Colombia Senate Approves Weed Legalization, DOJ Seeks Delay in Philly Safe Injection Site Case, More… (12/6/22)
Rerolled: December 6, 2022 | #STDW
An Ohio marijuana legalization bill gets a hearing, a Filipino father wins a small measure of justice for his young son killed in Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, and more.
Ohio Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets House Hearing. A pair of legislators, Reps. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) have sponsored a marijuana legalization bill, House Bill 382, which got a hearing in the House Finance Committee Monday, but no vote. The bill would legalize the possession of up to 5 ounces by people 21 and over, as well a authorizing a marijuana regulatory agency within the Commerce Department to oversee licensing and regulation of marijuana production and sales. There are only a few weeks left in the legislative session, so the bill's prospects are clouded, but the p.air are also supporting a ballot initiative from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. That initiative is currently before the legislature. If lawmakers fail to pass it, it would then go to the voters provided campaigners gather a second set of signatures.
Justice Department Asks Court for More Time in "Complex" Safe Injection Site Case. In a case where the Trump Justice Department sought (so far, successfully) block a Philadelphia safe injection site from operating, the Biden Justice Department is now asking a federal court for more time to respond in a lawsuit aimed at settling the legality of such sites in the United States. The group behind the safe injection site, Safehouse, had agreed to earlier delay requests but said it "did not consent" to this one and planned to file an opposition motion Tuesday. Justice said Monday that it "believes an additional two months are necessary to permit careful consideration of the government’s harm reduction and public safety goals.The discussions to date, which have involved coordination among multiple constituencies addressing a novel and complex subject matter, have been and continue to be productive,"it said, noting that DOJ had a status conference with Safehouse attorneys last month and "provided an update"to the court. Safehouse argued that Justice has had enough time and that people are dying of overdoses every day while the department dithers. While the Philadelphia site remains blocked for now, authorities in New York City opened the first officially sanctioned safe injection sites in the country last year. The Biden Justice Department did not seek to shut it down.
Colombian Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill. The Senate on Tuesday approved a marijuana legalization bill on a 56-3 vote. The measure has already won initial approval in the Chamber of Representatives, but more votes are still required before it becomes law. Under the bill, authorities would have six months to set rules for the legal marijuana market. The bill would amend the constitution to support "the right of the free development of the personality, allowing citizens to decide on the consumption of cannabis in a regulated legal framework"and would mitigate "arbitrary discriminatory or unequal treatment in front of the population that consumes." The bill has won seven legislative votes, but because it is a constitutional amendment, it must be debated and voted on eight times over two calendar years. The next calendar year starts in less than a month.
Philippine Family Allowed to Correct Death Certificate Killed in Duterte's Drug War. An appeals court has granted Rodrigo Baylon's petition to modify the death certificate for his nine-year-old son, Lenin, who was killed by stray bullets in an operation where police in Caloocan City killed two women drug suspects. Lenin's official death certificate falsely claimed that he died from bronchopneumonia. The Reuters news agency has identified at least 14 other cases of drug war victims deaths' being falsely attributed to natural causes. Baylon's effort to correct his son's death certificate was rejected by a lower court in 2019, but the Court of Appeals agreed with him and ordered the cause of death changed to "gunshot wound," a ruling Baylon called "a small victory." Tens of thousands of people were killed in the bloody drug unleashed by then-President Rodrigo Duterte after he took office in 2016.
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