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VT House Approves Safe Injection Sites, NH Lawmakers Ponder Mandatory Minimums, More... (1/16/24)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #1202)
Consequences of Prohibition

Vermont State House
The Department of Health and Human Services releases its full review of marijuana rescheduling, Oregon GOP lawmakers plot to undo drug decriminalization there, and more.

Marijuana Policy

HHS Releases Review on Marijuana Rescheduling. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) last Friday released a 252-page review outlining the reasoning that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used to conclude that marijuana is less harmful than other drugs and that there is some evidence of medical benefits to its use.

The review is part of a move toward rescheduling marijuana that began with a request from President Biden to HHS to conduct the review. There have been reports since August that HHS has recommended moving marijuana to the less restrictive Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. But the DEA will have the final say in any changes to classification.

The review was based on eight different scientific criteria, including its potential for abuse, the state of current scientific knowledge and the likelihood of psychological or physiological dependence. The review also looked at seven medical conditions and "identified mixed findings of effectiveness across indications." It found that the "largest evidence base for effectiveness exists for marijuana use within the pain indication (in particular, neuropathic pain)."

The review suggests that the federal government now believes that there are indications for the medical use of marijuana, a big change from the rationale that has kept marijuana in Schedule I for so long.

Drug Policy

Guatemala's New President Calls for Marijuana Decriminalization. New Guatemalan President Bernardo Arevalo has called for marijuana decriminalization as part of a rethinking of national drug policy.

"We must decriminalize marijuana to concentrate efforts on combating hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and amphetamine precursors," he said.

Arevalo is the son of former President Juan Jose Arevalo and rose to political prominence through anti-corruption campaigns. He then formed the Moviemiento Semilla (Seed Movement) as a social democratic and progressive political party. And now he runs the country.

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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