White House Drug Czar Says Biden Admin Is Reviewing Marijuana Policies And Safe Consumption Sites

White House Drug Czar Says Biden Admin Is Reviewing Marijuana Policies And Safe Consumption Sites
MJ moment

The White House drug czar says the Biden administration is “monitoring” states that have legalized marijuana to inform federal policy, recognizing the failures of the current prohibitionist approach. He also said that the federal government is reviewing broader drug policy harm reduction proposals, including the authorization of supervised consumption sites—and going so far as to suggest possible decriminalization. Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), made several telling remarks in an interview published on Wednesday by Financial Times. “We’re learning from those states [that have enacted cannabis reform],” Gupta said. “We’re monitoring the data and trying to see where things go. But one thing is very clear, and the president has been clear about that—the policies that we’ve had around marijuana have not been working.” President Joe Biden campaigned on a cannabis platform of decriminalization, rescheduling, respecting states’ rights and other modest reforms, though he remains opposed to adult-use legalization and has yet to take meaningful action on his prior pledges. In the new interview, Gupta, who previously provided consulting services to a cannabis company prior to serving in the White House, also emphasized that when it comes to broader drug policy, “for the first time in history, the federal government is embracing the specific policies of harm reduction.” And he specifically argued that people “should not be incarcerated, arrested, for just their drug use.” While the news outlet did not publish any additional remarks to flesh out that position from a policy perspective, ending arrests and incarceration for drug use would amount to what advocates describe as decriminalization. In the meantime, among the specific harm reduction policies under review would be to possible permit safe consumption sites where people could use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment to prevent overdose deaths and…

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