In today’s “not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention” news, President Joe Biden’s nomination for a top position in the Department of Justice walked back previous statements that she made in favor of decriminalizing drugs.
Last week Vanita Gupta shoved a spike into the heart of every drug reform advocate who said her nomination was proof that the Biden administration was open to progressive policy changes. “I regret the harsh rhetoric that I have used at times in the last several years,” Gupta said during the Senate Judiciary Committee on her nomination.
Gupta was asked repeatedly if she still supported decriminalizing drug use. She repeatedly stated that she no longer held that position.
“I think the rhetoric has gotten quite harsh over the last several years, and I have fallen prey to it. I wish I could take it back. I can’t,” the associate attorney general nominee told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its hearing on her nomination. “I can pledge to you today that if I am confirmed, you won’t be hearing that kind of rhetoric from me.”
What exactly was this horrible harsh rhetoric that Gupta is guilty of spewing? Perhaps it’s comments like the one she wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times back in 2013. “Those who seek a fairer criminal justice system, unclouded by racial bias, must at a minimum demand that the government eliminate mandatory minimum sentences … rescind three-strikes laws … amend ‘truth in sentencing’ statutes … and recalibrate drug policies, starting with decriminalization of marijuana possession.”
The silver lining is that she at least showed support for decriminalizing cannabis. “I have advocated—as I believe President Biden has—for decriminalization of marijuana possession,” she said. “I believe that substance use disorder is both an enforcement problem and a public health problem, but I do not support decriminalization of drugs.”
Hemp Producers: Stop Promoting Delta-8-THC
A hemp advocacy group is warning that media hype around a psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp could lead to government restrictions on the plant.
In a recent press release, U.S. Hemp Roundtable said it “is opposed to marketing products, under the guise of the hemp name, for any intoxicating value or euphoric effect—an irresponsible practice highlighted in recent news reports.”
The report in question is from Rolling Stone. It details a lesser-known psychoactive cannabinoid known as Delta-8-THC, a less potent analog of Delta-9-THC (the THC that you find in extracts at the dispensary). According to the report, Delta-8-THC is similar in molecular structure to its more popular neighbor, except that a specific chemical bond occurs at the eighth carbon rather than the ninth. The compound is said to produce a high similar to Delta-9-THC, only much more mild and less sedative.
What makes this compound so controversial is that it shows up in hemp, but the federal government has yet to make mention of regulating it. Currently, the law protects hemp plants that have less than 0.3 percent Delta-9-THC. After that, the plants are considered “marijuana” and must be destroyed. Delta-8-THC is never mentioned in the law.
Some retailers have already jumped at the chance and are reportedly selling Delta-8-THC cartridges and edibles online. As long as the compound is derived from hemp and not cannabis, it’s still legal in most states.
But the Roundtable doesn’t want to hear it. “Unlike marijuana, hemp is, by definition, not intoxicating. Rather, hemp products, like CBD, are popularly used by consumers to benefit their general health and wellness, not to get them high.”
Nevertheless, regulations are probably not far off. The Drug Enforcement Agency is currently in the process of making rules surrounding hemp in the aftermath of its legalization, and it has signaled that it is aware of the Delta-8-THC issue.
3D Printed CBD a Reality
Researchers have created an algorithm that will allow users to 3D print their own CBD tablets.
According to 3D Printing Industry the algorithm produces “orodispersible films” at patient-centric sizes carrying personalized dosage and release times.
The researchers believe that 3D printing CBD capsules will ensure that users are getting exactly what they paid for. “One in seven American citizens use CBD,” write the researchers, “These products are sold freely in U.S. dispensaries, and this uncontrolled distribution facilitates abuse. Personalization of the drug product is a potential measure to inhibit CBD abuse, as both the dose and the intended administration route will be customized for each patient.”
The algorithm creates a 3D model of a tablet based on an individual’s weight and dosage requirements. A “SCAD” file is then created that is compatible with most 3D printers. The scientists say that the code is still quite basic, though, and they’d like to make further improvements to utilize more data about a patient’s health parameters.
The team believes that the technology will soon be available in hospitals, pharmacies and even at home.
Vegas Dispensaries Offer Weed Drive-Thru
Nevada is taking the game to a new level with cannabis drive-thrus.
You heard that right. Last week the Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously to lift citywide restrictions on dispensary drive-thrus. According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clark County and North Las Vegas did so last summer. City leaders say that allowing consumers to pick up marijuana at a window limits in-person contact and helps to curb the spread of COVID.
“Drive-throughs allow dispensaries to serve customers efficiently and safely, while balancing capacity limits and other restrictions,” wrote Layke Martin, executive director for the Nevada Dispensary Association, in a letter of support. “Drive-throughs provide an opportunity for customer convenience, especially for elderly or medical patients who have difficulty leaving their cars.”