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Chronicle AM: Durbin Files Marijuana Rescheduling & Research Bill, Dems Spar on Drug & Crime Policy, More... (8/1/19)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #1075)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has filed a marijuana rescheduling and research bill, Democratic presidential contenders spar over drug and criminal justice policy, and more.

Cory Booker was among Democratic presidential contenders sparring over drug and criminal justice policy Wednesday night. (CC)
Marijuana Policy

Dick Durbin Files Marijuana Rescheduling, Research Bill. The second highest ranking Democratic senator, Dick Durbin of Illinois, filed a bill Wednesday that would move marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to the less restrictive Schedule III. It would also require the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to come up with a marijuana agenda that lays out top research priorities. That would include studies looking into health conditions that marijuana is most likely to treat and the "long-term effects of cannabis use, including dose-response relationship and the connection between cannabis use and behavioral health."

Democratic Candidates Clash Over Marijuana, Drug Policy at Debate. The second night of the Democratic presidential debates Wednesday saw contenders clash on marijuana and criminal justice policies, with several candidates, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) attacking former Vice President Joe Biden for his criminal justice past, and for his present unwillingness to go past federal marijuana decriminalization to ending federal pot prohibition. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) went after Harris over her years as a state prosecutor and California attorney general.


Boris Johnson's Top Aides Are Marijuana Legalization Proponents. Newly-annointed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hired longtime marijuana legalization proponent Brian Gibbs as one of his top policy advisors. Gibbs, who was Johnson's policing advisor when he was mayor of London, is currently head of policy at the Center for Medicinal Cannabis. A second Johnson aide, his new political secretary, Danny Kruger, has also called for an end to marijuana prohibition. Johnson himself has admitted smoking marijuana but now opposes its legalization: "It was jolly nice. But apparently it is very different these days, much stronger. I've become very illiberal about it. I don't want my kids to take drugs," he has said.

(This article was prepared by's 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this website. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

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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