Congress Passes Bill Naming Meth "Emerging Threat," RI Lawmakers Roll Out Marijuana Legalization Bill, More... (3/1/22)

Virginia House Republicans block an early roll-out of recreational marijuana sales, Rhose Island lawmakers unveil a long-anticipated marijuana legalization bill, and more.

crystal meth (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Rhode Island Lawmakers Unveil Much Anticipated Marijuana Legalization Bill. State Sen. Joshua Miller (D) and Rep. Scott Slater (D) on Tuesday unveiled a much-anticipated marijuana legalization bill, which would allow adults to possess up to an ounce and grow up to six plants at home, three of which can be flowering. The bill would also set up a system of licensed establishments to produce and sell marijuana. Legislators had been working for months on the bill, with one big roadblock being whether the market would be regulated by an existing agency or a new one. The bill compromises, creating a hybrid model with a new independent Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) and a Cannabis Office under the Department of Business Regulation (DBR) sharing regulatory duties.

Virginia Republicans Block Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sales. On a 5-3 party line vote, Republican members of the House General Laws Subcommittee killed a bill that would have allowed legal marijuana sales this year. Senate Bill 391 had already passed the Senate, raising hopes that the timeline for legal sales could be speeded up by allowing existing medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling to the general public in September. Legalization passed last year, when Democrats controlled both chambers. This year, the Democrats narrowly retained control of the Senate, but lost the House to Republicans.

Methamphetamine

Grassley, Feinstein Proposal to Curb Rising Methamphetamine Use Passes House, Senate with Broad Bipartisan Support. The House on Tuesday approved the Methamphetamine Response Act (HR 5021). Since the Senate passed its version of the bill, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), in December, the measure now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden. The bill declares meth an "emerging threat" and requires the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) to develop, implement, and make public, within 90 days of enactment, a national emerging threats response plan that is specific to methamphetamine. The bill also calls for an assessment of evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, as well as law enforcement programs.

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