Rahul Gupta, director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the drug control body attached to the Oval Office, discussed several changes in US drug policy in an interview published on Wednesday. speak FinancialTimes.
The “Drug Czar” explained that the Biden administration is “monitoring” states that have legalized cannabis to potentially reevaluate federal policy, acknowledging the failures of the prohibitionist approach.
He also said the federal government is considering broader proposals for drug harm reduction, including allowing supervised consumption sites — even going so far as to suggest possible decriminalization. 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year.
“We are learning from these states [qui ont adopté une réforme du cannabis] said Gupta. “We are monitoring the data and trying to see where things are going. But one thing is very clear, and the president has been clear about it – the policies we’ve had around cannabis haven’t worked. »
President Joe Biden has campaigned on a cannabis platform of decriminalization, rescheduling, respecting states’ rights and other modest reforms, though he remains opposed to legalizing adult use and has yet to taken meaningful action on its previous promises.
In this new interview, Rahul Gupta, who advised a cannabis company before working in the White House, also pointed out that with regard to general drug policy, “for the first time in history, the federal government adopts specific risk reduction policies”.
And he specifically argued that people “shouldn’t be incarcerated, arrested, just for their drug use. »
While the Biden administration is still studying the clinical effectiveness of Safer Drinking Sites (SCMRs), Rahul Gupta said the proposal to lift the existing federal ban is on the table.
New York City opened the first harm reduction centers late last year, with 59 overdoses averted in the first 3 weeks of operation. Rhode Island’s governor signed a landmark bill last year to establish a pilot SCMR program.
Earlier this month, a California Assembly committee approved a bill passed by the Senate that would establish a pilot program allowing certain jurisdictions in the state to authorize safe consumption sites where people could consume drugs. currently illicit in a medically supervised environment.
According to a poll released in April, a majority of Americans (64%) support allowing safe drinking sites.