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For First Time, CDC Recommends Pill-Testing; NH Supreme Court Psilocybin Religious Freedom Ruling, More... (12/24/20)

One Maryland lawmaker already has a marijuana legalization bill ready to go, the CDC recommends harm reduction programs use pill-testing (drug checking), and more.

Psilocbyin mushrooms. The New Hampshire Supreme Court okayed their possession for religious use. (Greenoid/Flickr)
Marijuana Policy

Maryland Lawmaker Pre-Files Marijuana Legalization Bill. Delegate Jazz Lewis (D) has pre-filed a marijuana legalization bill, HB 0032, that would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of pot and up to 15 grams of concentrates. It appears to have no provision for home cultivation, but does envisage a legal, regulated marijuana market, a social equity program, and expungement of past convictions.

Psychedelics

New Hampshire Supreme Rules for Religious Freedom to Use Psychedelic Mushrooms. The state Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of a New Hampshire man for possession of psilocybin mushrooms after he argued that his arrest conflicted with the Native American-based religion he practices. Jeremy D. Mack was a card-carrying member of the Oratory of Mystical Sacraments branch of the Oklevueha Native American Church. Mack was a minister in the church. "We have long recognized that in Part I, Article 5 [of the state constitution], there is a broad, a general, a universal statement and declaration of the ‘natural and unalienable right’ of ‘every individual,’ of every human being, in the state, to make such religious profession, to entertain such religious sentiments, or to belong to such religious persuasion as he chooses, and to worship God privately and publicly in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience and reason,’" wrote Supreme Court Justice James Bassett.

Harm Reduction

CDC Recommends Pill-Testing. For the first time in its history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended using services to check people's drugs for potency and contaminants. The recommendation came in a December 17 health advisory in which the CDC approved of harm reduction groups establishing drug-checking (or pill-testing) programs "[i]mprove detection of overdose outbreaks" involving drugs often adulterated by the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl.

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