SAFE Banking Act Dead in This Congress, CA Natural Psychedelic Bill Re-Filed, More… (12/20/22)
Rerolled: December 20, 2022 | #STDW
The marijuana industry will remain without access to many services after Congress failed to act this year, the GAO looks at how the drug cza's office is performing, and more.
[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Banking Reform Dead in This Congress. Efforts to provide state-legal marijuana businesses with access to banking and financial services have come to naught in this Congress. The push has been on to get the SAFE Banking Act (HR 1996) through the Senate after it passed the House on seven different occasions, most recently in July. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) never called it for a vote and he and his Senate allies repeatedly blocked it from being attached to various spending bills as they held out for a full-blown legalization bill. One last chance for the act was the omnibus spending bill passed Tuesday, but it didn't include the act, either. This time, though, it was blocked not by Schumer but by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
California Psychedelic Decriminalization Bill is Back. Four months after state Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) pulled his bill to decriminalize certain psychedelics when it was gutted in committee, the bill has been refiled. Senate Bill 58 would decriminalize magic mushrooms and ayahuasca—but not LSD or MDMA—and is being backed by veterans and mental health professionals. The bill decriminalizes only plant- or fungi-based psychedelics.
GAO: Office of National Drug Control Policy Met Some Strategy Requirements but Needs a Performance Evaluation Plan. The Government Accountability Office reported Monday on the performance of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP—the drug czar's office) and found that the 2022 strategy "fully met some legal requirements, including setting long-range, measurable goals to address drug misuse. The Strategy partially met others related to identifying the resources to treat substance use disorders. But, it didn't include a systematic plan for increasing data collection." Also, "The 2022 Strategy and accompanying documents vary in their level of compliance with selected statutory requirements. The Strategy fully met some requirements, including those related to comprehensive, long-range, quantifiable goals, and targets to accomplish those goals. The Strategy partially met other selected requirements, including those related to identifying resources for the treatment of substance use disorders. The Strategy does not address some statutory requirements, including some related to future planning. For example, the Strategy is to contain a systematic plan for increasing data collection, including to enable real time surveillance of drug control threats. However, as of December 2022, ONDCP has not created such a plan. GAO recommended in 2019 that ONDCP routinely implement an approach to meet the requirements for the 2020 Strategy and future iterations. Doing so will better position ONDCP to ensure that future strategies completely address all of the statutory requirements."
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