News Roundup

This week, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. According to the legislative findings at the beginning of the bill, 37 states already permit marijuana to be used legally under at least some circumstances. Although the bill had bipartisan support in the Senate, its fate in the House is uncertain. Keep reading for more news.

More marijuana movement. WRAL reports here that both chambers of the legislature have passed, overwhelmingly, a bill that “would automatically make legal in the state prescription drugs containing marijuana and . . . THC” if the FDA approves the drug, the DEA changes the controlled substance schedules in response, and state authorities do not object. The bill awaits Governor Cooper’s signature, but appears to have no immediate effect given that it is contingent on various federal actions.

Federal gun laws going nowhere. After the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, there is a renewed interest in gun safety legislation in some quarters. NPR explains here that the United States House of Representatives passed “a wide-ranging gun control bill Wednesday . . . that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.” The bill passed along party lines and NPR observes that it has “almost no chance of becoming law” given opposition in the Senate.

San Francisco recalls its progressive prosecutor. Chesea Boudin is, or was, the charismatic progressive District Attorney in San Francisco. He was just recalled amidst what many residents see as an epidemic of petty crime, drug abuse, and declining quality of life in the City by the Bay. Perhaps the recall is connected to a national rethinking of some kinds of criminal justice reform. But I suspect that it is just as much driven by a confluence of local events. This deep dive in The Atlantic resonates with me as someone who grew up in the Bay Area.

Officer involved shooting in Harnett County. WRAL has this story about a man shot by a Harnett County deputy this week. Early reports indicate that the man was experiencing mental health issues and was walking down a highway with a rifle. When confronted by deputies, he aimed it at them, drawing fire.

FBI use of force data released. Crime and Consequences notes here that the FBI has released its first batch of data from its National Use-of-Force Data Collection. The data are not especially revealing, yet, but it is a promising first step for a voluntary data collection effort that for a time seemed unlikely to get off the ground.