DEA Withdraws Emergency Kratom Ban
In an unprecedented move, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has posted a notice in the Federal Register stating that it is withdrawing its plans to ban kratom using emergency scheduling powers. The DEA instead is opening a public comment period ending December 1st. The official notice indicates that comments received by the DEA will be considered – along with formal input from the Food and Drug Administration – before a determination is made about scheduling kratom. The DEA’s proposed ban onkratom, a medicinal plant used for millennia in Southeast Asia and currently used by millions in the U.S., was anticipated to go in effect as early as September 30.
Utah Governor Candidate’s Wife to Be Charged After Mailing Pot
It turns out that pot will be on the ballot even in Utah this November.
But it won’t be a reform bill. Rather, Donna Weinholtz, wife of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz, will be charged with possession of pot after authorities found she’d tried to send herself marijuana through the mail—and then discovered two pounds of it in their Salt Lake City home.
Needless to say, marijuana is illegal in Mormon-dominated Utah.
Federal prosecutors took a pass on the case, but now Tooele county prosecutors say they will proceed.
It’s a tangled tale.
DEA Opts Against Ban on Plant Some Call Opioid Alternative
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Drug Enforcement Administration has reversed a plan to temporarily ban a plant that some users suggest could be an alternative to powerful and addictive opioid painkillers.
In a notice set to be published Thursday in the Federal Register Thursday, the agency said it was withdrawing its plan to add two psychoactive components of the plant, known as kratom, to the list of the most dangerous drugs.
Advocates urging the DEA to leave kratom off its list of controlled substance have argued that it can be used as a nonaddictive painkiller or can help wean people off other, addictive pain medications. Some lawmakers also complained that the DEA wasn’t being transparent in its effort to ban the plant.
SF Cops Will Get Assist From Mental-Health Professionals
While it has long been the responsibility of law enforcement to handle situations involving people under the influence of drugs, which often has a violent outcome, the city of San Francisco is taking a more progressive approach to crisis incidents by employing a team of mental-health professionals to accompany police on these types of emergency calls.
Earlier last week, city officials announced the formation of a new five-member mental heath squad called the Crisis Intervention Specialists team, which will be deployed whenever police get called to deal with people who may be suffering from some kind of mental episode or under the influence of mind-altering substances.
The DEA Spent an Obscene Amount of Money to Eradicate ZERO Pot Plants in Utah
To underscore the absurd amount of money the DEA spends annually on eradicating pot plants, the Washington Postlooked at a series of federal documents that revealed what can only be described as an obscene waste of taxpayers’ money.
The documents, obtained by journalist Drew Atkins through the Freedom of Information Act, showed for example that Utah received $73,000 for marijuana eradication. For that hefty sum, DEA agents did not find a single pot plant.
In New Hampshire, where the DEA received $20,000, they pulled up a grand total of 27 plants in a single outdoor grow site. According to their own Cannabis Eradication Report—a blatant admission of misspending and a must-read during this election year—that comes to $740.74 for each uprooted plant.
Rio de Janeiro to Get Pro-Legalization Mayor?
Last week, left-wing populist candidate Marcelo Freixo made it past the first round in the race for mayor of Rio de Janeiro and now goes on to face an ultra-conservative rival in a run-off at the end of the month.
In recent days, drug legalization has emerged as a key issue in the race. Freixo, of the Socialism and Freedom Party (POSL), is currently chair of the Human Rights Defense Commission of Rio de Janiero state’s Legislative Assembly. He is now running against evangelical senator Marcelo Crivella of the Brazilian Republican Party (PRB). But another right-wing contender bounced out in the first round, Flávio Bolsonaro of the Social Christian Party (PSC), has thrown his support to Crivella and is attempting to use the drug stigma against Freixo, exploiting his call for legalization as a means to de-escalate Rio’s violent gang wars.
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