Posted in Buzz, Reroll
June 29th, 2022

Supreme Court Rules for Crack Prisoners, CO Psychedelic Initiative Campaign Hands in Signatures, More… 6/28/22

Rerolled: June 28, 2022 | #STDW


A major Swiss bank gets convicted of cocaine money laundering, a House committee wants a GAO report on federal psilocybin policy, and more.

Psychedelics

House Appropriations Committee Calls for Review of Federal Psilocybin Policy. In reports accompanying new spending bills, the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee are calling for a federal review of psilocybin policy, as well as letting researchers study marijuana from dispensaries and using hemp as an alternative to Chinese plastics. The report for the spending bill for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies calls for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to analyze barriers to state, local, and tribal programs using psilocybin. The committee said the GAO should study the impact of federal drug prohibition in jurisdictions that allow psilocybin. The call comes as a psilocybin reform movement is gaining momentum across the country.

Colorado Activists Turn in Signatures for Psychedelic Initiative. The Natural Medicine Colorado campaign, the group behind an initiative to legalize psychedelics and create licensed psilocybin "healing centers," announced Monday that it had turned in 222,648 raw signatures. The campaign only needs 124,632 valid voter signatures, and this cushion of nearly 80,000 excess raw signatures suggests that the initiative will qualify for the November ballot. The measure would legalize the possession, use, cultivation, and sharing of psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (not derived from peyote), DMT, and psilocyn for people 21 and over. It does not set specific possession limits, nor does it envision recreational sales. The measure would also place responsibility for developing rules for a therapeutic psilocybin with the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Drug Policy

At Oversight Hearing, Director of National Drug Control Policy Highlighted Biden-Harris Administration’s Commitment to Tackling Overdose and Addiction Crisis. On Monday, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing with Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP—the drug czar's office), to examine the federal government’s response to the overdose and addiction crisis, including the Biden-Harris Administration’s 2022 National Drug Control Strategy. The hearing addressed the following key points: Director Gupta illustrated the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to seizing illicit drugs at the southern border and disrupting drug trafficking across the United States; Director Gupta underscored the need to expand access to treatment services for addiction and substance use disorder, and the steps the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to ensure that people in underserved communities are better able to access care—including through the use of telehealth services; Following passage of the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 with overwhelming bipartisan support, Director Gupta and Committee Members highlighted the work that remains to prevent overdoses.  That includes passing legislation like Chairwoman Maloney’s Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, to provide additional resources to communities and expand access to treatment needed to overcome addiction.

Sentencing

Supreme Court Rules Judges Can Weigh New Factors in Crack Cocaine Cases. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the First Step Act allows district court judges to consider post-sentencing changes in law or fact in deciding whether to re-sentence people convicted under the harsh crack cocaine laws of the past. (They are still harsh, but not as harsh as prior to passage of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1.) The First Step Act made those sentencing changes retroactive, giving prisoners the chance to seek reduced sentences. The decision was 5-4, with conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch joining the court's liberal minority in the opinion. The case is  Concepcion v. United States, in which Carlos Concepcion was sentenced to 19 years for a crack offense in 2009, a year before passage of the Fair Sentencing Act. He sought resentencing "as if" the Fair Sentencing Act provisions "were in effect at the time the covered offense was committed." That is proper, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the majority opinion: "It is only when Congress or the Constitution limits the scope of information that a district court may consider in deciding whether, and to what extent, to modify a sentence, that a district court’s discretion to consider information is restrained. Nothing in the First Step Act contains such a limitation."

International

Swiss Court Convicts Credit Suisse of Cocaine Money-Laundering. The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has found the bank Credit Suisse guilty of failing to prevent money-laundering by a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking organization. One former bank employee was convicted of money-laundering in the case against the country's second-largest bank. The trial included testimony about murders and cash-filled suitcases. The court held that Credit Suisse demonstrated deficiencies in both the management of client relations with criminal groups and the implementation of money-laundering rules. "These deficiencies enabled the withdrawal of the criminal organization's assets, which was the basis for the conviction of the bank's former employee for qualified money laundering," the court said. Credit Suisse said it would appeal. 

Source: https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2022/jun/28/supreme_court_rules_crack


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