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420 with CNW — DOJ Requests Additional Time in Cannabis Consumption Sites Case

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking for more time from a federal court to answer a lawsuit over the legality of drug-use sites where individuals use illegal substances in a clinically approved environment. The institution at the center of this case, the Overdose Prevention Center, had initially allowed a request for prior delays in the case, but they did not agree to the latest scenario. They filed for an opposition motion instead.

This case has seen sustained delays in the past three years. The case was raised when the Department of Justice (under the Trump administration) denied a Philadelphia not-for-profit safehouse from initiating a harm-free facility.

In February, the Department of Justice was evaluating consumption sites that were supervised and was in discussion with the state as well as local leaders about worthy guardrails for the safehouses as an integral part of a holistic approach to the reduction of harm and the safety of the public.

The plaintiffs did not consent to this latest request by the justice department for more time and thus will be filing an opposition motion. In a statement, the safehouse said it believed there was progress when the justice department revealed that it had been evaluating its policies toward a controlled consumption service. The “appropriate guardrails” were meant to allow safehouses and other public health centers in the country to offer consumption services sans fear of criminal as well as civil enforcements from the federal department.

In Philly, four people overdose and die every day. A total of 1,276 fatal overdoses were documented last year alone, the highest on record. This is from a national statistic of drug overdose fatalities. The safehouse has been in litigation with the justice department since 2019 in an effort to flag off overdose prevention centers that have controlled drug consumption. Such centers provide critical strides in treatment, housing and the necessary social services to the drug users.

The Department of Justice now seeks to file an amendment counterclaim for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief by February 2023. This translates to another delay in the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania a day after the court- approved Sunday deadline, much to the chagrin of the safehouse. This case has been pending in court for more than four years.

Because of the 2019–2021 litigation delay by the justice department, more than 3,000 people have overdosed in Philadelphia. Projecting into 2022, there is an expected spike in the deaths to 5,000 people.

While the facility in Philadelphia is entangled in litigations, New York opened a maiden harm education center late last year with officials posting positive life-saving reviews.

The Congressional Research Service pointed at a discrepancy saying the justice department actively protested the controlled consumption sites during Trump’s government, but Biden’s administration hasn’t sought to enforce the CSA against such sites. A report was issued within days after NIDA director Nora D. Volkow diplomatically endorsed the concept of authorizing the sites for safe consumption. She argued that scientific evidence demonstrated that these facilities can, in fact, prevent overdose fatalities.

Rahul Gupta, a drug czar at the White House, recently mentioned that the current administration would review the broader drug policy’s harm reduction suggestions, which include authorization of controlled consumption sites. He even suggested possible decriminalization.

The American Medical Association published a study in July stating that newly opened facilities in New York have reduced drug overdose fatalities and have redirected people from using drugs in public because there are facilities provided for this. These facilities also offer adjuvant services for drug users.

This case about safe consumption sites provides yet another front on which the fight to end marijuana prohibition is being fought. Another front is the state-level legalization movement which has, in a way, seen companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) to open shop and research cannabis-based medication.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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