This week, we cover a new meta-study regarding CBD’s efficacy in treating cocaine addiction, a request from a congressional committee for federal agencies to revisit their hiring policies surrounding cannabis, the opposition of Democrats to Biden’s cannabis views, and the conclusion to a White House review on the FDA’s CBD guidelines.

Also, we will provide updates on the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as the spread of the Coronavirus in the United States.

Meta-Study Touts CBD As Effective Therapy For Cocaine Misuse

According to a new meta-study, CBD could be an effective agent in treating issues surrounding cocaine abuse. 

Researchers examined a collection of 14 studies from the past five years and found CBD to have addiction mitigating qualities. While the studies in question involved cocaine testing on animals, the results show significant promise. 

“CBD promotes reduction on cocaine self-administration,” according to the meta-study. “Also, it interferes in cocaine induced brain reward stimulation and dopamine release.” 

According to the study, CBD also has potential in treating hepatotoxicity and seizures brought on by cocaine use. 

The study emphasizes that human trials are necessary to further understand CBD’s relationship with cocaine use. However, authors of the meta-study indicated that the current animal studies are a solid indication of CBD’s potential. 

The meta-study is another in a series of recent scientific findings related to the potential therapeutic use of CBD. 

The substance gained legal status as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill, and interest in its potential has increased. Currently, the FDA is developing guidance on cannabis and CBD research. The agency submitted a series of suggestions to the White House office, which recently finished its review of the materials. 

Congress Urges Federal Agencies To Permit State-Legal Cannabis Use Among Employees

In a collection of directives aiming at legislative reform provisions, the House Appropriations Committee encouraged federal agencies to rethink their hiring and firing policies as it relates to the use of cannabis by employees in states where the substance is legal. 

The directives highlight the mainstream reach of cannabis use, with a major congressional committee addressing it openly.

The call for the reconsideration of hiring practices appears in the Financial Services and General Government spending bill report. In the report, the committee urges the Office of Personnel Management to “review its policies and guidelines regarding hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in States where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited under the law of the State.” 

Further, it asks the OPM to outline what it believes to be the effects of cannabis use for federal employees. 

Beyond asking for a review of hiring policies, the collection of directives also contained requests for research reform. The related report asks for a “multipronged strategy’” to properly and thoroughly investigate the properties of cannabis. 

The report also called for protections for universities who undergo cannabis research. In doing so, it emphasized the great amount of public interest in such studies. 

Federal agencies have yet to respond to these reports by the House Appropriations Committee. However, the prominence of cannabis issues within the reports gives hope that large strides in cannabis reform could be imminent. 

Democratic Senator Claims A Democratic Congress Would Legalize Cannabis With Or Without Biden

Recently, the issue of Biden’s stance on cannabis has been a sore spot in his campaigning efforts. Biden has consistently affirmed his opposition to federal legalization, claiming that the current research on the plant is insufficient. 

However, Biden’s take on cannabis seems misaligned with that of his projected voting base, advisors, and democratic colleagues. 

In fact, one Democratic senator asserted that Biden’s side of the aisle could go against him if given the chance. 

On Saturday, Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts floated the concept of a Democratic senate overpowering Biden on the issue. According to Markey, if Biden wins the election and Democrats take back the Senate, congress may legalize cannabis itself. 

Markey claims that Democrats are positioned to advance cannabis legislation if they control both the House and the Senate. In fact, Markey believes they would have the votes to federally legalize the substance without Biden’s approval. And, he says, if given the chance, they will. 

“We’ll have the majority of the votes in the United States Senate,” Markey says. “I think we’ll have the votes to just move it, and the science has moved there.”

Recently, there was hope that Biden would change his stance on cannabis. His criminal justice reform task force was rumored to be considering a proposal to endorse legalization to Biden. However, when the task force filed its official report, federal legalization was missing from it, all but cementing Biden’s position. 

White House Concludes Review Of FDA’s CBD Guidance Policies

Recently, the White House concluded its review of the FDA’s guidelines on cannabis and CBD research. The White House received the guidelines from the FDA for the purposes of administering final thoughts and suggested edits. 

However, despite the end of the review process, it remains unclear whether the guidelines will ever become publicly available. 

The plan, submitted to the White House in May, remains significantly unknown. However, the general belief is the contents of the plan could greatly impact the FDA’s approach to CBD marketing. 

However, any theories surrounding the guidelines are purely speculative, as the FDA has kept a tight lid on the process.

In fact, the FDA announced it would provide no updates on when or if the guidelines would be made official. “It will be announced via the Federal Register should it move to publication,” they said. 

Further, there is no guarantee that the FDA will wait for the guidelines to be published before implementing new laws. The agency has been under a great deal of pressure to issue comprehensive rules surrounding CBD. 

With CBD entering legal status in 2018, stakeholders have been eagerly awaiting guidelines to begin pursuing the substance’s economic potential. 

While waiting for concrete guidelines, the FDA has taken it upon itself to enforce non-existent CBD marketing laws. It has sent numerous letters to various companies marketing CBD. It appears their main target is companies making outlandish claims regarding the medicinal value of their products. 

Coronavirus Updates In The United States

As COVID-19 continues its spread throughout the US, we will provide you with updates to keep you up to speed. We will continue to include these updates at the end of This Week In Weed until further notice.

Confirmed COVID-19 CASES In United States (As of July 19): 3,896,855

Confirmed COVID-19 DEATHS In United States (As of July 19): 143,269

  • Trump erroneously insisted that the United States has the “lowest mortality rate” during an interview with Chris Wallace. Wallace tried repeatedly to inform the president that such was not the case.
  • The United States reported 70,000 new cases two days in a row on Friday and Saturday.
  • The White House Coronavirus task force announced that 18 states should roll back their reopening efforts amid surging cases.
  • The US-Canada and US-Mexico borders extended closures for the 4th time, keeping them in place into late August. 
  • The Trump Administration instructed American hospitals to no longer send COVID-19 data to the CDC. The administration asked that such data be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, instead. 
  • The first COVID-19 vaccine in the US is ready to enter the final testing phase.
  • President Trump is poised to block a new Senate proposal allocating funding to testing and contact tracing efforts. 

BLM Protest Updates

The United States is currently experiencing a surge of activism and protesting erupting from the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers. 

Protesters are taking to the streets across the country to demand systemic reform against police violence. 

What follows is a collection of updates related to the ongoing BLM protests.

  • Authorities arrested two women for smearing black paint on a BLM mural outside Trump Tower.
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland demands federal troops to leave the city immediately. 
  • A group of community leaders in Portland asked for a moratorium on violence, asking to have conversations with protest leaders. 
  • US researchers have reiterated that BLM protests have had no link to the rise in Coronavirus cases.
  • Sen. Mike Lee of Utah held a private meeting with Black Lives Matter leaders regarding police reform. 
  • A US attorney from an Oregon district requested a DHS investigation into masked, unmarked federal officers making arrests in Portland. 
  • A new Pennsylvania law requires officers applying for positions to submit their previous employment records.  
  • Mayor De Blasio of New York signed a series of police reform bills, including a ban on chokeholds.
  • Leaders across the country showed reverence following the death of John Lewis, a congressman and iconic leader in the Civil Rights movement.