OVERNIGHT REGULATION: UN takes on global drug laws

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington and we want to take a moment to recognize all of the teachers out there -- including both of Tim's parents and Lydia's sister -- as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

 

THE BIG STORY

Global drug polices will take center stage Thursday as the United Nations reviews its strategy for solving the "world's drug problem." http://bit.ly/1Ea3Nwh

World leaders will review international drug laws for the first time in nearly two decades ahead of next year's UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs.

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Marijuana groups and civil rights advocates hope the UN meeting will provide a forum for ending the war on pot worldwide. They wrote a letter to the UN earlier this week urging it to address "injustices" stemming for these laws. http://bit.ly/1KMEDZe

Global drug laws that criminalize pot discriminate against minorities, who are arrested at a disproportionately high rate, and lead to "serious human rights violations," the groups say.

"Existing U.S. and global drug control policies that heavily emphasize criminalization of drug use, possession, production and distribution are inconsistent with the international human rights standards and have contributed to serious human rights violations," they write.

The groups point to "discriminatory policing" practices that lead to the arrests of black people more often than white people for marijuana-related offenses.

Some drug offenders may even face the death penalty in other countries around the world, they say.

Marijuana groups have been pushing U.S. lawmakers to reform the nation's drug laws. Some states have legalized medical marijuana, while other states have gone so far as to sign off on recreational pot. 

But the federal government still prohibits marijuana -- and so do governments in many other countries around the world.

Marijuana groups hope Thursday's meeting will provide a world stage for their push legalize pot.

 

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY

The House is out this week.

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee will hold a hearing to discuss child nutrition programs. http://1.usa.gov/1ELWE7V

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to find effective solutions to address abusive patent practices. http://1.usa.gov/1zMspPf

The Senate Appropriations' Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on rural health. http://1.usa.gov/1zMspPf

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 195 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to look for:

--The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will propose new rules for certain options trades.

The changes include reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain trades, the agency says.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1cn4X0x

--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will propose new disclosure rules for corporate executives under the Dodd-Frank financial reform laws.

Companies would be required to disclose executives' compensation compared to their financial performance.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1P0Nnk7

--The Obama administration will issue new affirmative action rules to protect veterans with disabilities.

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are adopting equal opportunity rules that would prevent government contractors from discriminating against veterans with disabilities.

The rules go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1H1nSee

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will consider a petition from one company to delay new efficiency rules.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy issued new test procedures for direct home heating equipment and pool heaters in January.

But one company is requesting an extension in the compliance date that would only apply to that firm.

The public has 15 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1KMfwpe

--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider new recommendations for how companies should handle mandatory food recalls.

The FDA's draft guidance will provide companies with advice for implementing food recalls.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1QnaX89

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Prison: Federal prisons are not equipped to adequately address the needs of aging inmates, according to a new report from a government watchdog. http://bit.ly/1Ih5jDj

For-profit colleges: Senate Democrats are calling on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate Corinthian College, the for-profit college accused of luring students into expensive loans with bogus job prospects. http://bit.ly/1IgOIha

Lost wages: The Dodd-Frank financial reform law created in the wake of the 2008 Wall Street collapse is costing the average worker $334.60 each year in lost wages, according to a new studyhttp://bit.ly/1zBRKeu

Fatal falls: Construction workers restoring the cracks in Capitol dome took a break Wednesday morning to discuss how to safely use a harness and erect scaffolding. http://bit.ly/1JrJtdo

Self-driving trucks: More over self-driving cars: Automated trucks will soon be on the road too, at least in one state. http://bit.ly/1byi3Xz

Gay marriage: A pro-gay-marriage ruling by the Supreme Court could help Republicans at the ballot box by essentially neutralizing the contentious issue in the national debate, The Wall Street Journal reports. http://on.wsj.com/1EXGhGL

Campaign finance: Penalties from the Federal Election Commission for campaign violations have hit record lows, The New York Times reports. http://nyti.ms/1JQFSsB

Electricity: The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether federal regulators may encourage electricity users like schools, hospitals and shopping centers to reduce consumption at peak times in exchange for price breaks, The New York Times reports. http://nyti.ms/1JQFSsB

 

BY THE NUMBERS

4,585: The number of work-related fatalities in 2013.

595: The number of workplace deaths from falling

291: The number of falls in construction work.

20 feet: The max distance workers fell in 60 percent of fatal construction falls. 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Criminalization of the drug trade has dramatically enhanced the profitability of illicit drug markets, fueling the operations of groups that commit abuses, corrupt authorities, and undermine democracy and the rule of law in many parts of the world," marijuana groups wrote in a letter to the UN.

We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and@wheelerlydia.

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