Director of NIDA Nora Volkow Says Marijuana Legalizers Were Right About Teen Use
The head of a federal drug agency acknowledged in a new interview that marijuana legalization has not led to increased youth use despite her prior fears, and she spoke about the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics that have long been deemed “dangerous” under federal law.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow discussed a wide range of drug policy issues on a podcast hosted by a longtime legalization advocate that was published on Thursday, including the need to shift from a punitive approach to drugs to one that treats addiction as a public health matter.
Volkow said on Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann’s show that she was “expecting the use of marijuana among adolescents would go up” when states moved to legalize cannabis, but admitted that “overall, it hasn’t.” It was reform advocates like Nadelmann who were “right” about the impact of the policy change on youth, she said.
She also acknowledged that changes to cannabis laws are having a broader range of diverse impacts, saying that some “states that have legalized actually have better outcomes” while “the adverse effects of marijuana use are much worse in some states.”
A California bill to legalize possession of a wide range of psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca will not advance further this year following a decision by the sponsor that more time is needed to build the case for the reform and solidify its chances of being enacted.
The Senate-passed legislation advanced through a second reading on the Assembly floor last week before being re-referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which was set to determine on Thursday whether it could be cleared for final passage. But it was ultimately decided that the proposal would be made into a two-year bill, meaning it won’t advance to the floor this year but is still technically alive and could be taken up in 2022.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), previously cleared the full Senate and then moved through the Assembly Public Health and Public Safety Committees.
Another North Carolina Senate committee has approved a bill to legalize marijuana, getting the measure one step closer to the floor.
Members of the Senate Health Care Committee on Thursday advanced the legislation in a voice vote. This comes two days after the Judiciary Committee cleared the bill, which followed a meeting of the panel where members accepted changes.
An earlier version of the reform legislation cleared Judiciary and the Finance Committee last month, but it was rereferred back to the former panel for this week’s revisions. The measure must still pass the Senate Rules and Operations Committee—which is chaired by bill sponsor Sen. Bill Rabon (R)—in order to reach the floor before potentially heading to the House of Representatives and then to the governor’s desk.
Ohio looking to get legalization of marijuana on track, the Ohio Ballot Board is discussing the proposed marijuana legalization on Monday.
Washington regulators are holding a “Listen and Learn” session on draft conceptual rules for the evaluation of THC compounds on September 9th, 2021
Studies find that cannabinoid use in fibromyalgia is helpful in reducing symptoms associated with fibromyalgia with limited side effects.
Studies find that individuals using CBD (Cannabidiol) are reducing lesion size and are even restoring cognitive function after moderately-severe brain injury.