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CBO Says Marijuana Legalization Would Help Federal Budget Deficit, DEA Virtual Lecture Series to Begin, More... (12/8/20)

A state senator is leading a push for a marijuana legalization initiative in Nebraska, the new progressive Los Angeles County DA is getting down to work, and more.

"Drug Kingpin" Ivan Velasquez Caballero upon extradition to the US. He's been replaced. (DEA.gov)
Marijuana Policy

Congressional Budget Office Says Marijuana Legalization Would Help Federal Budget. In an analysis of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3384), which passed the House last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that revenues from legal marijuana businesses and shrinking federal prison costs could shrink the federal budget deficit $7.3 billion during the remainder of this decade. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a staunch legalization supporter, liked what he saw in the report: "It shows that the MORE Act would reduce 73,000 person-years of prison time," Blumenauer said. "It would increase revenues by $13.7 billion. It would provide $3 billion for job training and legal aid to people harmed by the war on drugs. While doing all of this, it would reduce the deficit by $7.344 billion."

Nebraska State Senator to Draft Marijuana Legalization Initiative for 2022. Marijuana reform proponent state Sen. Anna Wishart (D-Lincoln) announced last Saturday that she has a team drafting a marijuana legalization initiative for the 2022 ballot. She, along with Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, is already involved with drafting a medical marijuana initiative for 2022.

Law Enforcement

DEA Virtual Lecture Series to Begin with Look at Kingpin Strategy. Former Administrator Robert C. Bonner will lead off the first installment of the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum & Visitor Center's fiscal year 2021 lecture series Disrupt, Dismantle, and Destroy. Mr. Bonner will speak about leading DEA as it put the "Kingpin Strategy" into place in the early 1990s to combat violent and powerful drug trafficking organizations. "The Kingpin Strategy attacks drug organizations' most vulnerable areas-leadership, production, distribution, and assets. DEA designed the strategy to weaken, destroy, and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations," the DEA press release said. Given the Kingpin Strategy's results in places like Colombia and Mexico, someone should ask how that's working out so far. Virtual tickets are available at the link.

New Los Angeles County DA to End Cash Bail, Review Sentences, Divert Low-Level Offenders. Incoming Los Angeles County DA George Gascon said Monday upon taking office that he will end cash bail except for violent offenses and review sentences in thousands of cases. He said the latter move could affect at least 20,000 cases. He also said his office will work to divert people arrested for low-level offenses related to poverty, addiction, homelessness, and mental health issue to behavioral health services.

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