House Pushes for Regulation of CBD by the FDA
A member of House of Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the first amendment bill, which would see DEA transfer $5 million to an opioid treatment program. The bill passed without any opposition and is now marked as one of the House’s few large-scale spending bills. However, it remains to be seen how the Senate intends to set this in motion.
“I offer this amendment because ending the war on drugs has to mean changing our priorities in order to keep all communities safe and healthy,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The best way we do that is by offering people the help and support they need before arrest and criminalization should be considered in the first place.”
Also, she said that the DEA is still en route to receiving funding to the tune of $2.36 billion, which is $90 million more than what was initially earmarked for the last fiscal year. More still, it’s $78 million higher than what was requested by President Trump in his budget.
The chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that handles funding of Justice Department, Representative Jose Serrano stood in support of the amendment, stipulating that opioids “are a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of our communities, and we must do everything we can to combat this epidemic.”
The director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, Michael Collins, spoke to Marijuana Moment stressing that the success of the vote on the amendment “should send a message to the DEA — it’s not business as usual anymore.”
He continues: “We want to end the drug war and we will fight for it. We will drain you dollar-by-dollar, cent-by-cent, if that’s what it takes,”.
Representative Robert Aderholt voted in support but added that there has been a 360 percent increase in the grants for funding for prevention of opioid abuse since early 2017. “We want to work with both sides to make sure we have the appropriate funds necessary to make sure we fight this opioid addiction that has taken over so many parts of the country,” he said.
“Just as the epidemic is exploding so should our commitment to address this problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the closing statement. She continues: “We have overfunded one agency and we should move that to make sure that we are getting people the care they need.”
The is not the first drug policy amendment the fresher congresswoman has introduced into the House Floor for voting. Nevertheless, her first drug policy proposal, which was intended to remove the barriers to studies for psychedelic substances such as MDMA and psilocybin was voted out when it came up for voting.
Representative Jerry McNerney subsequently introduced the FDA amendment and was approved as part of a collective voice vote, which combines other relative uncontroversial measures, hence no need for a vote. The measure intends to tackle a problem the FDA has always raised since the legalization of hemp and its derivatives under the 2018 Farm Bill.
A former commissioner of FDA said that since CBD is yet to be allowed in the food supply and has only existed as an FDA-approved drug, congress may need to pass a different legislation to legalize its marketing.
The amendment has it that FDA should “undertake a process to make lawful a safe level for conventional foods and dietary supplements containing cannabidiol (CBD) so long as the products are compliant with all other FDA rules and regulations.”There were other two drug policy amendment debated that same day. One was a measure that would stop Department of Justice from intervening in state marijuana laws, which was approved on a voice note; and another measure extending same protections to cannabis programs, which was also approved on a voice note.