House GOP Members File Bill Designating Cartels as Terrorist Groups, Germany to Move Ahead With Legal Pot Proposal, More… (3/15/23)
Rerolled: March 15, 2023 | #STDW
A Kentucky medical marijuana bill faces a looming Senate deadline, Vermont lawmakers file a number of drug reform bills, and more.
Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote, Must Pass Full Senate Tomorrow or Die. A bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state, Senate Bill 47, was approved by the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee on Tuesday. It must pass the Senate by Thursday, the last day of the session before the veto period, or it dies. If it passes the Senate, it would then go to the House, which returns for a final day of legislative action on March 30. The House has passed medical marijuana bills twice in recent years and is thought to still have support for it.
Vermont Lawmakers File Four Different Drug Policy Reform Bills. Drug policy reform is on the agent in Montpelier this session, with four separate drug policy reform bills already filed. House Bill 423 would decriminalize the possession of personal use amounts of all drugs, as would Senate companion legislation, Senate Bill 119. The bills would also decriminalize "dispensing" drug amounts below the personal use threshold as well as establishing a pilot drug checking program.
Two other bills focus specifically on psychedelics. House Bill 439 would effectively legalize the possession of psilocybin, mescaline, and peyote by removing them from the states definition of hallucinogenic drugs, while Senate Bill 114, would remove only psilocybin from the state’s definition of hallucinogens.
The first three bills are destined for judiciary committees in the respective chambers, while the fourth bill is before the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. If any of them pass out of the legislature, they face possible vetoes from Gov. Phil Murphy (R).
House Republicans File Bill Designating Mexican Drug Cartels Terrorist Organizations. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and 20 House Republicans have introduced a bill designating four Mexican drug trafficking organizations as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). The four groups are the Gulf Cartel, the Cartel Del Noreste, the Cartel de Sinaloa, and the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion. The Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act would also require the Department of State to issue a report to Congress within 30 days of enactment on the cartels listed above and any additional cartels that meet the criteria for designation as an FTO. For each additional cartel that meets the criteria of an FTO, the Department of State is required to designate each of those cartels as an FTO within 30 days after the report is submitted to Congress. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has threatened to file similar legislation in the Senate but has yet to do so.
Germany to Move Forward with Marijuana Legalization After "Very Good Feedback" from the European Union. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said Tuesday that the government would bring a revised marijuana legalization proposal before legislators "in the next few weeks" after receiving "very good feedback" from European Union (EU) officials. Germany has conditioned its advance of marijuana legalization on approval from the EU to ensure it would not put it in violation of international obligations. Lauterbach said some changes would be made to the bill to "take into account European regulations and what should or should not be notified," but did not specify what those changes would entail.
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