|Tokin' Women Lady Gaga and Kamala Harris greet each other at the inauguration.|
As Kamala Devi Harris, our reigning Tokin' Woman of the Year, was sworn in as our first female Vice President, it was a banner week for progressive females.
Pennsylvania's top health official Dr. Rachel Levine was announced as the Biden/Harris administration's pick for assistant secretary of health. Levine, a pediatrician, would become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Levine has also been open to the notion, supported by science, that cannabis could play a role in alleviating the opioid epidemic. This is in sharp contrast to former Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, who resigned her post on January 7. In 2018, McCance-Katz called research showing medical marijuana states have fewer opioid overdoses "flawed." Instead, she touted her agency’s success in promoting MAT (medically assisted treatment, meaning methadone, naltrexone, or buprenorphine) for opioid abuse, something also advanced by our new Acting Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Regina LaBelle. (No word on LaBelle's opinion of marijuana. NORML lobbied for the Biden/Harris administration to eliminate the ONDCP.)