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DE Marijuana Legalization Bills Filed, NM Bill Would Increase Fentanyl Penalties, More... (1/23/23)

A Minnesota marijuana legalization bill continues to move, a New Hampshire bill that would legalize DMT gets a hearing, and more.

This could finally be the year Delaware legalizes weed. (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Delaware Marijuana Legalization Bills Filed. Last year, Gov. John Carney (D) vetoed a marijuana legalization bill and legislative Democrats lacked the votes to override it, but this year, with renewed Democratic strength in the legislature, the push is on again. Rep. Ed Osienski (D), who has led the effort for years, has now filed a pair of marijuana legalization bills, House Bill 1 and House Bill 2. The former would legalize marijuana, while the latter would regulate the industry. Committee hearings on the bills will be held this week.

Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Wins Second Committee Vote. A bill to legalize marijuana, House File 100, continues to move. It passed its second committee vote last Friday, being approved by the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee on a voice vote, with amendments. It still faces up to a dozen committee votes before it reaches the House floor.

Opiates and Opioids

New Mexico GOP Lawmakers Seek to Increase Fentanyl Penalties. Reps. William Rehm (R), Randall Pettigrew (R) and Stefani Lord (R) have filed House Bill 60, which attempts to address the state's fentanyl problem by increasing penalties for possessing specified amounts of the drug. The bill would increase prison sentences for fentanyl possession by three, five, or seven years, depending on the quantity. If someone possessed more than 25 pills, three years would be added; the seven-year increase would kick in if more than 75 pills were found .The bill is scheduled to be heard first by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, but a date for the hearing hadn't been set.

Psychedelics

New Hampshire Bill Would Legalize DMT. A bill that would legalize dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the psychoactive ingredient in ayahuasca, got a hearing in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee last week. The measure, House Bill 216, would exempt dimethyltryptamine or DMT from the controlled drug act. It is sponsored by Rep. Matthew Santonastaso (R). Speakers at the hearing cited the drug's religious use as well as its potential to help people dealing with PTSD and help people overcome addictions. The state police testified in opposition to the bill. No vote was taken.

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