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Trump & Allies Call for Biden Drug Test, Brazil Supreme Court Moves to Decriminalize Pot, More... (6/25/24)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #1215)
Drug War Issues

A bipartisan marijuana legalization bill gets filed in the Pennsylvania House, Louisiana's governor signs a bill decriminalizing pot paraphernalia, and more.

Donald Trump wants Joe Biden to take a drug test before Thursday's debate and says he would, too. (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons)

Marijuana Policy

Louisiana Governor Signs Bill to Decriminalize Pot Paraphernalia. Gov. Jeff Landry (R) a bill decriminalizing the possession of marijuana paraphernalia, House Bill 165. Under the new law, the penalty for paraphernalia offenses is capped at a $100 fine.

Under the state's existing law, people busted for paraphernalia faced a $300 fine and up to 15 days in jail for a first offense. A second conviction would earn a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail, while a third conviction could get you a $2,500 fine and up to two years in prison "with or without hard labor."

Landry signed the bill the same day he vetoed a bill that would have allowed him and future governors to issue pardons for people with past pot convictions.

"This commonsense bill reduces the penalties and fines for possession of marijuana paraphernalia. It's a step forward in our efforts for fair and sensible legislation," said bill sponsor Rep. Delisha Boyd (D). "Effective 8/1/24, the penalties and fines will not be more than the penalties nor fines for the possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana. Let's continue moving towards more just and equitable laws for all."

Pennsylvania Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed in House. A bipartisan pair of House members have filed a marijuana legalization bill similar to one that has been sitting in the Senate ever since it was introduced nearly a year ago.

"Smoking marijuana should not be a crime," said bill cosponsor, Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne). "We need to prioritize law enforcement resources and redefine a narrative that is not working in today's society."

According to Kaufer and cosponsor Rep. Emily Kinkead (D-Allegheny), the new bill addresses many of the concerns raised by both advocates and opponents of legalization. Among those are public safety, consumer protection, social equity and criminal justice reform, job creation, tax revenue growth and eradication of the illicit marijuana market.

Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) has repeatedly said he supports marijuana legalization, but it is not clear if legislative leadership in either the House or the Senate is ready to move it. Republicans control the Senate, while Democrats control the House.

"Today marks an important milestone," Meredith Buettner, executive director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis coalition, said at a press conference announcing the bill's introduction. "The momentum has been building and the calls for bipartisan action now have reached a crescendo."

Drug Testing

Trump Suggests Biden Take a Drug Test as Allies Continue Attacks Before Debate. Building on unfounded claims that President Joe Biden would be "all jacked up" on illicit drugs before Thursday night's presidential debate, former President Donald Trump doubled down this week, writing in all caps on his Truth Social medium platform "DRUG TEST FOR CROOKED JOE BIDEN??? I WOULD, ALSO, IMMEDIATELY AGREE TO ONE!!!"

The post follows calls from former White House physician and now US Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) called for Biden to take a series of drug tests this week, saying he had "no choice" but to ask about it. Without citing the least evidence, Jackson claimed that Biden would be dosed with unnamed performance-enhancing drugs.

"I'm going to be demanding on behalf of many millions of concerned Americans right now that he submit to a drug test before and after this debate, specifically looking for performance-enhancing drugs," Jackson said Sunday. "Because we see -- we have seen recently in his State of the Union address -- that there was a Joe Biden that came out that was not similar at all to what we see on a day-to-day basis for the last 3.5 years."

For Jackson to accuse the Biden White House of druggy shenanigans is more than a bit ironic given that when he was White House physician he was accused of so liberally prescribing controlled substances to staffers he was known as the Candyman.

Trump liked what he heard from Jackson, writing on Truth Social that "Ronny Jackson was a brilliant Doctor, Admiral and now, a GREAT Congressman. He happens to be totally right… but unfortunately, nothing will be done about it!"

"Right now, crooked Joe has gone to a log cabin to 'study,'" Trump said at a rally Saturday in Philadelphia. "He's sleeping now, because they want to get him good and strong. So a little before debate time, he gets a shot in the ass."

It sounds like somebody is worried.


Brazil Supreme Court Moves To Decriminalize Pot Possession. A sixth justice on the country's 11-member high court has come out in favor of the decriminalization of personal use amounts of marijuana, meaning the position now has a majority on the court. Two more justices are yet to vote and must do so before the ruling is finalized but are expected to do so soon.

The justices must also determine just what is the maximum quantity of weed that people can possess for personal use and when it will take effect. It is not clear when they will make that determination. But the bottom line is that the court has decriminalized pot possession.

The move comes as the Congress is advancing a proposal to tighten drug penalties, including for marijuana. A constitutional amendment criminalizing the possession of any controlled substance passed the Senate in April and the lower house's constitutional committee two weeks ago. If it passes, it would supersede the court's ruling, but could still be challenged on constitutional grounds.

(This article was prepared by's 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this website. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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