U.S., Cuba Still Cooperating on Stopping Drug Smugglers
HAVANA (AP) — The U.S. and Cuba are still cooperating to intercept drug smugglers even through the Trump administration has halted high-level meetings on stopping the flow of narcotics through the Caribbean, a top Cuban anti-drug official said Thursday.
The amount of drugs seized by Cuban authorities has tripled this year over the same period in 2016, to 1.8 tons of narcotics, said Antonio Israel Ibarra, the head of Cuba’s National Commission on Drugs.
That number is tiny compared to drug seizures in neighboring countries, but it represents a surge due largely to U.S.-Cuban cooperation on halting shipments of marijuana through or near Cuban territorial waters, Ibarra said.
Cuba maintains a pervasive state-security apparatus that has managed to keep levels of drug smuggling and serious crime to some of the lowest in Latin American and the Caribbean. U.S. officials say day-to-day cooperation on halting U.S.-bound human trafficking and narcotics has improved significantly since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 2015, with the two nations’ coast guards talking directly to each other and cooperating in real time on a regular basis.
Kentucky Lawmaker Wants Terminally Ill Patients to Have Pot
Kentucky lawmakers are back at the drawing board once again in hopes of getting the legislative grind to finally get on board with a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.
But the debate has become so convoluted that they are now fighting for crumbs.
According to a report from the Courier-Journal, state Senator Morgan McGarvey of Louisville is on the verge of introducing a proposal aimed at legalizing a medical marijuana program. Unfortunately, the measure is not at all comprehensive, as it seeks to give exclusive access to patients at the end of their lives.
The bill, which is expected to be filed in the coming weeks, would give physicians the ability to issue recommendations for the herb if a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or placed in hospice care.
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Medical Marijuana: How Six Senators Are Leading Fight for Federally Legal Weed
The United States Senate is an intentionally slow moving body when it comes to passing laws, but the nation's upper legislative chamber is even slower when it comes to catching up with the popular will of the American people. That's especially been on display when it comes to the nation's pot laws, but now there's a growing core group of senators who are vocally crying out for the federal government to catch up with the states, at least when it comes to medical marijuana.
Usually House members take the lead on marijuana policy, but last week a bipartisan and ideologically diverse group of six senators introduced legislation that would allow the laws legalizing medical marijuana in 29 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam to supersede the current federal prohibition on weed. It also would make it easier for epilepsy patients and veterans to access medical marijuana, while loosening restriction on researching weed. The proponents think they’ll gain more support than ever before for the effort, and they hope to keep pressure on Senate leaders to allow the bill to come to the floor.
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