Senators And Federal Officials Discuss Marijuana Legalization And Drug Harm Reduction At Overdose Hearing

MJ moment

Marijuana and broader drug policy issues were discussed by lawmakers and top federal health officials at a Senate narcotics commission hearing this week, with conversations revolving around everything from THC concentrations and cannabis research to syringe exchange programs and the need to end racially disparate criminal enforcement. The point of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control meeting was to address the drug overdose epidemic and shifting trends that emerged out of the coronavirus pandemic. But while the chairman of the panel, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), represents a state that recently took the historic step of legalizing a key harm reduction program that allows people to consume illegal drugs under medical supervision, members notably did not breach that specific topic. A Rhode Island Health Department official and a former Rhode Island state lawmaker also testified at the Wednesday hearing, yet they also offered no statements about the harm reduction potential of the safe injection sites that were legalized in their home state as a measure to curb overdose deaths. Rhode Island Sen. Josh Miller (D), sponsor of the safe injection legislation, told Marijuana Moment that he “was not disappointed” that the topic wasn’t specifically addressed by any of the three Rhode Islanders at the federal overdose hearing and believes “there will ample opportunity in the coming months” to tackle it. “The issue has gained much attention. It will be critical to discuss a range of issues on the federal level about legal and funding challenges facing expanded harm reduction that includes supervised consumption,” he said. “I am confident effective progress will be made to support RI’s pilot project, along with similar initiatives across the country.” But while Miller said he would’ve preferred some specific discussion of the issue at the hearing, the harm reduction conversation among U.S. senators this week…

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Source : Senators And Federal Officials Discuss Marijuana Legalization And Drug Harm Reduction At Overdose Hearing

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