Reason Foundation’s Drug Policy Newsletter, June 2019
ID 61924177 © Lindaparton |

Drug Policy Newsletter

Reason Foundation’s Drug Policy Newsletter, June 2019

The NAACP and ACLU have come together to ask the DEA to suspend its drug enforcement activities, Delaware may be considering legalization in the near future, and more.

News and Opinion

The NAACP and ACLU have come together to officially ask the DEA to suspend its drug enforcement activities as part of a shift “to treat drugs as a health issue, not a criminal issue.”  

There are key qualities about state legislatures and the political process that make it difficult to pass marijuana legalization bills legislatively, as opposed to voter ballot measure initiatives.

Navigating marijuana legalization and related issues, such as criminal justice reform and revenue allocation, are creating challenges in legislatures controlled by Democrats. 

Florida should embrace harm reduction approaches to the opioid crisis instead of doubling down on ineffective policies of the past.

Lawmakers in Connecticut have increased penalties for fentanyl sales, mirroring policies of the failed drug war.

The National Cannabis Industry Association has released its six goals for social equity in marijuana reform.  

Legislation, Regulation, and Markets

Illinois will become the first state to legislatively enact recreational marijuana instead of a ballot measure, as the governor has vowed to sign the bill on his desk.

Washington state passed a new law making it easier to vacate misdemeanor marijuana crimes.  

Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission advanced plans to create social use consumption sites.

Delaware may be considering marijuana legalization in the near future.

Vermont and New Hampshire could both see delays in their legalization processes.

States are still wrestling with how to regulate workplace drug testing policies in both medical and recreational settings.

Most legal states only allow for marijuana consumption in the privacy of a home, potentially limiting an entire industry of cannabis-friendly hotels and consumption sites.

Florida may issue new hemp permits before the year is over.


A new study shows a reduction in illegal marijuana grows in Oregon’s national forests since legalization.

Privately collected data from Leafly shows that the presence of dispensaries does not induce violent crime, but instead may actually improve home values.

A graduate student at the University of Colorado shows that THC blood concentration from cadavers varied dramatically depending on where on the body the sample was taken from.

Massachusetts’ attorney general still mistakenly believes that the opioid crisis is generated by pharmaceutical companies pushing legal scripts, which cause people to become addicted.  

A report from the Congressional Research Service concludes that there is no clearly discernible increase in traffic deaths since legalization, but that better data is needed before final conclusions are drawn.

Delivery services are an extension of legalization itself and do not represent any special social or economic costs.

Drug addiction in Europe is relatively lower than in the United States, according to the annual European Drug Report.