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Some fear new federal rules on hemp production may go too far
Lawmakers and policymakers still aren’t distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, advocates say

Efforts across the nation to regulate hemp production seek a balance between encouraging the new industry and deterring pot growers who might sneak under the plant’s new legal umbrella. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress opened the door in 2018 to what many in the agriculture sector hope will be a 21st-century money crop: hemp. But the budding industry must first escape the shadow of marijuana, hemp’s botanical cousin.

The efforts in Washington, as well as in state and tribal governments, to regulate hemp production seek a balance between encouraging the new industry and deterring pot growers who might sneak under the legal umbrella now covering hemp.

Cryptocurrencies complicate effort to stop opioid dealers
Law enforcement ramping up efforts to trace, halt use of digital currencies in illegal drug trade

House Republican leaders hold photos of people from their district affected by the opioid epidemic during a news conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday June 13, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The fight against the opioid crisis is facing a growing problem: Criminals are getting better at hiding the cryptocurrency transactions they use to buy drugs online.

The opioid crisis, which claims more than 100 lives a day, has been fueled partly by cryptoassets, but law enforcement is ramping up efforts to trace and halt their use in the illegal trade.

Cory Booker just reintroduced a bill that would legalize weed
The bill would also take steps to repair damage the war on drugs has had on poor communities of color

]Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., arrives for the votes in the Senate to keep the government open on Feb. 14, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Cory Booker reintroduced the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill that would legalize marijuana and take steps to repair damage the war on drugs had on poor communities of color, to distinguish himself as a leader on criminal justice reform in the crowded field of presidential hopefuls.

The legislation removes marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule of Controlled Substances, stripping the drug of its Schedule I classification as having “high potential for abuse.” That would lift the current patchwork of state marijuana laws, and legalize the possession, use and sale of marijuana on a federal level.

Capitol Ink | Intelligence Community