the farm bill legalizing hemp, and more.

From Amsterdam to Alaska? Dutch-style on-site consumption spaces win approval in Juneau. (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Alaska Approves Rules for On-Site Marijuana Consumption. The state's Marijuana Control Board on Thursday approved rules for businesses that want to offer on-site consumption of pot products. Now, businesses that want in will have to apply for a special onsite use endorsement and come up with plans for meeting ventilation and other standards for on-site use. This makes Alaska the first state to develop a regulatory framework for on-site use at the state level.

Medical Marijuana

FDA Begins Process of Allowing Hemp-Based CBD Products. After President Trump signed the 2018 farm bill into law Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release pledging to pursue means of allowing businesses to legally market products containing hemp or non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as CBD. FDA also asserted its right to regulate such products. "In view of the proliferation of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived substances, the FDA will advance new steps to better define our public health obligations in this area," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. "We'll also continue to closely scrutinize products that could pose risks to consumers."

Industrial Hemp

Trump Signs Farm Bill, Final Step to Making Hemp Legal. President Trump signed the 2018 farm bill into law Thursday, the final step in the legalization of hemp. The hemp provision of the farm bill, championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), received bipartisan support and now ends a ban going back more than seven decades.

Drug Testing

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Florida School District's Suspicionless Drug Testing of Substitute Teachers. A three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a constitutional challenge to the Palm Beach County School Board's policy requiring substitute teachers to undergo suspicionless drug testing. Federal courts have generally held drug testing to be a search under the Fourth Amendment and barred drug testing by government entities, but have carved out exceptions for students, people involved in safety-sensitive positions, and law enforcement personnel. Although this case doesn't appear to fall into any of those categories, the appeals court nonetheless ruled in the district's favor. "We think that the School Board has a sufficiently compelling interest in screening its prospective teachers to justify this invasion of the privacy rights of job applicants, and thus conclude that the School Board has not violated the constitutional mandate barring unreasonable searches and seizures," said the 54-page opinion, written by Judge Stanley Marcus and joined by Chief Judge Ed Carnes and Judge David Ebel. "As we see it, ensuring the safety of millions of schoolchildren in the mandatory supervision and care of the state, and ensuring and impressing a drug-free environment in our classrooms, are compelling concerns."

International

Vancouver Looks to Pioneer "Safe Supply" for Hard Drug Users. The city council met Thursday to discuss the Mayor's Overdose Emergency Task Force report and how and whether to implement its 23 specific recommendations for action. One key recommendation is to find a location in or near the epicenter of the city's Downtown Eastside hard drug scene for "a clinical space where we could evaluate and enroll people" for a "low-barrier dispersal program for pharmaceutical opioids." Supporters are using the phrase "safe supply" to describe the concept aimed at reducing skyrocketing overdose deaths linked to illicit fentanyl.

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What message do safe injection sites and safe supply send?

The drug warriors say these policies send the message that hard drug use is ok. But the message they send depends at least partly on the message we choose to give, directly and otherwise, to accompany these policy changes. To me they send the message that we care enough about addicts to do something we'd really rather not do, and that's a positive message, not a harmful one. These changes are desperately needed, more than ever in this age of fentanyl.

Dain Bramage's picture

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment...?

Didn't the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment just expire with the Trump Baby Temper Tantrum government shutdown?   But the DEA is still up and running.   Makes raiding dispensaries like shooting fish in a barrel.

Trump has put the marijuana community at extreme risk as a result of his malice and stupidity.

Trump is a treasonous criminal, and a grave threat to all of us. 

CUFF HIS ASS!!

I Swear

If Trump cured cancer, you'd bitch about him putting researchers out of business. This crap is truly getting pathetic.

Dain Bramage's picture

Hey Numbnuts...

Nunya, you a real dumbass.  Trump causes cancer.

Trump and the Republicans oppose environmental regulations.  Trump and the Republicans oppose health and safety regulations for businesses, which puts us ALL AT RISK!

Trump PROMOTES cancer, and other health problems, by eliminating or weakening environmental regulations over businesses.   And as we all know, the business community doesn't give a fuck about anything but money.

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