Feds Loosen Up Buprenorphine Prescribing, VA Marijuana Legalization Bill, More... (1/15/21)

State legislatures are beginning to turn their sights to marijuana legalization, the Trump administration loosens restrictions on prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, and more.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is supporting marijuana legalization. (virginia.gov)
Marijuana Policy

Indiana State Senator Proposes Marijuana Legalization Bill. State Senator Karen Tallian (D-District 4) has filed Senate Bill 223 to legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. She also filed Senate Bill 87, which would create a commission to regulate legal forms of cannabis, such as hemp and CBD.

New Mexico Governor Says Marijuana Legalization a Top Priority. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced Wednesday that marijuana legalization will be one of her top legislative priorities this year. In an outline of her proposal, she called for legalization "through legislation that protects the state's medical cannabis program, provides for workplace safety and roadway protections and enforcement and clear labeling of products." She said the same thing last year, but the legalization bill she supported was killed by a Senate committee.

Virginia Governor's Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed. A marijuana legalization bill supported by Governor Ralph Northam (D) was filed Wednesday. Filed by state Senators Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), the bill would allow for licensed marijuana sales starting January 1, 2023. The bill would also allow for the personal possession of up to an ounce and envisions a 21% state tax rate, with localities being able to add another 3%.

Drug Policy

Drug Decriminalization Bill Filed in New York. Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D) has filed S1284, which would remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of any controlled substance and instead levy fines of $50. Similar measures are being considered by lawmakers in California, Virginia, and Washington, but have not yet been filed.

Drug Treatment

Trump Administration Will Let Most Doctors Prescribe Buprenorphine. Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir announced Thursday that the administration has shifted its addiction medicine policy to give more doctors more flexibility to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. He cited rising drug overdoses and the coronavirus crisis. "Many people will say this has gone too far, but I believe more people will say this has not gone far enough," Giroir said. "This is a measured, logical, appropriate, evidence-based, and patient-centered intervention that may save tens of thousands of lives." Under the new policy, any doctor with a DEA prescriber license can treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine, and doctors who have undergone training and receive a waiver can treat up to 275 patients.

International

France to Ask Public Opinion on Legalizing Marijuana. Parliament launched an online questionnaire on marijuana policy Thursday. The idea is to assess public sentiment on the issue before possible legislative actions. "The goal is to inform debate as much as possible. The success of the survey will depend on the largest number of people possible participating," said MP Robin Reda.

Marijuana Policy

Indiana State Senator Proposes Marijuana Legalization Bill. State Senator Karen Tallian (D-District 4) has filed Senate Bill 223 to legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. She also filed Senate Bill 87, which would create a commission to regulate legal forms of cannabis, such as hemp and CBD.

New Mexico Governor Says Marijuana Legalization a Top Priority. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced Wednesday that marijuana legalization will be one of her top legislative priorities this year. In an outline of her proposal, she called for legalization "through legislation that protects the state's medical cannabis program, provides for workplace safety and roadway protections and enforcement and clear labeling of products." She said the same thing last year, but the legalization bill she supported was killed by a Senate committee.

Virginia Governor's Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed. A marijuana legalization bill supported by Governor Ralph Northam (D) was filed Wednesday. Filed by state Senators Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), the bill would allow for licensed marijuana sales starting January 1, 2023. The bill would also allow for the personal possession of up to an ounce and envisions a 21% state tax rate, with localities being able to add another 3%.

Drug Policy

Drug Decriminalization Bill Filed in New York. Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D) has filed S1284, which would remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of any controlled substance and instead levy fines of $50. Similar measures are being considered by lawmakers in California, Virginia, and Washington, but have not yet been filed.

Drug Treatment

Trump Administration Will Let Most Doctors Prescribe Buprenorphine. Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir announced Thursday that the administration has shifted its addiction medicine policy to give more doctors more flexibility to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. He cited rising drug overdoses and the coronavirus crisis. "Many people will say this has gone too far, but I believe more people will say this has not gone far enough," Giroir said. This is a measured, logical, appropriate, evidence-based, and patient-centered intervention that may save tens of thousands of lives." Under the new policy, any doctor with a DEA prescriber license can treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine, and doctors who have undergone training and receive a waiver can treat up to 275 patients.

International

France to Ask Public Opinion on Legalizing Marijuana. Parliament launched an online questionnaire on marijuana policy Thursday. The idea is to assess public sentiment on the issue before possible legislative actions. "The goal is to inform debate as much as possible. The success of the survey will depend on the largest number of people possible participating," said MP Robin Reda.

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