Top White House drug officials signal a laissez-faire stance toward marijuana legalization in the states, a bill to allow pot smoking and vaping on party buses advances in California, the world's third largest coca producer sees a slight decline, and more.
White House Drug Officials Say Legal Marijuana Is Up to States. A pair of top federal drug officials said this week that marijuana legalization should be left up to the states. Jim Carroll, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) said he considers legalization a states' rights issue. Carroll's remarks were echoed by Anne Hazlett, a senior ONDCP advisor, who said marijuana legalization is "a state decision."
California Marijuana Party Bus Bill Advances. A bill that would allow passengers on party buses to smoke and vape marijuana products was approved Wednesday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Senate Bill 625 would allow passengers 21 and older to use the products on a bus, limousine, or modified limousine as long as the driver's compartment is sealed off by a physical barrier and ventilated separately from passenger areas. The bill now heads for an Assembly floor vote.
Florida Sees New Industry-Backed Marijuana Legalization Measure Filed. A major player in the legal marijuana industry, the multi-state dispensary chain MedMen, is leading the charge for a second marijuana legalization initiative campaign in the Sunshine State. A political committee linked to MedMen, Make It Legal Florida, filed the initiative earlier this month. It would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and allow recreational sales through medical marijuana dispensaries. There is no mention of home cultivation.
Bolivian Coca Production Drops, UN Says. The land area under coca cultivation in the world's third largest coca producer declined 6% last year, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported Thursday. UNODC said cultivation was some 57,000 acres, down from a little more than 60,000 acres in 2017. But UNODC also noted that cultivation was still above what is legally allowed by Bolivian law, which is some 54,000 acres.