Cuts Considered to the Office of Drug Control Policy

The federal government needs to reform laws on cannabis so legal cannabis businesses in states that have de-criminalized marijuana can operate more efficiently and without the threat of federal prosecution. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know many cultivators and purveyors of marijuana face challenges on a range of issues, including tax challenges and difficulty finding financial institutions, even though there has been a thriving marijuana industry for a long time in California.cannabis

Crafting smart policies in connection with drugs is vital. The agency in Washington that plays a major role in crafting drug policy is called the White House Office of National Drug Control policy. According to the Washington Post, this Office is currently facing substantial cuts. If budget cuts which are currently being discussed occur, the cuts could undermine the ability of the federal government to create and enforce the nation’s drug laws.

Will the Office of Drug Control Policy Have Its Budget Cut?

The Washington Post reports a leaked memo reveals the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy could lose as much as 95 percent of the funding the Office has under the current budget. The cuts would save the federal government $364 million.

A man who served in the Office during both the Bush and Obama administrations has discussed with Washington Post the implications of budget cuts to this office. He explained three key ways in which the Office of Drug Control policy shapes federal drug policies.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy is described as “the only repository of detailed knowledge on the country’s drug problems.” The Office provides key details about addiction treatment, the number of people requiring treatments, and the costs and benefits of different kinds of addiction programs. Because it is a vast repository of knowledge, the Office helps the federal government to make policies.

The Office is also able to make it faster for programs which are effective to be expanded so the programs can be utilized on a national scale. Finally, the Office is able to coordinate all drug policies across the federal government. If different agencies have conflicting, overlapping programs, for example, the Office will choose which should be eliminated. As a central repository of knowledge, the Office is also able to monitor progress on goals so the federal government can be held accountable. It would be more difficult to measure the effectiveness of different initiatives if there is no central office responsible for drug policy.

Regardless of what occurs with the White House Office of National Drug Control policy, our marijuana defense lawyers believe efforts to reform marijuana laws on the federal level should continue. The fact the federal government is still classifying marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance is bad public policy and, if the federal government is going to reduce efforts made to address drug issues, putting an end to federal investigations or prosecutions of legal marijuana businesses would be the best first step to take.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

I worked with the drug policy office Trump wants to gut. Here’s why it matters for the opioid epidemic., May 8, 2017, By Keith Humphreys, The Washington Post

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Marijuana Sobriety Tests Still Elusive, Feb. 28, 2017, Marijuana Attorney Blog